More listings are coming; is this the answer to the housing inventory struggle?

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Housing inventory headwinds

Thanks to what experts are dubbing “The Silver Tsunami,” the country’s housing inventory woes may soon come to an end. In fact, by the mid-2030s, an additional 20 million homes could hit the market.

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The Silver Tsunami is coming

According to a recent analysis from Zillow, the so-called “Silver Tsunami” — or when Baby Boomers start vacating their current properties — could have sweeping effects on the housing industry over the next few decades. 

By 2037, 27.4 percent of the nation’s currently occupied homes could hit the market as Boomers pass on or otherwise sell their homes. 

According to Zillow chief economist Issi Romem, the trend will result in a “flood” of new listings. “That could help end the last few years’ inventory drought, as well as a more fundamental shortage of homes in certain places.”

From now until 2027, the market should gain between 920,000 to 1.17 million homes annually as seniors vacate their properties. That’s up from the just 730,000 we saw between 2007 and 2017. In the years between 2027 and 2037, the market should gain more than 1.5 million homes annually.

Housing inventory takes a steep dive — especially on lower-priced properties

Where housing inventory will benefit most

The places most likely to benefit from are retirement hubs like Miami, Orlando, and Tampa, Florida, and Tucson, Arizona. Other cities where younger residents have migrated away from in recent years (Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Knoxville, Tennessee) will also see an uptick in housing inventory as a result.

Areas with lots of second homes will also see a big impact by the trend, as will more “exclusive enclaves of older residents” — like those in the Upper East Side of Manhattan or the Lafayette region of San Francisco. 

A look back: What October meant for the housing market

Cities that skew younger will still see the effects, just not as noticeably. In Salt Lake City, for example, only one in five homeowners is senior-aged. Atlanta, as well as Texas’ Austin, Dallas, and Houston also have youthful populations that could insulate any major impact the Silver Tsunami could bring.

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Can’t wait for the Silver Tsunami rolls in to buy a home? Then shop around and see what mortgage rates you qualify for today.

Verify your new rate (May 26th, 2020)