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12 Most Affordable Metro Areas for Gen Z Homebuyers

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(Related: Top 10 Cities for Millennial Homebuyers)

Four out of five members of Generation Z want to own a home before they turn 30, realtor.com reported Thursday. To do so, they will need to save $304 every month for the next 12 years to buy a median-priced house with a 10% down payment plus closing costs.

According to realtor.com’s analysis, the median home price in the U.S. will be $386,310 in 2031— when today’s 18-year-old members of Gen Z turn 30 — an increase of 46% from the expected 2019 median price of $265,000, which assumes prices grow at a very modest 3.2% per year over the next 12 years. But the amount a future buyer needs to save varies widely based on location and how much the buyer chooses to pay up front.

Monthly Savings

Realtor.com broke down how much a Gen Zer would have to save monthly, starting on his 18th birthday, to afford a home in 2031, on his 30th birthday, in each of 100 metro areas, with a 5%, 10% or 20% down payment.

The analysis posits a savings account with a fixed 3% annual return, compounded monthly.

The calculated savings amount required includes money for a down payment and typical closing costs of about 3.6% for first-time homebuyers. Forecast median home price data come from Moody’s Analytics.

Location, Location, Location

With an average median home price of $191,381 in 2031 for the top 10 most affordable metro areas, 18-year-old members of Gen Z will need to save an average of $150 a month. That comes out to saving $798 a month less than the average monthly saving required for the top 10 most expensive metros.

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara will have the highest median home price in 2031 at $2.5 million, which would require saving $1,962 a month for a 10% down payment. This contrasts with low-six figure home prices in the least expensive metro areas, requiring monthly savings of around $100.

According to realtor.com, putting 10% down or less is far more common among first-time and younger homebuyers, but said some members of Gen Z may want to use a 20% down payment, historically the benchmark, to qualify for a lower mortgage rate and have a much lower monthly payment — which it acknowledges might not be feasible in the most expensive metros.

Check out the gallery for the dozen most affordable metro areas in the U.S. for Gen Z homebuyers in 2031, as predicted by realtor.com.

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