HOUSING + HOMELESSNESS

A look at the Gen-Z housing struggle

Dec 14, 2023, 11:19 AM | Updated: Feb 7, 2024, 9:03 am

rent survey...

FILE: A 'For Rent' sign is posted near a home on February 07, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

(Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Live on Dave & Dujanovic: the trend that’s shutting out young homebuyers. 

SALT LAKE CITY — For members of Generation Z across the country, it’s just too expensive to live alone. According to a new report by Axios, most 20-somethings say living on their own is not feasible.

Shane Stewart, a certified financial planner for Deseret Mutual Benefit Association, said he blames the Gen-Z housing struggle on high prices and interest rates. 

“It’s common for folks that age to struggle a little bit to actually buy a home. But add to it that we’ve had high interest rates and high value of a place to purchase. It’s an interesting combination. And that generation has always needed to move in with roommates and that kind of thing,” said Stewart.

“But it’s so much more now. I don’t want to use the word impossible, but it’s very difficult to do,” said Stewart. 

He noted that rent prices are also at a premium. 

“Now you’re seeing multiple renters in one spot just to cover the costs,” said Stewart.

Staying with mom and pop

According to Axios, these costs are also causing members of Gen-Z to stay home with their parents. However, Stewart said parents shouldn’t worry too much.

“It’ll free up a bit as places become more affordable and more places are out there. The supply of places is really the issue and you’ll probably see a few people start to leave the nest a little more once that happens,” he said.

Stewart said home prices and interest rates are already starting to tick down so leaving home should get easier. 

Stewart said one thing that Utahns benefit from is a well-run state. 

“Our state has been historically run quite well. And so you know, the cost of living is not as terrible as it has been in the rest of the country. Jobs are always stronger in the state of Utah than they typically are in the rest of the nation, ” said Stewart.

“We’ve been fortunate to have a well-run state and industrious people who get out and get a job and make sure that they’re working and try to take care of themselves,” he said. However, he sees a lot of people bring in another person to share the costs.

The impact of affordable housing

Gov. Spencer Cox announced that “deeply affordable” housing was in the works. So, how will that affect the cost of housing?

“Well, it will certainly influence the market. If it doesn’t impact it significantly, it will influence it, because it will put affordable housing out there,” said Stewart. 

“It will be a shot in the arm so to speak. Whether the medicine in that shot goes system-wide wide, [is] hard to tell. I don’t think it will be overwhelmingly impactful, but it certainly will influence it for good. It should do a lot of good  to make housing more affordable,” Stewart said. 

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A look at the Gen-Z housing struggle