BAM Key Details:

  • A Redfin-commissioned survey finds housing affordability is the number one voting priority for Gen Z in this year’s presidential election. 
  • For Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers, the overall strength of the economy ranks at number one. But 80% or more of all generations say housing affordability is an issue that will factor into their voting decision.

A Redfin report on voter priorities across generations reveals that 91% of adult Gen Zers rank housing affordability as important to their vote in this year’s presidential election, outranking abortion rights, the U.S. economy, preserving democracy, and foreign wars. 

That’s according to a Redfin-commissioned survey conducted by Qualtrics and fielded to about 3,000 U.S. homeowners and renters in February 2024. 

Meanwhile, Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers are more likely to say the strength of the economy is important to their vote for president, compared to any other issue. 

Also, compared to housing affordability, Gen Xers and Boomers are more likely to choose preserving democracy as a deciding factor. 

That said, housing affordability is important to 80% or more of every generation. And all generations rank housing affordability above abortion rights and student debt. 

Gen Z voter priorities: 

  1. Housing affordability (91%)
  2. Strength of the overall economy (82%)
  3. Education (82%)
  4. Gun rights (75%)
  5. Abortion rights (75%)
  6. Preserving democracy (73%)
  7. Immigration (73%)
  8. Student debt (73%)
  9. Foreign wars and/or geopolitical conflicts (72%)

Millennial voter priorities:

  1. Strength of the overall economy (89%)
  2. Education (88%)
  3. Housing affordability (87%)
  4. Immigration (79%)
  5. Preserving democracy (78%)
  6. Gun rights (77%)
  7. Foreign wars and/or geopolitical conflicts (77%)
  8. Abortion rights (73%)
  9. Student debt (65%)

Gen X voter priorities:

  1. Strength of the overall economy (94%)
  2. Preserving democracy (85%)
  3. Education (84%)
  4. Housing affordability (83%)
  5. Immigration (82%)
  6. Foreign wars and/or geopolitical conflicts (81%)
  7. Gun rights (79%)
  8. Abortion rights (72%)
  9. Student debt (49%)

Baby Boomer voter priorities:

  1. Strength of the overall economy (95%)
  2. Preserving democracy (92%)
  3. Immigration (90%)
  4. Foreign wars and/or geopolitical conflicts (88%)
  5. Gun rights (81%)
  6. Housing affordability (80%)
  7. Education (79%)
  8. Abortion rights (70%)
  9. Student debt (42%)

4 Reasons Gen Z ranks housing affordability as their #1 voting issue

The generation with the youngest adults has four reasons to rank housing affordability as their top concern for this year’s presidential election: 

  1. Home prices have gone up more than 40% since before the pandemic, and mortgage rates above 7% have driven up monthly payments. 
  2. Gen Zers are aging into homeownership; only 26% of Gen Z adults own a home.
  3. Because of #2, most Gen Zers don’t have equity from a previous home sale to put toward a new home purchase. 
  4. Renting has also gotten much more expensive over the past several years, mainly due to the surge in rental demand during the pandemic; the median asking rent has gone up more than 20% since 2019. 

Housing affordability is a cornerstone of this year’s presidential election because even though the economy is fairly strong, unemployment is low and wages are rising, buying a home feels impossible for many Americans. This is particularly the case for young people, who have seen the  cost of starter homes increase twice as fast as incomes. Young people care about other political issues, like immigration and abortion rights, but they’re more likely to cite housing affordability as a factor in their vote because it directly impacts the roof over their head, their lifestyle and their ability to build wealth.

Elijah de la Campa

Redfin Senior Economist

In March of this year, President Biden announced his plan to lower housing costs for working families. And in July 2023, a Newsweek article provided quotes detailing Donald Trump’s strategy for fixing the housing market. 

It’s unclear, at this point, which plan Gen Z voters are more likely to take seriously.