The prospect of homeownership is deeply ingrained in the American dream. It represents a milestone, a place to build a life, and a canvas for self-expression. But in today’s volatile real estate market, what does 2024 hold for aspiring homeowners?
To paint a clearer picture, we surveyed 1,003 Americans about their homebuying hopes and plans for the year ahead. Here are the trends we uncovered.
- 41% of Americans plan to buy a home in 2024.
- Los Angeles is the number-one location for Americans’ dream homes.
- The average homebuyer’s budget for 2024 is $313,141.
- Nearly half of homebuyers would spend about $50,000 over budget to buy their dream home in 2024.
- Nearly one in three Americans would consider buying an RV or camper instead of a traditional house.
Homeownership Goals: Exploring the American Dream
We began this study by looking closely at homeownership aspirations for 2024. Discover the percentage of Americans setting their sights on buying a home, the property types of their dreams, and their confidence in turning those dreams into reality.
A notable 41% of Americans have their sights set on purchasing a home in 2024. However, this goal differs across demographics. While 43% of heterosexual Americans intend to buy a house next year, only 34% of LGBTQ+ Americans plan to become homeowners. And when it comes to confidence levels, Gen Zers (37%) outpace millennials (30%) in believing they can achieve their homeownership dreams in 2024.
Many homebuyers say they dream of owning a single-story (61%) or two-story home (42%), though about 20% say they would be happy with a townhome. With real estate forecasts predicting a more stable market in 2024, it might be the ideal time to buy a home—no matter the type.
Most Popular Home Locations and Styles
Americans embarking on their homebuying journeys have distinct preferences when it comes to the where, what, and how of their future homes. Next, we reveal the most sought-after metro areas for homebuyers, explore their preferred architectural styles, and uncover the desired size of their dream homes.
When Americans imagine their dream homes, they cast their gazes toward the stars—literally. Our survey revealed that Los Angeles is the number-one destination for realizing homeownership dreams. The City of Angels’ glitz and glamor, diverse job market, and beautiful beaches capture the hearts of homebuyers, making it the top choice for planting roots and building futures.
New York City and Charlotte, North Carolina, also appeal to 2024 homebuyers, perhaps due to their historical resilience. The Big Apple’s real estate market has a track record of withstanding economic downturns, and Charlotte’s combination of low living costs and a healthy job market is also a win-win.
As for what they want their dream homes to look like, respondents chose from more than a dozen architectural styles. Here’s what they prefer.
Midcentury modern is the top trending style, with 56% expressing a preference for this aesthetic. Contemporary architecture closely follows at 37%, while ranch-style homes appeal to 31% of homebuyers. The hot farmhouse trend might be cooling, as only 28% desire this style, made popular by Joanna Gaines.
Other interesting findings emerged among specific demographics, with 44% of LGBTQ+ Americans keenly interested in contemporary homes compared to 36% of their heterosexual counterparts. Delving deeper into American generations, we found that millennials are the most enthusiastic about midcentury-modern architecture, with 62% favoring this style.
Homebuyers also shared how much space they would want inside their new homes.
Buying Your Dream
The financial aspect of homebuying is a critical one. Discover the average budgets prospective homeowners are working with and what matters most to them as they consider where to live.
Aspiring homebuyers have an average budget of $313,141 to purchase a home in 2024, though one in three respondents said they’re willing to spend upwards of $400,000. When we break it down by generation, we find intriguing variations. Gen Z is willing to embark on this life-altering journey with an average budget of $237,564, while other generations have the following average budgets:
- Millennials: $316,324
- Gen X: $336,716
- Baby boomers: $325,000
Some homebuyers surveyed would stretch their financial limits further, with nearly half willing to go about $50,000 over budget to buy their dream home.
Next, we explore which aspects of the homebuying process matter most to our survey respondents, including the most in-demand home features of 2024.
If the home they buy isn’t exactly what they want, the majority of homebuyers are ready to fix it up. More than half of respondents said they plan to transform a new home into a dream home, budgeting an average of about $36,000 for future renovations. All of our financial findings reflect the importance Americans are placing on securing a home in the next year.
Some Americans are more interested in taking the road less traveled and owning an unconventional home that allows them to lead a more unique lifestyle. Here’s a look at trending alternatives to standard homes.
Our survey revealed that nearly one-third of Americans would consider purchasing and living in an RV or camper instead of a traditional home. Those who said they would live this more mobile lifestyle were from the following generations:
- Gen Z: 34%
- Millennials: 30%
- Gen X: 35%
- Baby boomers: 25%
Why are people of all ages willing to forgo a brick-and-mortar home? To start, we discovered that for nearly one in four Americans, homeownership is no longer a dream they have (20% of millennials and 17% of Gen Zers felt this way, specifically). Exploring this trend further, we found that LGBTQ+ Americans lead the way in considering the RV or camper lifestyle, with 42% open to the idea. In contrast, just 29% of heterosexual Americans are interested.
RV and camper designs have also come a long way since originally hitting the market, with luxurious travel trailers now available to provide the usual comforts of home. Renovating vintage RVs is another popular trend among social media influencers and Hollywood stars alike (take a peek inside actor Milo Ventimiglia’s Airstream trailer!). Our survey respondents are also ready to renovate an RV or camper to make it their dream home, with most wanting to focus on adding a built-in shower (57%) and solar panels (56%).
Even more intriguing, the motivation behind this shift to mobile housing isn’t solely about wanderlust but also about practicality. A significant 67% of those considering this alternative housing option are motivated by cost savings, while 65% see it as a means to lead a more affordable lifestyle. Flexibility, adventure, and freedom also rank high on the list, at 55%, 50%, and 50%, respectively.
The year 2024 promises to be a dynamic one in the ever-evolving world of real estate. The data we’ve uncovered paints a compelling picture of a nation not just driven by dreams of homeownership but also willing to get creative. Whether it’s millennials’ unwavering commitment, Gen X’s resilience, or Gen Z’s adventurous spirit, one thing is clear—homeownership remains a cherished American dream for many, even if it means crossing state lines to achieve it.
Based on our findings, Los Angeles is in the lead as the dream moving destination, with New York City and Charlotte, North Carolina, following suit. We also found that more than half of those surveyed were willing to turn their houses into homes via renovations, and nearly a third would consider mobile-home living. With Americans across generations ready to become homeowners, 2024 is poised to be an active year for the real estate industry.
For this campaign, we surveyed 1,003 Americans to understand their perceptions of homebuying in 2024. Of them, 41% are planning to buy a house in 2024, and 49% are not. The generational breakdown is as follows:
- Gen Z: 11%
- Millennials: 53%
- Gen X: 26%
- Baby boomers: 10%
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