It's no secret that the real estate market has had ups and downs since the Great Recession of 2008. Prices fell precipitously during the crisis after reaching an all-time high in 2006 and have risen at a high pace in the past couple of years. The Federal Reserve has maintained interest rates at historically low levels in the meantime in an effort to promote economic expansion.
What will happen to the Scottsdale real estate market is the issue on everyone's mind right now as the economy keeps growing and inflation begins to increase. To help you better understand what to anticipate in the months and years ahead, we'll look more closely at the housing market and inflation in this article.
What is inflation?
Inflation is when prices for goods and services go up over time. How much prices go up is determined by how much it costs to live, on average. This is measured by the Consumer Price Index, or CPI. CPI looks at the cost of things like food, transportation, and medical care. It helps us see when there's inflation and how it makes the cost of living more or less affordable.
A rise in inflation means a decrease in purchasing power, as the dollar doesn’t go as far as it did before. Deflation, on the other hand, comes with an increase in purchasing power as prices of goods and services drop. Therefore, home prices and the cost of rent fluctuate with the level of inflation, influencing the housing market.
What does the housing market have to do with inflation?
Inflation is one of the most important factors to consider when analyzing the housing market. That’s because inflation has a direct impact on mortgage rates, which in turn affects home prices and affordability.
When inflation is low, as it has been in recent years, mortgage rates tend to be lower as well. This makes buying a home more affordable for buyers and generally leads to higher prices as demand for homes increases. On the other hand, when inflation is high, mortgage rates usually rise as well, making homes less affordable and leading to lower prices.
The law of supply and demand looks at the relationship between buyers and sellers, like the price of a good and how willing a buyer is to pay that price. Inflation affects supply and demand directly. In the past, people usually wanted to buy fewer houses during inflation because mortgage rates would be higher. That could make houses sit unsold for a long time, and their prices might even drop. If inflation does start to pick up in the coming months, as many economists expect, it could have a significant impact on the housing market.
Although that might not be thrilling news for homeowners, it’s worth keeping in mind that the value of houses usually rises with time. Homes will probably still sell for a higher price than what they were bought for. Plus, if time isn’t an issue and homeowners can afford to wait longer to sell, the market would even out eventually.
This can actually be good news for homebuyers since there’s less competition for homes if more people wait for mortgage rates to drop again. Unfortunately, the higher rates have pushed some buyers completely out of home ownership, although they can probably still afford to buy, but the property won’t be what they truly wanted. Some buyers wanted to purchase a single-family home, but now they can only afford a condo. Scottsdale condos and townhomes have appreciated at high rates so this should be considered just to get a first-time buyer's foot in the door to home ownership.
Since inflation can be a bit unpredictable, it’s not always easy to tell when rates will go up or down. But, homeownership is still a really valuable investment for loads of reasons.
Why is inflation important to understand?
Inflation is important to understand for a number of reasons. First, it’s one of the most important drivers of interest rates. As we mentioned before, interest rates have a direct impact on home prices and affordability.
Second, inflation can have a major impact on your standard of living. When inflation is high, it means that your money doesn’t go as far as it used to. Prices for everyday items like food and gas go up, while your paychecks remain the same. This can make it difficult to make ends meet.
Third, inflation can have a big impact on your investments. When inflation is high, it erodes the value of your investments (like stocks and bonds) over time. That’s why it’s important to take inflation into account when making investment decisions.
Fourth, inflation can have an effect on your taxes. Inflation affects things like the standard deduction and tax brackets, which can either increase or decrease your tax burden depending on which way prices are moving.
Finally, inflation is important to understand because it’s one of the most important drivers of economic growth. When inflation is low, businesses have a harder time making profits and grow at a slower pace. This can lead to fewer jobs and higher unemployment.
Overall, inflation is a very important factor to consider when thinking about the economy and your personal finances.
What are the different types of inflation?
There are two main types of inflation: demand-pull inflation and cost-push inflation.
1. Demand-pull inflation occurs when there is too much money chasing too few goods. This creates upward pressure on prices as buyers bid against each other for scarce items.
2. Cost-push inflation occurs when businesses raise prices in order to offset rising costs (e.g., labor costs, raw materials costs).
Both types of inflation are influenced by a variety of factors, including economic growth, central bank policy, government spending, and international trade conditions.
What causes inflation?
Inflation is caused by a variety of factors, but the most common cause is excessive money creation by the central bank (i.e., quantitative easing). When the central bank prints more money than there is demand for, this increases the money supply and causes prices to rise. Other common causes of inflation include:
1. Economic growth: When the economy grows faster than the money supply, this creates upward pressure on prices.
2. Government spending: Government spending can cause inflation if it exceeds tax revenue and leads to deficit spending. This increase in government debt can cause the central bank to print more money, leading to higher prices.
3. International trade: Imports can cause domestic prices to rise if they are priced in a foreign currency and the exchange rate moves against the domestic currency. This is often referred to as “import price shocks” and can lead to higher consumer prices.
How does inflation impact the economy?
Inflation has both positive and negative effects on the economy. Inflation can be good for the economy if it’s moderate (2-3%) because it encourages spending and investment while also providing some flexibility for wages and prices. On the other hand, high inflation (>5%) can be harmful because it leads to uncertainty and can erode people’s savings. It can also cause people to spend less because they expect prices to continue rising in the future.
What are the different ways to measure inflation?
There are two main ways to measure inflation: consumer price index (CPI) and gross domestic product deflator (GDP deflator). CPI measures changes in prices for a basket of goods and services that are commonly purchased by households. GDP deflator measures changes in prices for all goods and services produced within an economy.
Inflation is a very important factor to consider when thinking about the economy and your personal finances.Posted by Judy Orr on