Jacksonville is the biggest city in the lower 48 states -- but only if you include the water.Jacksonville is the biggest city in the lower 48 states -- but only if you include the water.
Jacksonville is the biggest city in the lower 48 states -- but only if you include the water. l Steven Ponson, WJCT News 89.9

Jax ranked among best cities for Gen Z homebuyers

Published on February 5, 2024 at 1:08 pm

Home ownership can be a challenge for young buyers, but a new study found Jacksonville to be one of the best cities in the nation where Generation Z might buy. 

Jacksonville ranked 15th as a place for people younger than 25 to buy a home, based on housing prices, incomes, the number of homes available and the percentage of homes that sell for more than the list price.

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Orlando ranked 12th nationally, but Jacksonville had Florida’s highest rate of ownership among Gen Z — 14.2%, according to the study by real estate website Point2Homes.

Jacksonville's advantages are a more affordable median home price and a favorable ratio between home prices and income, the study showed. Home prices here are less than seven times Gen Z’s median annual income, compared with double digits in more expensive cities, according to the study.

Point2Home said Gen Z accounts for about 21% of the U.S. population, but they face particular challenges in buying a home. They have already faced a pandemic, crippling inflation, historically high mortgage rates and an overall turbulent economy. 

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Broadly, Point2Homes found that cities in the Midwest and the South may be the best for Gen Z to set down roots. But it’s no guarantee. The majority of Florida residents become homeowners by age 42, Axios has reported. That’s more than a decade older than their forefathers did.

A study by the real estate brokerage Redfin found that many Gen Z adults are tracking ahead of where their parents were at the same age. Redfin attributed that to many Gen Z homeowners who were able to buy when interest rates were near record lows.

“Housing affordability remains strained, but things are looking up for Gen Z,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said in the report. “The recent decline in rents means Gen Zers can put more money toward saving for a down payment.”

author image Carter is a senior majoring in communication at the University of North Florida. He spent three years at Spinnaker, UNF's award-winning student-run media outlet, which was recognized among the best student newsrooms in the nation during his tenure as editor-in-chief. Carter's reporting has placed for multiple awards, and he generally covers news and education topics. He's also had bylines in the Jacksonville Business Journal.

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