Less than three in ten (28%) 18-24 year-olds consider property portals such as Zoopla and Rightmove their go-to trusted home-hunting source. Significantly lower than those in the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups.
Almost a quarter (23%) of Generation Z trust estate and letting agents or seeking out reviews and opinions from fellow home-seekers on sites such as Trustpilot (16%).
Websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla have been trusted platforms at the heart of our home-hunting habits since the turn of the millennium, but that could change in the years to come owing to the preferences of the next generation of home-movers. Research by leading property communications agency Oracle in partnership with YouGov finds that just 28% of 18-24 year-olds cite property portals (e.g., Zoopla / Rightmove etc.) as the information source they most trust when looking for a home to rent or buy, in sharp contrast to 45% of 25-34 year-olds and 43% of 35-44 year-olds.
Oracle worked with YouGov to ask a representative sample of people what one source of information they trust most when looking for a home to buy or rent. The surprising drop-off in the 18-24 group favouring portals reflects a wider trend amongst Generation Z who tend to be wary of traditional advertising and product campaigns, instead preferring influencers, social proof and personal recommendations. Oracle’s research bears this out as around 1 in 6 (16%) 18-24 year-olds surveyed were more likely to place their faith in other people’s reviews and recommendations via sources such as Trustpilot significantly more than those in the older age groups (10% 45-54s and 8% 55+).Additionally, just under 1 in 4 (23%) Generation Z potential home-movers would most trust a personal interaction with an estate agent or letting agent.
Just as the growing presence of web-savvy Millennials aided the rapid rise of property portals in the post-recession property market, Oracle and YouGov’s data indicates disruption may be on the way as Generation Z come of age as home-movers with far different patterns of buyer behaviour.
Caroline Coskry, Chair of The Oracle Group, comments: “Websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla have been central to British house-hunting habits for around two decades now, but that dominance could soon be disrupted. Our research shows Generation Z place far less faith in portals than the generations that came before them, opening the door for new forms of property marketing to win their trust with tactics based around authenticity and social proof.”
The FMCG and fashion worlds have seen changes in recent years thanks to the emergence of platforms such as TikTok Marketplace and Depop which elevate Generation Z-friendly creator content, recommendations and influencer driven selling. Trends which may well signal the future direction of the property market as developers and agents look to capture the attention of younger buyers and renters.
Coskry adds: “Understanding what sources of information people put their trust in is a vital part of how we support our property clients, and that’s exactly what we set out to discover in this research. We hope that by shining a light on this forward-looking trend, the industry can prepare itself for how to reach the next generation of buyers and renters. In recent years Oracle has achieved great results for clients with influencer-driven campaigns and we fully expect this trend to continue.”
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2054 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 14th – 17th July 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
Oracle have sourced a case study Gen Z home-hunter whose experiences and feelings on the property search process echo the YouGov survey results.
Chloe Harris Hopkins, 20: “I would agree that young people favour the opinion of influencers and their peers more. With social media being so accessible and having such a big influence it’s understandable. I would say Zoopla and the housing websites play a part, but social media and influencers are more favourable. I do actually use Zoopla and other sites to get a rough guideline of how much properties in an area cost. However it’s Instagram and Tik-Tok that have taught me about shared ownership and help to buy schemes.”
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