Nearly 40% of Millennials Are Comfortable Buying a Home Online


Tech-savvy millennials are not only driving the Zillow surfing trend, they could change the way we shop for and buy homes. A new Zillow survey1 finds the largest generation of first-time home buyers overwhelmingly want digital tools available during the home shopping process, and many are comfortable purchasing their biggest financial asset online.  

Nearly 40% of millennials (39%) said they would be comfortable buying a home online, and significantly more (59%) said they would be at least somewhat comfortable making an offer on a home after viewing a virtual tour but not touring it in person.

It’s not only homes. Zillow research finds millennials are more likely than other generations to say they would be comfortable making many of life’s major purchases online. A large majority — at least 70% — said they would be comfortable buying furniture, appliances, televisions and jewelry online. Nearly half (45%) would be comfortable purchasing a car online.

Born between 1981 and 1996, this generation reached adulthood in the digital age, with the ability and expectation that they could make transactions happen with the click of a button; for many, that expectation includes real estate. Millennials are more likely than other generations to say they would like to use tech tools while home shopping. More than 80% of millennials would like to view 3D virtual tours (82%) and digital floor plans (85%), and nearly 80% (78%) would like to use self-tour technology to unlock a vacant for-sale home with their phone and tour it on their own time.

A huge wave of millennials — the largest generational group in the country — is now aging into their home buying years and approaching the typical age of a first-time homebuyer: 34.  Zillow research forecasts there will be 6.4 million more households formed by 2025 as a result of the sheer number of millennials hitting their mid-to-late 30s, driving housing demand for years to come.

“It’s clear that strong demand from the next generation of buyers will keep real estate technology in place long after the pandemic is over,” says Zillow Senior Vice President of Product Matt Daimler. “Digital tools rapidly adopted during the pandemic not only make home shopping safer, they make it faster and easier. Technology like Zillow’s 3D home virtual tours and interactive floor plans are allowing shoppers to teleport themselves from room to room of a for-sale home from their phone or tablet. Many transactions can now close remotely, too, saving time and hassle.”

Time-saving digital tools are allowing millennials, who are often first-time buyers, to compete in a lightning-fast housing market. Homes nationwide are going under contract in a median of 18 days, 28 days faster than a year ago. The pace is even quicker for listings with a Zillow 3D Home tour, which sold, on average, 10% faster, as of May 2020.2 Virtual tours and interactive floor plans help home shoppers make faster decisions by enabling them to winnow down their options from their couch. Homes on Zillow with a 3D Home tour were saved by buyers 32% more than homes without, and got, on average, 29% more views than listings without.3

While millennials are currently the largest adopters of this real estate technology, Gen Z is close behind. More than one in three (36%) zoomers said they would be comfortable buying a home online, compared to 7% of baby boomers and 19% of Gen X. This data signals the coming sea change in how people will likely shop for and buy homes in the not-so-distant post-pandemic future.


Gen Z (18 – 26)

Millennial (27-41)

Gen X (42-56)

Baby Boomer & Silent Generation (57+)

Comfortable buying a home online






Confidence making an offer after seeing a 360/virtual tour but not in person

Somewhat/very/extremely confident






Not at all/not very confident






Would like to use each tech tool while home shopping

3D virtual tour






View digital floor plan






Unlock with phone and tour on own time






Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z and ZG) is reimagining real estate to make it easier to unlock life’s next chapter.

As the most-visited real estate website in the United States, Zillow® and its affiliates offer customers an on-demand experience for selling, buying, renting or financing with transparency and nearly seamless end-to-end service. Zillow Offers® buys and sells homes directly in dozens of markets across the country, allowing sellers control over their timeline. Zillow Home Loans™, our affiliate lender, provides our customers with an easy option to get pre-approved and secure financing for their next home purchase. Zillow recently launched Zillow Homes, Inc., a licensed brokerage entity, to streamline Zillow Offers transactions.

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