What Happens To House Prices During Inflation?

Definition of "What happens to house prices during inflation?"

Claudie  Telcy real estate agent

Written by

Claudie Telcyelite badge icon

LPT REALTY LLC

During periods of inflation, house prices tend to increase. The impact of increasing inflation on global economy results in a decrease in the purchasing power of money. As the value of money declines, it takes more money to buy goods and services, including homes. There are several reasons for rising house prices during inflation, let’s see which are those. 

Tendencies that drive prices up

If we start analyzing what happens behind the scenes, we start to understand how inflation affects the economy. This can help us see the situation's causes and effects and maybe even take steps to prepare for inflation at home.

Increased demand

Inflation can stimulate demand for real estate because people look for tangible assets that can hold their value or serve as a hedge against inflation. How to bypass the curse of inflation and still make money? For many people, especially those who are not new to investing, buying real estate is the answer. And since people want to preserve the value of their money, this increased demand can drive prices up. 

Costs of construction 

Inflation affects the cost of construction materials, labor, and several other inputs involved in building new houses. Even the price of fuel is a contributing factor, driving transportation costs up. Builders and developers then pass these increased costs onto their buyers, resulting again in higher home prices. 

Mortgage interest rates

As an attempt to control the economy, central banks set higher interest rates. Higher interest rates make borrowing more expensive, and that includes mortgage loans, of course. How does inflation affect people? Well, expensive loans affect many people who have no other means of getting into the possession of a home. Potential homebuyers may face higher borrowing costs, which can impact demand and purchasing power.

Speculation

Inflation favors those with the money to practice speculative behavior in the housing market. As mentioned before, real estate is one of the best things to invest in during inflation - if you don’t need to borrow money for it. During inflation, investors buy properties expecting to sell them later at a higher price. This behavior can further drive up prices.

Selling difficulties

 Inflation can have varying effects on the real estate market, and in certain situations, it becomes challenging to sell. The high prices are just indicators of other problematic issues. 

Decreased purchasing power

Besides the high interest rates making it hard for people to get a loan, inflation also erodes the purchasing power of money. This means that the same amount of money buys fewer goods and services over time. This leads to potential buyers having less affordability. As a result, it takes longer to find a deal that works for both sides and close despite high property prices

Uncertainty and market slowdown

Inflation can create economic uncertainty, which can lead to a slowdown in the real estate market. Buyers may be hesitant to make large financial commitments, like purchasing properties. As a result, closing a housing deal during inflation sometimes becomes harder with decreased buyer activity and longer selling times. 

Unfavorable financing conditions

Lenders may tighten their lending criteria, require higher down payments, or charge higher interest rates. These factors arising from inflationary pressures can reduce the number of qualified buyers, making it more challenging to sell real estate. But, as always, there are creative ways to sell a home during inflation, but it requires more work to find a suitable buyer.

The impact of inflation on house prices can vary depending on specific market conditions, geographical location, and the severity of inflation. Local factors of supply and demand dynamics also influence the prices during inflation.

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