For most people, inflation is frightening, particularly at the levels we're seeing now, 6 - 7%. Everything is heading up. Gas prices are already 50% higher than a year ago and still rising, and the list goes on.
So your immediate reaction to inflation, buy less and spend less, is perfectly natural. Likewise, if you've been thinking of buying a home - you see those homes for sale ads - you're probably having second thoughts.
But contrary to what most of us think, many experts believe that buying a home during inflation is a smart move financially.
Let's look at the factors that make buying a home during inflation attractive and see just how does inflation effect home prices.
Pandemic: Inflation: Home Prices
Labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, and rising material costs have put a big damper on new house construction. Modular home prices are way up, and the average home price in the US rose nearly 20% over the past year and a half.
Add to that a big gap between demand and record low availability for existing homes, and home prices will keep rising through 2022. In addition, more first-time buyers (including Millenials) are entering the market than ever, contributing to demand.
Inflation and Rent
Over the last year, rent increases have been outpacing inflation by a large margin. Some estimates show rents for one and two-bedroom apartments rising by nearly 14% during 2021 with no let-up in sight.
Why? High demand is one factor. Another is that many landlords delayed annual rent hikes during the pandemic and are now making up for flat rents during 2020 and 2021.
The bottom line is that now is not a great time to be renting, with rental price increases continuing to outpace inflation. In addition, since renters aren't taking advantage of low mortgage rates and rising home prices, they are taking a double hit during this inflationary period.
Given all of that, you might want to take a look at real estate for sale. Locking in a home price and monthly payment makes sense.
Homes for Sale: Take Advantage
For home buyers, inflation is not the enemy. In fact, with a 25 or 30-year fixed mortgage, you can make inflation start working for you. Here's an example.
Let's say you purchased a home 20 years ago for $163,000, rightfully thinking that was a lot of money. But with inflation alone, that $163,000 is now $250,000 - and that's without including anything for rising home values.
And we all know that over time, home prices keep on rising, quite apart from inflation. Add to that the fact that mortgage rates are running far below the inflation rate, and there's yet another reason to move into the home real estate market.
Buying a Home During Inflation: Makes Sense
It's a fact of life that throughout 2022, we'll keep seeing prices rising for food, gasoline, and everything else. The average home price in the US and mortgage rates are sure to go up, too.
But all of that gives you the opportunity right now to lessen inflation's impact on your finances. Should I buy a home during an inflation period? The answer is yes!
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