JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville was ranked among the “Most Attainable Cities for Gen Z Homeownership,” according to a study by Today’s Homeowner.
Jax local Milan Falls is part of “Generation Z.” That’s a person born in the mid to late 90s to the early 2010s. According to a recent study by real estate company Redfin, 30% of Falls’ generation was able to afford a home in 2022.
“With college and all the other things, I’m trying to do right now, buying a home is a very far stretch from what I can afford,” Falls said.
But Redfin’s study only applied to those in Gen Z who were 25 years old. Falls is 18 and says she lives in an Arlington apartment worth $1,400 and splits the rent with a roommate.
According to Redfin, those 25-year-olds who bought homes in 2022 only got them because they took advantage of the low mortgage rates during the pandemic.
“Generation Z got very lucky,” said Tim Newman, Jacksonville Realtor and President of North Florida Mortgage Brokers.
Newman said home loan interest rates in 2020 and 2021 were historically low at 2% to 3%.
“So, they got to leave college with a good job and were highly incentivized to buy a home. In those last 3 years, they probably appreciated 50% of that house that they bought,” Newman said.
According to Newman, if you’d like to buy a house in 2023 in the River City, you’ll need to make between $20 and $25 an hour. However, the location you’d like to live in, and your debt limit will ultimately play a huge factor.
Newman thinks you’ll need to make about $57,000 to be self-sufficient.
“Jacksonville is very focused on very high-earning jobs,” Newman said.
Jobs such as healthcare or retail can easily earn you a six-figure job, making Jacksonville affordable. But for people during the pandemic who worked a service job, for example, finding a home was harder than it was for someone who worked remotely.
Newman notes that someone who is local to Jacksonville and in Generation Z may find it difficult to buy a home at this time. That’s because housing prices have doubled in the last 5 years.
“But when you look at the relative affordability of Jacksonville as compared to Florida and compared to the national average, it’s a bargain. The national housing price is about $400,000 for the median home price. Our houses are below $300,000,” Newman said.
Jacksonville also has a better housing affordability rate than Tampa and Miami.
According to the Today’s Homeowner study, Jacksonville is ranked 8th in the top 10 cities for most attainable homeownership for Gen Z.
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Another positive note, Newman says Jacksonville will more than likely always be a nice place to live because there is somewhere for everyone.
“There’s an urban setting, there’s a rural setting, there’s a beach setting. You’ll always find that your mortgage is going to be less expensive than your rent,” Newman said.
Whether you are in Gen Z or not, Newman recommends speaking with an experienced mortgage broker versus looking for a loan from a bank.