Adobe Stock

According to a panel of housing market experts polled in the latest Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, the housing market is expected to return to pre-pandemic norms, including inventory levels and the share of purchases made by first-time buyers, by 2024. In the survey, experts were asked what year they expect to see inventory return to at least a monthly average of 1.5 million units. Four percent answered 2022, 37% said 2023, and the most frequent answer, 38%, said 2024, meaning a cumulative 79% of respondents expect inventory to return to 2019 levels sometime between now and the end of 2024.

Return of the first-time home buyer
The pandemic ushered in record-breaking price growth alongside rent hikes that made saving for down payments even more difficult. As a result, the share of first-time home buyers dropped from 45% in 2019 to 37% in 2021, according to a Zillow survey of recent buyers.

We asked the panel of experts when they expect first-time buyers will again make up as great a share of home buyers. The most common response (26%) was 2024, followed by 2025 (25%), by which time, cumulatively, 63% of respondents expect the share of first-time buyers to regain its pre-pandemic level. Eighteen percent of the experts polled did not believe the share of first-time buyers will rise above 45% until after 2030, despite millennials — the largest U.S. generation ever — aging well into their prime home-buying years before that time.

Read More