Millennials More Concerned Than Other Generations by Weather-Related Effects on Housing
In the past five years, more than one in four Millennials has moved as a result of concern over their home’s exposure to weather-related events, according to a recent Freddie Mac survey. In general, the Millennial generation — here defined as those born between 1981 and 1996 — is more likely than other generations to report concern over the impacts from weather, a willingness to adopt sustainable behaviors and home features, and a likelihood to move as a result.
This survey found that more than half of homeowners have grown more concerned about weather-related events impacting their home compared to how they felt five years ago, findings consistent with a previous Freddie Mac consumer survey from June 2022. Broken down by generation, however, nearly two-thirds of Millennials reported becoming more concerned about weather-related events in that time, compared to an average of 53% among Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Boomers combined.
Overall, 75% of survey respondents say they have felt the impacts of weather-related events in their area, with hotter temperatures cited as the most common impact. This is true for:
- 81% of Millennials.
- 73% of Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Boomers.
And 61% of respondents are extremely or somewhat concerned weather-related events may affect their livelihoods and community livability. This is true for:
- 69% of Millennials.
- 58% of Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Boomers.
Millennials More Mobile if Weather Events More Frequent
Among the total population, renters are more likely than homeowners to consider moving if weather-related events become more frequent in their area. By generation, the likelihood to move decreases with age, according to respondents.
Likelihood to Move if Weather-Related Events Become More Frequent
|Generation||% Extremely/Somewhat Likely to Move|
However, Millennials are more likely than other generations to have actually moved as a result of their concern over their home’s exposure to weather-related events:
- 26% of Millennials have moved in the past five years as a result of weather-related events.
- 8% of Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Boomers have moved in the past five years as a result of weather-related events.
Millennials More Willing to Adopt Sustainable Behaviors and Home Features
Compared to other generations, Millennial respondents are more likely to be concerned about the environmental footprint of their homes and say they’ll take steps to limit it. However, similar to other generations, when asked their reasons for adopting sustainable behaviors, Millennials report that mitigating energy costs is a top concern, followed by “the right thing to do”. 60% of Millennials — and 73% of Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Boomers combined — say that reducing their home energy costs is the top motivation to limit their home’s environmental footprint.
Cost is an important consideration. For both homeowners and renters, independent of generation, sustainability is seen as a benefit. However, only a small percentage would pay more for sustainable housing without the financial guarantee the investment was worth it.
- 67% would like a sustainable home.
- 13% would pay more for one without a guaranteed return on the investment.
- 54% would like to live in an environmentally friendly property.
- 11% would pay more for such a rental without a guaranteed return on their investment.
The findings from this survey indicate that although most are concerned with the impacts of weather-related events, Millennials are more likely to act. For those looking to tout sustainable housing features as benefits, the findings indicate it may be wise to frame these items through the lens of cost savings.
Freddie Mac’s Market Insights team conducted a national poll from March 17-23, 2023. The survey was conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race and region. The sample comprised 2,305 consumers.