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Gen Z Homebuyers Prefer Utah: Study

David Krechevsky
Jun 06, 2023
Most Popular Metros for Gen Z Homebuyers

LendingTree finds adult members of the generation are now first-time buyers.

You might think members of Generation Z — born between 1997 and 2012 — are still too young to buy a home. 

A recent study by LendingTree, however, found that not only are older members of that generation graduating college and starting their careers, they are also buying homes for the first time.

And, according to the study, Salt Lake City, Utah, has the largest share of mortgage requests from members of Gen Z.

As part of its study, LendingTree analyzed mortgage purchase requests from adult Gen Z users of the LendingTree platform across the nation’s 50 largest metros from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2022.

While adult Gen Zers (ages 18 to 25) account for an average of 14.91% of potential homebuyers across the nation’s 50 largest metros, that figure will likely grow over the coming years, LendingTree said.

Key findings

  • At 22.59%, Salt Lake City has the largest share of mortgage requests from Gen Zers. Though the average mortgage amount in Salt Lake City is higher than in many of the nation’s other large metros, it’s a hot spot for younger homebuyers, likely because — among other factors — it has a strong job market and a good blend of urban and rural amenities.
  • Relatively inexpensive Oklahoma City and Birmingham, Ala., are the next most popular metros among Gen Z buyers. Respectively, 22.36% and 20.79% of mortgage requests in these two metros come from Gen Z.
  • In expensive San Francisco, New York, and San Jose, Calif., the smallest percentage of mortgages are being requested by Gen Z. Respectively, 7.76%, 8.88%, and 9.7% of mortgage requests in these metros come from Gen Zers. While these shares are lower than the 50-metro average of 14.91%, as Gen Zers age over the coming years, these shares will likely rise.
  • In all, six of the 10 least popular metros for potential Gen Z buyers are in California.
  • The average credit score of Gen Z mortgage borrowers can vary widely across the U.S. The average credit score among Gen Zers who made mortgage purchase requests is highest in Buffalo, N.Y., at 707 — 56 points above the average score of 651 in New Orleans, where it’s the lowest.
  • Down payment amounts also vary. There’s a $59,034 difference between the average down payment among potential Gen Z homebuyers of $77,786 in San Jose and $18,752 in Oklahoma City — the highest and the lowest across the 50 largest metros.
  • Like credit scores and down payments, mortgage amounts can change quite a bit depending on where buyers live. In San Jose, the average mortgage amount offered to Gen Zers is $541,436. That’s $347,836 more than the $193,600 average in Cleveland, where potential Gen Z homebuyers borrow the least.
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