Can Gen Z-ers Afford To Buy A Single-Family California Home In 2024?


Homeownership for Gen Z-ers may be a pipedream for those who choose to stay in California, but a few cities may still be affordable.

Ashley Ludwig | Patch

The California housing market may be too pricey for most Gen Z-ers starting in life, but are they doomed to rent or live in multi-generational homes with their family forever? Not necessarily, but it may be along and winding road to homeownership, according to a recent report from

Gen Z accounts for just under 70 million people in America, according to a recent study from These people were born between 1997 and 2012, came of age during the global pandemic, and have learned to find their path. The study showed that due to outside circumstances—student loans, starting salaries, high-interest rates, and limited inventory— the majority of young adults are being priced out of the market in California. The study offers some encouragement, saying that first-time home purchases are still possible in states like Texas, Tennessee, and Nebraska.

Still, if Gen Z hopes to live in a major California city, they’re just “California Dreamin,'” according to the study.

We looked at places from Central to Southern California where young people— who can save a portion of their income, have help from family members, or have served in the armed forces— may have a chance of purchasing a starter home.

The study researched 100 major cities, including five New York City boroughs, and ranked them metrics of price-to-income ratios, median sale price differences, inventory available, homes sold above listing price, the number of days on the market, the rate of homeownership for those under 25-years-old, and the rate of unemployment.

If Gen Z prospective homeowners want to get the most out of their money, they likely will need to look beyond the Golden State, as of this report. The top five most affordable places to buy a home in 2024 include:

#1 – Fort Wayne, IN

#2 – Corpus Christi, TX

#3 – Detroit, MI

#4 – Laredo, TX

#5Memphis, TN

Buying property in California remains unattainable for many, but it depends on where you are looking and what incentives are being offered for first-time homebuyers.

“California’s red-hot housing market would land Gen Z in hot water,” the study said. Out of the 102 cities in the report, here is how the California cities polled ranked:

#46 – Fresno, CA

#56 – Stockton, CA

#63 – Santa Clarita, CA

#67 – Santa Ana, CA

#81 – San Francisco, CA

#84 – Anaheim, CA

#85 – Oakland, CA

#88 – Long Beach, CA

#91 – Irvine, CA

#95 – Chula Vista, CA

#96 – Sacramento, CA

#97 – Los Angeles, CA

#98 – Riverside, CA

#99 – San Jose, CA

#101 – San Diego, CA

#102 – Fremont, CA

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