Housing costs helping to spur inflation

Green Escrow Services | American economy

While the price of groceries and gas – both 8.6 percent from a year ago – have seen the most dramatic increases, the continued increase in housing costs is also punching inflation to heights not seen since 1982.

Mortgage rates are now climbing, currently an average of 3.85 percent, according to Freddie Mac.

These rates, combined with the acceleration of home prices and rental rates. are only adding to the inflationary pressure.

Inflation & Real Estate

Green Escrow Services | American economy

As inflation rises to 6.2 percent – the highest rate since 1990 – an already tight housing market has seen home prices and rents increasing at an alarming rate. What does the future hold?

Many experts see a major part of the problem in supply chain issues. During the pandemic, many services – going out to eat or to the movies, gym memberships, etc. – declined drastically as the demand for goods increased. As we’ve seen, the supply chain has struggled mightily to keep up with this demand and, combined with a shortage of capable or willing workers – prices have skyrocketed in everything from appliances to cars to, yes, homes.

As the supply chain improves, analysts see the prices stabilizing. However, interest rates could increase up to 3.7 percent in 2022 which will hurt buyers.

Inflation adding to housing costs

Real Estate Growth

Certainly not a surprise – and certainly not what the housing market needs – but MarketWatch recently reported that rising inflation is adding to housing costs in all areas. Rents have increased an average of 3 percent – significantly more in some areas – while natural gas prices have risen a whopping 25 percent in the last year.

It’s estimated that mortgage rates will rise in 2022, with many expected 3.7 percent by the end of the year.

However, may see real estate values continuing to outpace inflation, at least in the short-term.

Inflation, Wages & Prices

Green Escrow Services | American economy

The current state of the residential real estate market is marked by three factors: inflation, wages, and the price of homes. Currently inflation is rising at 2.9% (U.S. Labor Department); wage growth is up 3.2% (Federal Reserve Bank); and home prices are up 6.9% (S&P CoreLogic Case – Shiller). So while inflation and wages are increasing at approximately the same right, home prices are rising over two times as fast. This means, of course, that prices are continually pushing homes out of reach or more and more potential homebuyers.

Ideally, supply and demand will come more into balance. While homes will still be out of reach for many, hopefully wage growth and home prices will run closer to parallel. Analysts will also continue to be concerned about inflation which will effect the amount of income available for home purchases.