July 26, 2022

The Future of Sustainable Homes According to Gen Z from The Property Marketing Strategists


LOFT’s partnership with The Property Marketing Strategists provides both us and the wider residential market with invaluable primary research from the most important voice of all, the current resident. LOFT are proud to be the official sponsor of The Property Marketing Strategists’ latest study, Living & Learning: The Future of Home According to Gen Z. We catch up on some of the key findings from the report and take a deeper look into how important sustainability really is for this new wave generation.

Gen Z is already disrupting worldwide views and movements. As they move into the student population and working world, we can expect to see great change influenced by their values, beliefs, and expectations. Sustainability is a core value of gen Z and a vital part of their outlook. With this in mind, this study explores how their home can match this ideal and how it will be connected to the pertinent issue of affordability.

Essential Property Sustainability

Student living tends to be the first taste of living independently for many, so for Gen Z, we are keen to understand what that picture might look like. Particularly how those in the accommodation sector can pivot their models to suit this new wave of tenants who prioritise sustainability, wellbeing, affordability, community, and technology.

The survey elicited a positive response towards second-hand furniture. Of this Gen Z demographic surveyed; 73% would be comfortable living somewhere with second-hand furniture.

Interestingly, domestic 16-18 year olds were more inclined to use second-hand furniture than overseas students (74% v 70%). The response also presented a geographic bias with London residents having the lowest proportion of being comfortable with this (60%). Residing in a building that uses second-hand, upcycled, and repurposed furniture can have a greater influence on these attitudes towards the circular economy.

But accommodation providers can influence behavioural solutions much easier by going back to basics too. For example, how easy is it to actually recycle within your building? The cost and ease element cannot be emphasised enough. Consider how far do residents have to walk with their black sack, and the proximity of all recycling points. Are they easily accessible and easy to locate? Property developers must facilitate this need for simplicity to foster recycling and proper disposal of waste.

“When I was in student accommodation, everything was paid in one but now I've got a smart meter and I can see how expensive everything is, I would rather put on another jacket than put my heating on... it makes me more conscious of the fact that we're in a cost of living crisis, which does really impact how I use energy and the choices I make in terms of, you know, turning things off, and only using what I need” says Lucia, Qualitative Research attendee.

Changed Mindset, Brighter Future

As the results and opinions of this study emerge, we start to gain an insight into how the mindset has shifted in for the younger resident demographic and it does not look like slowing down anytime soon. Some other key findings reveal:

  • 67% want their accommodation to have great insulation to cut down energy bills

  • 35% would like to see solar panels installed

  • Only 6% say sustainability features would not be important when deciding on their accommodation.

  • 73% of those surveyed would be comfortable living somewhere with second-hand or upcycled furniture

  • 22% of young people say they want outdoor space to grow produce

The results of this sustainability-focused survey are hopeful and exciting, as we can see sustainability is becoming a crucial factor in Gen Z selecting their homes. As LOFT was conceptualised from a second-hand furniture business that specialised in recycling and upcycling furniture and furnishings, we understand the importance of creating a circular economy within the residential sector, and beyond. 

The value of this survey cannot be understated, as it is giving us categorical evidence of the perceived importance of sustainability from the most important source of all – the residents. The residential sector needs to incorporate increased sustainability measures from construction right through to the furnishing of the home, or residents will not be drawn to those properties. Increased sustainability features are crucial to future homes to not only benefit the environment and create a greener future but cater to a more conscious and ethical residential demographic.

To learn more and get a more in-depth look at the results, download the full report here.


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