Real Estate: Majority of Home Buyers Consider Climate Risks when Looking for New Home, Report Claims

More than 4 out of 5 prospective home buyers consider climate risks as they shop, new Zillow (NASDAQ: Z and ZG) research shows.

Most say their major concern “is flood risk, followed by wildfires, extreme temperatures, hurricanes and drought.”

Zillow senior population scientist Manny Garcia said:

“Climate risks impact where most prospective buyers shop for a home. While all generations juggle trade-offs like budget, floor plans and commute times, younger home shoppers are more likely to face another consideration: They want to know if their home will be safe from rising waters, extreme temperatures and wildfires.”

A clear majority of prospective buyers “in each region of the United States consider at least one climate risk when shopping for a home.”

People in the West are most likely “to report climate risk as very or extremely impactful in their home search, followed by those in the Northeast.” On the flip side, one-third of Midwestern and Southern shoppers say climate risks “are not very impactful or not at all impactful to their real estate journey.”

Climate risks are a major concern “for younger home shoppers, who are driving the market.”

The median age of today’s home buyer “is 39, and first-time buyers make up 50% of all buyers.”

Millennial and Gen Z shoppers — “who comprise 54% of all home buyers — are most likely to consider a climate risk when determining where to shop for a home.” Across generations, a majority of shoppers “reported taking into account at least one climate risk when looking for their next home.”

While climate risk is affecting attitudes, “it isn’t to the point where majorities of buyers are considering a move to a region they consider less risky.”

About half plan to remain in areas that “pose the same climate risks they already face. Some are even thinking about moving to areas with more risks.” Only 23% reported that they are considering homes in areas “that they believe to be safer from the dangers of climate disasters.”

Affordability is still the greatest hurdle “for consumers, especially first-time home shoppers, who tend to accept what they can afford.”

It takes nearly 12 years for “a typical first-time buyer to save up for a down payment.”

Zillow home listings display down payment assistance, and “a new app filter helps shoppers understand their actual monthly mortgage cost rather than a home’s list price.”

Working with a knowledgeable real estate professional is a great way “to navigate both the affordability hurdle and climate challenges in today’s home shopping search.”

Zillow also publishes research “to help inform consumers, increase transparency and shape the conversation in real estate.”

Zillow’s forthcoming Consumer Housing Trends Report survey of buyers is slated “to be published this fall.” The study was fielded “between April and July 2023 and surveyed nearly 12,000 prospective buyers.” The full report will “include a detailed summary of the climate research, as well as broader trends.”

Zillow Group, Inc. says it is “reimagining real estate to make it easier to unlock life’s next chapter.”

As the most visited real estate website in the United States, Zillow and its affiliates offer customers an on-demand experience “for selling, buying, renting, or financing with transparency and ease.”

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