Home Design Trends that Gen-Z Buyers Love

When it comes to buying a home, today’s Gen Z shoppers have very different expectations than their Gen X and Boomer parents. According to the most recent Christie’s International Real Estate Luxury Forecast, this next-gen homebuyer is all about smart, sustainable, and easy living.

If you’re thinking about selling your home, it’s important to keep those must-haves in mind and prepare your property for this dynamic new buyer persona. Here’s where to start:

#1. Introduce smart tech

Smart home technology is no longer a nice-to-have. More than 85% of Americans now own at least one smart home device. And as the first generation to grow up surrounded by technology, it’s no surprise that the homes of Gen Zers are often filled with devices. To appeal to next-generation buyers, ensure your property is “smart.”

“Gen Z buyers prefer a slew of high-tech features ranging from remote lighting to voice control mechanisms, showing an unmatched desire for personalization and convenience,” says Jackie Johns of Christie’s International Real Estate Dubai.

Granted, adapting a home for smart living doesn’t have to be complicated. A few simple additions can make all the difference. Trendy and easy-to-install smart home products like Ring doorbells, Nest thermostats, and smart lighting make a home more appealing – and possibly more valuable, per GearBrain.

#2. Create a work-from-home space

Thirty-five percent of people who can work from home full-time do, and 41% have a hybrid schedule, so it’s no surprise that most buyers want a home with at least one home office. And with Gen Z’s desire for a healthy work-life balance, a dedicated space for work that they can shut the door on at the end of the day is a must. So if you don’t already have a home office space, consider carving one out or, at the very least, highlighting a space that could easily transition for work-from-home use.

#3. Make your space sustainable

Gen Z and millennial homebuyers are deeply invested in sustainability, and they’re looking for homes that reflects their values. Ninety-one percent of Gen Z buyers are looking for green homes and say they’d pay more for a property with sustainable features such as solar panels (37%), energy-efficient appliances (28%), and energy-conserving insulation (25%).

So, what does this mean for homeowners and prospective sellers? As you renovate and refresh, look to eco-friendly building materials, native landscaping, and solar panels. Next-gen homebuyers want to own homes that reduce their carbon footprints, and these investments could drive more interest and even a higher sale price.

“These preferences underscore a comprehensive commitment to ecological responsibility within the luxury real estate market among this demographic,” explains Broker Anastasia Menardi Demai of Benedetti Real Service in the Christie’s International Real Estate 2024 Global Luxury forecast.


#4. Bigger isn’t always better

For next-gen homebuyers, the “McMansions” that appealed to their parents’ generation have given way to  smaller, and in some cases more minimalist-style, homes. In a recent survey, 52% of respondents said they wanted a smaller home, and 81% were looking for a simpler design.

Smaller homes are also easier to maintain than larger properties—another plus for this cohort of buyers. According to Homes and Gardens, Gen Z buyers prefer low-maintenance homes with easy-to-clean surfaces like granite counters and high-quality building materials like brick or stone for siding. Likewise, the Christie’s International Real Estate 2024 Global Luxury Forecast revealed a push towards the quiet luxury trend and a desire for understated elegance with high-quality materials over brand names. This, no doubt, feeds into the simple, lower-maintenance home trend.

#5. Maximizing the Great Outdoors

During the pandemic, functional outdoor space became a must for many buyers – Gen-Z included – and that desire hasn’t died down yet. Whether it’s a balcony or rooftop garden in a big city or a full outdoor kitchen and patio in the suburbs, there are countless ways to address this and ensure buyers get to enjoy life in their private outdoor oasis.

As more and more Gen Zers become homeowners, what is considered a priority for a home will continue to evolve. Yet these tech-savvy generations will still set the standard for what it means to be a home sweet home for decades.

Written by @properties
@properties Christie’s International Real Estate is Chicagoland’s #1 brokerage. Through our affiliation with Christie’s International Real Estate, our network spans nearly 50 countries. No matter your real estate needs, we’ve got you covered.