How To Beat High Inflation with a Home Purchase

How To Beat High Inflation with a Home PurchaseInflation can erode the value of your savings over time, and one way to hedge against inflation is by investing in assets that appreciate in value over time. Real estate is often considered a good hedge against inflation, as property values tend to rise in line with inflation.

Here are some ways a home purchase can help beat high inflation:

Lock in a low-interest rate mortgage: High inflation often leads to higher interest rates, but if you lock in a low-interest rate mortgage when inflation is low, you can benefit from lower mortgage payments even if interest rates rise in the future. This can free up more money for other expenses and investments.

Appreciation: Real estate values tend to rise over time, especially in areas with high demand and limited supply. If you purchase a home in an area that is likely to appreciate, you can benefit from the increase in value over time.

Rental income: If you purchase a home as an investment property, you can generate rental income that increases with inflation. Rental income can provide a steady stream of passive income that can keep up with inflation.

Tax benefits: Homeowners can deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from their federal income taxes, which can help offset the costs of homeownership. These deductions can be especially valuable during times of high inflation when other deductions may lose value.

Diversification: Investing in real estate can diversify your investment portfolio, reducing the overall risk of inflation. Real estate has historically performed well during periods of inflation and can provide a valuable hedge against the erosion of purchasing power caused by inflation.

It’s important to note that buying a home should be a long-term investment strategy, and not a short-term solution to beat inflation. Real estate values can fluctuate over short periods of time, and it may take several years to recoup your investment. It’s also important to consider the costs of homeownership, such as maintenance, repairs, and property taxes, when evaluating the potential benefits of purchasing a home.

S&P Case-Shiller: December Home Price Growth Slows

S&P Case-Shiller: December Home Price Growth SlowsHome price growth slowed in December according to the S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index. Year-over-year home prices rose by 4.6 percent in December as compared to November’s reading of 6.8 percent growth. Rising mortgage rates caused home prices to dip as potential buyers delayed home purchases and demand for homes fell.

Craig J. Lazzara, managing director of S&P Dow Jones Indices, said: “The prospect of stable, or higher mortgage rates means that mortgage financing remains a headwind for home prices, while economic weakness, including the possibility of a recession, may also constrain potential buyers. Mr. Lazzara concluded: “Given these prospects for a challenging macroeconomic environment,  home prices may well continue to weaken.”

The S&P Case-Shiller National Home Price Index fell by a seasonally-adjusted figure of -0.30 percent in December but rose by 5.80 percent year over year.

S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Index Shows Slowing Home Price Growth for December

Nationally home prices fell by -0.30 percent month-to-month and were 5.80 percent higher year-over-year.

Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index is widely used as a benchmark for U.S. home prices; December’s top three cities for rising home prices were Miami, Florida with 15.90  percent year-over-year home price growth; Tampa, Florida followed with 13.9 percent home price growth and Atlanta, Georgia reported 10.4 percent year-over-year home price growth in December.  The 20-City Index reported 4.60 percent year-over-year home price growth as compared to November’s reading of 6.80 percent year-over-year home price growth.

Home prices fell the most in formerly hot markets; in San Francisco, California home prices dropped by -4.20 percent year-over-year and home prices fell by -1.80 percent in Seattle, Washington. Portland, Oregon had the lowest pace of home price growth with a year-over-year reading of 1.10 percent.

In related news, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported home price growth data for homes owned or financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Home prices rose 8.40 percent year-over-year between the fourth quarters of 2021 and 2022.

Analysts said that lower home prices were caused by rising mortgage rates and lower demand for homes caused by buyers’ concerns about a possible recession. Limited supplies of available homes helped reduce potential losses caused by less buyer demand for homes. High mortgage rates, competition with cash buyers, relatively high home prices, and slim supplies of available homes continue to present challenges to first-time and moderate-income home buyers.


S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices: National Home Price Growth Slows in May

S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices: National Home Price Growth Slows in May

U.S. home prices rose in May, but at a slower pace. S&P Case-Shiller’s National Home Price index reported year-over-year home price growth of 19.70 percent in May as compared to April’s record year-over-year home price growth pace of 20.60 percent. Tampa, Florida led the 20-City Index with year-over-year home price growth of 36.1 percent; Miami, Florida followed with year-over-year home price growth of 34.0  percent. Dallas, Texas reported year-over-year home price growth of 30.8 percent.

Minneapolis, Minnesota, Chicago, Illinois, and Washington, D.C. had the lowest rates of home price growth, but no cities in the 20-City Home Price Index reported declines in home prices. Economists said that slowing growth in home prices could signal that home prices have peaked after years of rapid appreciation.

Affordability, Rising Mortgage Rates Impact Home Price Growth

Rapid home price growth is self-limiting in terms of affordability and the ability of home buyers to qualify for mortgages needed to complete their purchases. Rising mortgage rates also impact affordability as higher mortgage rates reduce funds available for purchasing homes. Current rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.54 percent last week as compared to 2.78 percent approximately one year ago.

Craig J. Lazzara, managing director at S&P Dow-Jones Indices, said that deceleration in home price growth was already occurring and he cautioned that a more challenging environment “may not support extraordinary home price growth much longer.” Analysts said that high mortgage rates and rising home prices would ease demand for homes and would slow rapid home price growth in the coming months, but they did not expect significant reductions in home prices to occur immediately.

The Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate range by 0.75 percent on July 27 and is expected to continue raising its rate range throughout 2022 in its efforts to ease inflation. As interest rates rise for credit cards, home loans, and personal loans increase, consumer demand is expected to ease and calm rapid inflation.

FHFA Home Prices Rise in May

The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that home prices for properties owned or financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rose by 1.4 percent month-to-month and 18.3 percent year-over-year in May. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s loan limits impact prices for homes owned or financed by the two government-sponsored enterprises.

Will Doerner, Ph.D. and supervisory economist at Freddie Mac, said: “House prices continued to rise in May but at a slower pace. Since peaking in February, price appreciation has moderated slightly. Price growth remains above historical levels and was supported by the low inventory of properties for sale.” Signs of slowing economic growth, rising mortgage rates, and fears of recession also sidelined would-be home buyers.