BAM Key Details:

  • New research from Zillow shows that 83% of home buyers consider at least one climate risk when home shopping, with floods topping the list of climate concerns.
  • Gen Z and Millennials are most concerned with climate risks when buying a home.
  • Despite the high percentage of people who consider climate risks, only 23% of prospective buyers are considering relocating due to climate concerns. 

Today, more than ever, home shoppers are factoring in climate risks when they hunt for their dream home. According to new research from Zillow, over 80% of prospective home buyers are considering climate risks when making one of life’s biggest decisions.

Zillow’s research shows that for many—especially Gen Z and Millennials—natural disasters are part of the conversation throughout the home buying process. From floods to wildfires, extreme temperatures to hurricanes, we break down how climate risks impact home buyers. 

Key Statistics from Zillow’s Research on Climate Risks

Here are some of the biggest takeaways from Zillow’s research on climate risks and home shoppers.

1. Climate Concerns are Universal

In total, 83% of those surveyed stated they consider at least one climate risk when shopping for a home, with nearly half (49%) stating climate risks are “very/extremely impactful” to their home shopping. 

Across the nation, a clear majority of prospective home buyers in every region of the United States consider climate risks when shopping for a home:

  • Midwest: 77% of home shoppers consider at least one climate risk
  • Northeast: 85%
  • South: 79%
  • West: 90%

2. Millennials and Gen Z Lead the Charge

These younger generations, who make up 54% of all home buyers, are at the forefront of climate-conscious home shopping.

  • Gen Z (ages 18-28): 84% consider at least one climate risk 
  • Millennial (ages 29-43): 86%
  • Gen X (Ages 44-58): 82%
  • Boomers & The Silent Generation (59+): 70%

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.

Manny Garcia

Senior population scientist, Zillow

3. Climate Risk Priorities

When it comes to climate risks that are the most concerning to home shoppers, flood risk tops the list of climate concerns. Here are the share of buyers who consider each climate risk when shopping for a home:

  • Flood:  41%
  • Extreme temperatures: 37%
  • Wildfires:  37%
  • Hurricane:  33%
  • Drought: 31%

4. Risks Don’t Deter Buyers

While the vast majority consider climate risks when looking for homes, only a minority of buyers are considering relocating to areas they believe are safer from natural disasters. 

Compared to where they live now, prospective buyers are considering moving to places with:

  • Fewer climate risks: 23%
  • More climate risks: 27:
  • The same climate risks: 49%

This is likely due, in large part, to affordability issues in the current housing market. While climate risk is part of the conversation for many, affordability remains the biggest hurdle for home shoppers, particularly first-time buyers. 

Takeaways for real estate agents

Real estate agents know how important it is to educate consumers on the housing market, local home prices, and mortgage options. 

Zillow’s research underscores the importance of staying informed and educating clients on another topic as well—climate risks—all while helping them navigate affordability challenges. As a real estate agent, adapting to these new realities and helping clients make informed decisions is the key to success in today’s market.