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Survey Shows Young Americans More Willing to Accept Higher Mortgage Rates

59% of those aged 65 and above, expressed an unwillingness to entertain mortgage rates higher than 9%.
Cover Image Source: A property for sale | Getty Images | Photo by Tim Boyle
Cover Image Source: A property for sale | Getty Images | Photo by Tim Boyle

About one-third of individuals between 18 and 25 years old are willing to shoulder mortgage rates ranging from 4% to 6%, according to a new survey. However, a significant portion of Americans still enjoy lower mortgage rates falling between 2% and 4%. Interestingly, the survey conducted by GOBankingRates among 1,000 Americans, also highlighted a generational divide in tolerance for varying mortgage rates, with Gen Zers demonstrating a greater willingness to accept higher rates compared to older generations.


Moreover, the survey revealed a significant age disparity in preferences regarding mortgage rates. While around 28% of respondents aged 18 to 24 are comfortable with mortgage rates ranging from 2% to 4%, a substantial 38% are prepared to stretch their budgets to accommodate rates between 4% and 6%.

23% of respondents in this age group exhibit resilience even in the face of higher rates, showing a willingness to consider rates between 6% and 8%.

Pexels | RDNE Stock project
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by RDNE Stock project

Additionally, the survey revealed that 5% of respondents were open to paying interest rates as high as 8-10%, with an additional 5% considering rates exceeding 10%.

In contrast, older generations exhibit greater reluctance toward accepting high mortgage rates. A significant majority, approximately 59% of those aged 65 and above, expressed an unwillingness to entertain mortgage rates higher than 9%, preferring rates ranging from 6% to 8%.

Image Source: Photo by Alena Darmel |Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Alena Darmel | Pexels

The survey clearly illustrates a stark generational divide in attitudes towards mortgage rates. Younger generations demonstrate a greater willingness to accept higher rates compared to their older counterparts. This disparity could be attributed to Gen Z's recognition of the volatile nature of the real estate market, prompting them to perceive higher rates as an opportunity rather than a deterrent.

"Gen Z is more 'willing' to pay higher interest rates simply because that’s what’s available for them. It’s no secret that the housing market has been high these past few years, so the younger generations looking to buy their first home haven’t had a lot of options in terms of low-interest rates and inexpensive properties," said Seamus Nally, CEO of TurboTenant.

Image Source: Pexels/Nextvoyage
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Nextvoyage

Young Americans are recognizing that success in the real estate market entails more than just timing. They understand the importance of gradually building a robust financial portfolio.

"They perceive homeownership not just as a milestone but as a strategic investment, one that, despite higher upfront costs, promises long-term benefits," said Matt Dunbar, SVP of the Southeast region at Churchill Mortgage.

He further discusses how this perspective aligns with the generation's firsthand experiences of escalating financial challenges over time. They recognize the value of having stable assets as a buffer during periods of financial uncertainty. 

Image Source: d3sign.Getty Images
Image Source: Photo by d3sign | Getty Images

"This generation’s approach to the challenge of higher interest rates is grounded in a reality of economic instability. They have not lived through a housing market crash as active participants but have learned from the aftermath of such events, appreciating the value of real estate as part of a diversified investment strategy," Dunbar added.

For young adults ready to embark on homeownership or contemplating a move, optimizing their interest rate requires strategic planning. First, they should focus on boosting their credit score and increasing their down payment, both of which can positively impact loan terms. Moreover, considering a rate lock when presented with a favorable rate can offer protection against potential interest rate fluctuations

"These actions not only position them to secure more favorable loan terms but also reflect a broader commitment to financial health and resilience," said Dunbar.