Press ReleasesServiceLink survey reveals Gen Z and millennials are ready to make their move

The 2024 ServiceLink State of Homebuying Report highlights generational preferences and trends from today’s homebuyers

PITTSBURGH, PA. (March 12, 2024) –

Gen Z and millennials are optimistic, eager and ready to buy a home. Relatively high mortgage rates and lower income levels aren’t stopping their plans to become homeowners in 2024.

A new report released today from ServiceLink, the nation’s premier provider of tech-enabled mortgage services, analyzes generational trends among today’s homebuyers, revealing their sentiment about the current housing market and their intentions to purchase, refinance and leverage home equity this year. Now in its fourth year, the 2024 ServiceLink State of Homebuying Report (SOHBR) features insights from homeowners who either purchased a home or tried to purchase a home within the past four years and focuses on yearly trends that provide valuable insights for lenders, servicers, investors and buyers alike.

“This is an interesting and pivotal moment in the housing and mortgage industries as the younger generations are not only determined to buy but are seemingly undeterred by the higher price tags and interest rates,” said Dave Steinmetz, president of origination services, ServiceLink. “Our study suggests that Gen Z and millennials are poised to impact the market in several ways including purchase, refi and home equity, which is an opportunity for lenders to educate and usher these younger buyers through the process.”

Key findings of the report include:

Eagerness to buy: Younger generations plan to purchase a home in 2024

63% of Gen Z respondents and 59% of millennial respondents said they plan to purchase a home this year (compared to 45% of Gen X and 21% of baby boomers)

47% of all respondents, those who purchased a home or tried to purchase a home over the past four years, plan to purchase in 2024.

The younger generations also have a more optimistic view of the housing market in 2024, with 56% of Gen Z respondents and 51% of millennial respondents saying conditions for buying are favorable (compared to 38% of Gen X and 18% of baby boomers).

But can the youngest generation actually afford to buy? 33% of Gen Z respondents reported earning less than $50,000 and 22% reported earning more than $100,000.

The largest overall demand comes from the renting community: 69% of renters and 70% of those living rent-free say they are planning to purchase. Only 34% of those who currently own a home plan to buy in 2024.

Tolerance for higher rates: There is a strong correlation between generations and the highest interest rate they would accept for a new 30-year mortgage

Despite typically having lower incomes, the youngest generations are more willing to pay higher future interest rates than their older counterparts. Gen Z homeowner respondents-- with an average current interest rate of 5.4% --would consider going as high as 6.3% in 2024. (Compared to millennials, with a current interest rate of 5.2%, who would consider 6.2%; Gen X, with a current interest rate of 5%, who would consider 5.8%; and baby boomers, with a current interest rate of 4.6%, who would consider 5%).

Those who purchased a home in 2023 are more likely to accept a higher future mortgage rate than those who purchased a home in 2020. Respondents who purchased a home in 2023 (with an average rate of 6.3%), would go as high as 6.4% in future mortgage rates, versus respondents who purchased a home in 2020, who have an average of 4.8% mortgage rate, who would consider a 5.5% mortgage rate, at highest.

Reasons to refinance: Many homeowners are looking to reduce their current rate

27% of all respondents said they would consider refinancing to get a better mortgage rate, while 22% said they would refinance to make home improvements, followed by 16% who said they would refinance to pay down debt.

Equity is rising: But fewer people plan to tap into it this year

34% of respondents reported having more than $100,000 in home equity, up from 21% in 2023. Of this, 19% of this year’s respondents said they have more than $200,000 in home equity.

While equity is growing, only 28% of respondents this year said they plan to take out a home equity loan.

48% of those who plan to take out a home equity loan will do so to have extra money for home improvements (this is down from 73% in 2023), while 23% said they will do so to pay off other debt.

Auction is having its moment: Gen Z and millennials are interested in this alternative route to homeownership

54% of respondents said they’re willing to purchase a home at auction this year (up from 40% in 2023 and 33% in 2022).

Millennials are the most likely to consider a purchase at auction, at 67% (up from 39% in 2023). 64% of Gen Z and 55% of Gen X also are willing to consider auction for a future purchase.

45% of all respondents say they would use an auction purchase as a primary residence, while 23% would use an auction purchase to fix and flip.

Market complexities: Some ‘would be’ homebuyers abandoned the process in the last year, but plan to try again

42% of respondents (both those who bought a home in the past four years and those who tried to buy) said they considered purchasing a home the past 12 months but decided against it. This included 32% of Gen Z respondents, 29% of millennial respondents, 25% of Gen X respondents and 14% of baby boomer respondents.

40% of respondents said they decided against purchasing because mortgage rates were too high and the options were too expensive, while 33% said their financial situation changed.

79% of respondents who unsuccessfully tried to buy a home over the last four years say they plan to try again in 2024.

Mortgage technology: Popular among all generations

60% of respondents leveraged eSign technology for some part of their recent purchase transaction. This includes 74% of baby boomers, 58% of millennials, 57% of Gen X and 50% of Gen Z.

56% of respondents said the key benefits of mortgage technology is its convenience and ease of use, while 52% cited time savings.

Read the full report here.

Methodology

ServiceLink partnered with Sago to complete an online survey of potential respondents who purchased a home, or tried to purchase a home, in the past four years. A total of 1,519 respondents completed the survey. The respondents were made up of equal parts male and female, as well as equal distribution between all four homebuying generations. Interviewing was conducted by Sago from November 29, 2023, to December 11, 2023.

###

About ServiceLink

ServiceLink is the nation's premier provider of digital mortgage services to the mortgage and finance industries. ServiceLink leads the way by delivering best-in-class technologies, a full product suite of services and proven experience, built on a foundation of quality, compliance and service excellence. ServiceLink provides valuation, title and closing, and flood services to mortgage originators; and default valuation, integrated default title services, vendor invoicing and claims audit services, as well as field services and auction services to mortgage servicers. ServiceLink helps clients in the lending industry and beyond achieve their strategic goals, realize greater efficiencies, and better serve their customers. For more information about ServiceLink, please visit svclnk.com.

ServiceLink Public Relations Contact:

Stephanie Hacke

412-377-6629

Stephanie.hacke@svclnk.com

Share this post

BlogMore from ServiceLink

Previous Post

Manufactured homes present a new opportunity for homebuyers & lenders

View all posts

We’re ready to partner with you

Take a moment to tell us about yourself and we’ll be in touch shortly.

ServiceLink

TM ©2024 ServiceLink IP Holding Company, LLC, and/or affiliate. All rights reserved.