Expert Claims Young Men’s Focus on Sports Betting Could Cause Deflation in Housing Market

Expert Claims Young Men’s Focus on Sports Betting Could Cause Deflation in Housing Market article feature image

Legalized sports betting in the United States could cause a deflation in the housing market, one prominent financial analyst has speculated.

Meredith Whitney, the CEO of Meredith Whitney Advisory Group, joined 'Squawk on the Street' on CNBC to discuss the impact legalized sports betting could have on housing supply and demand. Whitney is best known for forecasting the 2008 Great Recession, which she predicted with alarming accuracy.

"The fastest growing leisure spend is fantasy sports and online sports betting," Whitney said. "I looked further into that and looked at DraftKings and what you see is massive growth."

Whitney claimed that younger men's focus on technology — with sports betting a big culprit — is preventing family formation to a level that will reduce demand in non-rental housing for years to come.

"It's all young men [betting on sports] and I dovetailed that with Pew Research which says that 63% of young men are single," Whitney said. "And that's the highest it's ever been. And 50% of those young men have no interest in dating, not even casually."

Roughly 55 to 60% of all bettors aged 18 to 29 years old say they place a bet at least once per month. That number only increases with men. And, yes, sports betting is on a meteoric rise, especially considering two of the country's most economically powerful and populous states — California and Texas — are yet to enter the arena.

Ultimately, Whitney's argument is a fallacy we're all keenly aware of: correlation does not equal causation. Separate data points exist. Perhaps they even do so over the same time strata. But that doesn't mean they're caused by one another.

Ultimately, housing prices will be determined by market factors far more macroeconomically relevant and far-reaching than a simple, easily digestible boogeyman like sports betting.

In the meantime, though, sports betting will continue its massive growth as a pillar industry in the United States. And men will continue to enjoy hitting a 7-leg parlay more than a date. Just don't expect that to be the reason your house drops 15% in value.

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