Forget about millennials. Everything that can be written about that age cohort has been written. So let's move on to Gen Z. They are mostly teenagers today, but they will be homebuyers tomorrow. Or will they?
That's what the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate franchise wanted to find out with a survey of a small sample of kids ages 13-17, of which there are 21 million or so. The results were heartening.
For example, 82 percent said home ownership is the most important factor in achieving the American Dream. Most adults feel that way, too. But millennials, not so much. And a whopping 97 percent of the Gen Zers polled said they fully expect to own a home sometime in the future.
But how much does home ownership really mean to them? I mean, what are they willing to give up? How far are they willing to stretch? Pretty far, it turns out.
Nearly two out of every five would willingly take their mom or dad to their high school prom if it allowed them to buy a home. And even more telling, a bit more than half said they would gladly give up social media altogether for one solid year if it meant being able to buy.
About a third of all consumers plan to give technology gifts this holiday season, according to the Consumer Technology Association. Spending on technology will increase by about 3 percent to $36.05 billion.
While not as popular as, say, drones or virtual reality, smart house devices such as thermostats and digital assistant devices such as Amazon's Echo will command a roughly 10 percent share of the tech market this year.
Looking for another reason to buy rather than rent? Most automobile insurers charge drivers with good records as much as 47 percent more for basic liability coverage if they are not homeowners, according to an analysis of premiums by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA).
Based on a sampling of quotes throughout the country, the CFA found that premiums averaged 7 percent higher, or about $112 annually, for a 30-year-old "safe" driver who rents rather than owns. Liberty Mutual was the biggest transgressor, hiking premiums $307 a year on average for state-mandated coverage.
The CFA tested rates for minimum liability coverage in 10 cities from seven of the country's largest companies. On average, they charged renters 6 percent more. But there were several instances of double-digit increases, including the aforementioned 47 percent in Louisville, Kentucky, by Farmers.
Geico was the only company tested that did not consider home ownership status, and Allstate actually charged renters less in Chicago.
"Insurance companies should judge you on how you drive, not who you are," said J. Robert Hunter, CFA's director of insurance and a former Texas insurance commissioner. "Insurance companies are penalizing good drivers by hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars each year based on economic and social status, and the end result is that the poor pay more, much more."
Speaking of automobiles, real estate brokerage firm Redfin has developed a rating system that measures the number of jobs within a 30-minute, car-free commute from a given address.
Called the Opportunity Score -- with 100 representing the home with the most nearby jobs -- it aligns two major lifestyle choices influencing how people live today. One, many people don't want to rely on autos to get to work, and two, being close to jobs means it is less expensive to buy.
For what it's worth, Redfin also has developed a number of other scoring algorithms, including Walk Score, Bike Score and Transit Score, all of which give people a sense of what it's like to live in a particular neighborhood.
Much is said about the number of million-dollar homes. But they don't usually start out that costly, according to the Census Bureau. Only 1,762 houses started for sale in 2015 came with a price tag of $1 million or more.
Last year's count was about half that of 2014, when 3,347 million-dollar manses were started. And it was way, way lower than in 2005, when the number reached its peak at 5,647.
Still, even at that, the number of newly built million-dollar houses represents only 1 percent of the total number of housing starts and a lower percentage of all homes sold.