Top three most important property features for Millennial and Gen Z homebuyers

As Millennials and Generation Z start to make their mark on the property market in South Africa, they bring with them unique challenges and preferences that are shaping the industry. “These younger buyers are not only entering the market in significant numbers but are also influencing the types of properties that are in demand and the features they expect in their homes,” says Pearl Scheltema, CEO of Fitzanne Estates and a real estate agent in Gauteng.

Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, and Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012, are the new faces in the property market. Many Millennials experienced the brunt of economic recessions as they came of age, which has delayed property purchasing compared to previous generations. Gen Z, on the other hand, are entering the market as the first true digital natives, highly influenced by technology and sustainability in their purchasing decisions.

Challenges faced by younger buyers

“One of the primary challenges for these groups is affordability,” says Scheltema. “High property prices, coupled with stringent lending criteria and economic uncertainty, have made it difficult for many young people to enter the property market.” The emotional aspect of buying a home also plays a significant role, with many reporting the process as being particularly stressful and overwhelming.

Technology in modern homes

For Millennials and Gen Z, technology is a fundamental aspect of life. This is clearly reflected in their property preferences, which strongly favour homes equipped with advanced smart home technologies. Features such as automated security systems, smart lighting, and energy management tools are particularly appealing.

These technologies offer enhanced comfort and convenience and increased efficiency and control over the home environment.

The ability to control various aspects of their home remotely, from temperature settings to security alarms, through a smartphone app is especially important for these tech-savvy generations. “Additionally,” explains Scheltema, “such integrated technology aligns with their lifestyles, which blend digital connectivity with everyday activities, making these features expected in modern homes.”

Sustainability in property choices

Environmental concerns are deeply ingrained in the values of both Millennials and Gen Z, influencing their decisions in the property market significantly. This generation of homebuyers is looking for properties that incorporate sustainable design principles and green technology.

Energy-efficient appliances, solar panels, and the use of sustainable materials in the construction are key features that attract these buyers. Such features help reduce the household’s carbon footprint and align with their personal values of environmental responsibility and sustainability.

Properties that include elements like green roofs, energy-efficient windows, and water-saving fixtures are increasingly in demand, reflecting a broader desire to live in spaces that contribute positively to environmental conservation. “By investing in homes that promote sustainability, these younger buyers feel they are making responsible choices that benefit both the planet and their own future,” says Scheltema.

Security features in modern properties

Security is a paramount concern for Millennials and Gen Z buyers, influencing their preferences for properties within secure complexes and new developments that offer advanced security measures. These younger homebuyers seek properties that provide peace of mind through integrated security systems, including high-definition surveillance cameras, motion sensors, and automated gates that can be controlled remotely.

The appeal of living in a security complex often extends beyond the physical safety features to include the sense of community and collective vigilance that these environments provide.

Additionally, modern developments are increasingly incorporating smart security technologies that allow residents to monitor their homes via smartphones, receive alerts, and even control access remotely, making these properties particularly attractive to a generation that prioritises both safety and technological integration. “This trend reflects a broader shift towards multifunctional homes where security, sustainability, and technology converge to create living spaces that align with contemporary lifestyles and values,” says Scheltema.

The role of a Real Estate Agent

Navigating the property market in Gauteng can be daunting, especially for those who are new to it. Real estate agents in Gauteng play a crucial role in helping these young buyers understand the market, find properties that meet their tech and sustainability criteria, and guide them through the complex process of home buying. Agents need to be well-versed in the latest property technologies and sustainability practices to provide the best advice to these environmentally and tech-savvy clients.

Scheltema notes, “Millennial and Gen Z buyers are looking for properties that meet their lifestyle and also align with their broader values of sustainability and innovation. Our role as real estate agents is to help them find these properties while making the buying process as smooth and understandable as possible.”

As more Millennials and Gen Z individuals become active in the property market, their preferences are setting new standards for what is desirable in real estate. For real estate agents in Gauteng, staying ahead means adapting to these preferences and ensuring they can offer the right properties and the right kind of advice.

If you’re a buyer from these generations looking to make a smart investment in South Africa, reach out to Fitzanne Estates. With expertise in modern marketing strategies and a deep understanding of what young buyers want, Fitzanne Estates is ideally positioned to help you succeed in today’s property market.

Contact Fitzanne Estates today.

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Media contact:  Cathy Burroughs, +27 82 222 9198,

More about Fitzanne Estates

Fitzanne Estates (Pty) Ltd is a Property Management Company that can sufficiently administer your property investment to the benefit of the Landlord, the Body Corporate, and the NPC – Non-Profit Company. Services include Letting, Sectional Title Management, Full Title Management (NPC – Non-Profit Company) and Sales.


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