‘Oracle of Wall Street’ Foresees Housing Plunge Because Men Are Moving Back in with Their Parents

Meredith Whitney, the former Wall Street analyst who famously predicted the 2008 financial crisis, has a new controversial theory about what’s driving the future of the US housing market. 

According to Whitney in a recent interview with Fortune, young single men living at home playing video games are contributing to a “crisis of the American male” that will ultimately lead to a 30% decline in home prices over the coming years or decades. 

Whitney’s premise stems from 2023 data from the Pew Research Center showing 60% of young men describing themselves as single and unattached, with many living at home with parents rather than partners. 

These men, according to Whitney still alluding to the Pew study, “haven’t had sex in the past year and don’t seem to be bothered by it.” She believes mid-2000s video game addiction fostered social isolation and an inability to socialize normally for this demographic.

“Gaming and social isolation are somewhat of a vicious cycle in which the lack of real social contact creates a sense of social unease, making real social contact much more uncomfortable,” a recent note from Whitney’s advisory group reads.

With fewer young men forming traditional households and having kids, Whitney sees declining demand for housing offsetting the expected “silver tsunami” of housing supply hitting the market as baby boomers downsize in retirement. Various estimates suggest millions of homes could get listed by aging boomers in the next decade.

While Whitney admits the projected 30% home price drop “is not the end of the world” given pandemic home equity gains, she believes the housing shortage narrative is flawed — arguing the real issue is a lack of affordable inventory in desirable metropolitan areas, not an outright lack of supply nationally.

Despite single women bucking the trend and purchasing homes at higher rates than single men, Whitney is skeptical they will drive enough demand for larger family homes typically desired when raising kids.

So while not quite another housing crash, Whitney foresees a stark reversal from today’s inventory-starved seller’s market to a buyer’s market weighing on prices for years to come unless the young male cohort can overcome its erm — malaise — to start more households.

Information for this story was found via Fortune, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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