‘Silver Tsunami’ to flood housing market over next 20 years – Zillow

by Ryan Smith02 Dec 2019

More than 20 million homes will hit the market over the next 20 years as aging baby boomers die or vacate their houses, according to a new report from Zillow.

Housing inventory has been tight for a decade, largely because builders have faced rising costs for labor and materials. However, about a third of America’s homes are currently owned by people aged 60 or older.

“The Silver Tsunami is estimated to hit in earnest as the number of seniors aged 60 or older who pass away each year rises during the 2020s and 2030s,” Zillow said in a news release.

Between 2007 and 2017, about 730,000 homes were released into the US market by people aged 60 and older, according to Zillow. Between 2017 and 2027, that number is expected to spike to 920,000 per year. Between 2027 and 2037, it’s expected to rise to 1.17 million per year.

“This means more than 27% of today’s owner-occupied homes will become available by 2037,” Zillow said.

The wave of homes becoming available will be so large that it will impact the economy in traditional retirement areas, Zillow predicted.

“Retirement hubs like Florida and Arizona are likely to feel the sharpest impact,” Zillow said. “If demand erodes because fewer people choose to retire there in the coming years, those areas might end up with excess housing. Also heavily impacted will be regions like the Rust Belt, which saw younger people move away in recent decades, leaving older generations to make up a larger share of the populations.”