Corporate News

Clayton Publishes New Generation Z Housing and Consumer Trends Research Highlighting Need for Flexible Floor Plans and Sustainability

National home builder shares latest research insights into America's youngest home buyer

October 30, 2020

MARYVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Clayton, a national home builder of site-built and off-site built homes, recently conducted a study about the housing needs and preferences for the youngest generation of consumers, with supporting insights on Gen Z from US MONITOR syndicated research by Kantar™ on consumers' attitudes and values.

Generation Z, or Gen Z, represents people born between 1997 to 2010. They are the most racially diverse generation in the U.S. and currently make up 18% of the population, according to 2018 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. With the oldest of Gen Z consumers now in their early 20s, many are starting to consider their future housing preferences in a post COVID-19 economy. This is an important time for the housing industry since this generation represents a powerful and outspoken group of customers, possessing a 2018 estimate of over $198 Billion in collective consumer spending power, based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of Economic Analysis figures.

"The U.S. housing industry is currently experiencing very low interest rates, high demand and inventory shortages during a time when families and individuals are seeking homeownership as a solution for comfort and security," said Kevin Clayton, CEO of Clayton. "Gen Z, the youngest generation of home buyers, passionately understands the importance of choosing the right products and brands to serve their needs, and that also applies to choice in housing."

There are four key insights from home buyers in their 20's showcasing what the younger generations (both Gen Z and Millennials) expect from their future homes:

A variety of floor plan options. An internal Clayton research study, Home Built to Take Care of Me, Spring 2020, shows the household composition is shifting – there is a decrease of traditional nuclear family households. Therefore, buyers could seek flexible options outside of the traditional 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom layout.
Technology in the home. Clayton also concluded in its study that 74% of those in their 20s say technology makes their home easier to live in, compared to 68% of all adults.
More flex spaces. 62% of those in their 20s report it is very important that their home can adapt to their changing lifestyles and life stages to come, according to the Clayton research study. For example, many Clayton off-site built homes come with floor plan options for work from home office spaces, creative areas or additional bedrooms.
Sustainability is a key consideration in purchases. Kantar's 2020 US MONITOR reports that if a product costs and performs the same, 71% of Gen Z buyers will always choose one that is more environmentally friendly, versus 56% of the rest of consumers. The optional EnergySmart™ Home Package upgrade is an example of a series of energy efficient standards like additional insultation, sealed ductwork and low-e windows a home buyer can purchase with their new home.

"Gen Z is growing up in a world of volatility, unpredictability and untold lifestyle choices that create both anxiety and possibility – shaping values that will last a lifetime", says Ann Clurman, Partner and generations expert at Kantar. "They have grounded realistic expectations for themselves and are learning to value being financially responsible, circumspect and ethical when it comes to living their lives."

Since COVID-19, America has entered an economic downturn and home buyers are having to reconsider how they work, attend school, shop and invest their spending money. Off-site built homes, which include manufactured, modular and CrossMod™ homes, are providing new solutions for today's youngest generation of home buyers through a variety of design options, built-in technology, flexible floor plans, and energy efficiency home features - options Gen Z buyers want and expect in their homes.

Every Clayton Built® home comes with technology buyers crave such as, Kwikset® SmartKey Security™ to allow homeowners the ability to quickly reset their house keys and an ecobee® smart thermostat, which can seamlessly integrate with several smart home systems like Apple® HomeKit™ and Amazon® Alexa®. Additionally, flex spaces in the homes allow homeowners to choose how they wish to use specific spaces at different times – for example, a gaming room, craft space, guest bedroom, nursery or home office.

Clayton off-site built homes are built with sustainability in mind. Every off-site built home is constructed inside of an ISO-14001 certified home building facility, where green building standards help regulate better recycling, energy usage and landfill waste diversion.

____To learn more about the Gen Z Home Buyer, please view Clayton's helpful infographic on this generation's preferences and trends.

To find out more information about off-site built homes or to browse all other featured floor plans, visit

Apple and HomeKit are trademarks of Apple, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Amazon, Alexa and all related trademarks and logos are trademarks of, Inc., or its affiliates. Trademarks of companies other than Clayton Homes are the property of those other companies.

About Clayton
Founded in 1956, Clayton is committed to opening doors to a better life and building happyness® through homeownership. As a diverse builder committed to quality and durability, Clayton offers traditional site-built homes and off-site built housing – including modular homes, manufactured homes, CrossMod® homes, tiny homes, college dormitories, military barracks and apartments. All Clayton Built® homes are proudly designed and constructed in America. In 2022, Clayton built 62,620 homes across the country. Clayton is a Berkshire Hathaway company. For more information, visit
*CrossMod is a registered trademark of the Manufactured Housing Institute.

Kantar is the world's leading evidence-based insights and consulting company. We have a complete, unique and rounded understanding of how people think, feel and act; globally and locally in over 90 markets. By combining the deep expertise of our people, our data resources and benchmarks, our innovative analytics and technology, we help our clients understand people and inspire growth.