Young homeowners are more diverse and they’re also gravitating toward the suburbs.

It was friends and the rising cost of rent that finally turned Matt Fong’s attention toward buying a home.

“I liked where I lived, and I tried to keep the rent a certain part of my income,” said the 32-year-old project manager for a Seattle ad agency. “Then I saw another friend buy a home and rent out rooms to make a profit. I thought, ‘If you can do that, I can at least start looking.’”

Fong’s rent had climbed to nearly $1,600 for a 1-bedroom apartment, which a quick look at the market told him was roughly what a condo would cost in the same hip neighborhood. Ultimately, he purchased a single-family home in a different part of town, to avoid condo fees and to get some yard space where he can tinker and restore furniture.

Fong is a millennial homeowner, which, it turns out, is not so rare today. New Zillow Group research shows that young adults are buying homes in sufficient numbers now and they are actually driving the housing market.

Half of home buyers are under age 36

“Millennials are shaping the market more than anyone realized. In fact, half of all buyers are under 36 and half of sellers are under 41,” said Zillow Chief Marketing Officer Jeremy Wacksman, referring to results from a survey of more than 13,000 homeowners, sellers, buyers and renters that are part of the new Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report.

Young adults are also driving more diversity among homeowners. Only 66 percent of millennial homeowners are white, compared with 77 percent of all homeowners. Among millennial homeowners, 17 percent are Latino or Hispanic,…