(NEXSTAR) – Sorry Gen Zers, we don’t have good news for you.
A new generational study breaks down the affordability of the average home in the 100 most populous U.S. counties, and while things are bleak for the younger home buyers of Generation Z, they aren’t much better for Baby Boomers.
Real estate search portal Point2 found that while there wasn’t a single county where the median home price was below what the 15- to 24-year-olds of Generation Z could comfortably afford, Baby Boomers themselves had only 11 counties to choose from.
With an ongoing home shortage and low mortgage rates, the study’s analysts say Gen Zers will need to consider smaller houses and be open to a move – Gwinnett County, Georgia is a great option it turns out.
The study found that Gen Zers could afford 1,505 square feet of living space, easily enough for a three-bedroom home. The least affordable county for young home buyers was Suffolk County, Massachusetts, where the generation’s net worth and median income provided for just 245 square feet.
While Baby Boomers typically have a much higher net worth, allowing them to make a larger down payment, their income is substantially lower than Millennials and Gen Xers, limiting their affordable mortgage rate.
What’s the most affordable county for Baby Boomers? Turns out it’s also in Georgia – Cobb County – which offers affordable homes with a generous average of 2,501 square feet of space.
Millennials, Americans between 25 and 44 years old, are slightly better off than Baby Boomers and Generation Z, but still can’t afford the average home in 66 of the 100 largest counties.
Because of their relatively high median incomes, Millennials are, however, still able to afford homes in three counties where the average price is higher than $1 million – San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara – all in California.
The cheapest affordable homes are found in Hidalgo County, Texas ($182,113); Wayne County, Michigan ($211,188); El Paso County, Texas ($225,741); and Milwaukee County, Wisconsin ($236,143).
Who has it best?
The generation with the most options, Gen X, still can’t afford the median home in 30 counties, the report found.
Their combination of net worth and income allows Americans between the ages of 45 and 64 years old to afford the average home in a majority of the top 100 counties, the only generation to have that luxury of options.
Gen X has substantially greater purchase power – they are the only generation that can comfortably afford homes that are 3,000 square feet and larger in 11 counties.
The study’s authors warn that the lack of inventory has driven up prices, making the necessary down payments larger, but being able to comfortably buy a home will also likely mean navigating higher interest rates and a higher monthly mortgage rate.
“This means that home affordability is not just a present conundrum, but also a future issue, as well,” the report states.