As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, the real estate industry in the U.S. is beginning to ask questions. How will the war affect the economy and how will it impact the housing market? At the very least, global conflict is unnerving, but is there hidden opportunity for American homebuyers?
According to REALTOR Magazine, stocks and cryptocurrency have been volatile. As sources of payment for homes, these may impact the luxury real estate market the most. Inflation is at a 40-year high, and only likely to get worse. Household budgets are already being tested with rising oil, gas and food prices. Rents, home prices and new construction are more expensive. Lumber prices have soared 40% in the last year. Higher mortgage rates will slow homebuying demand, explained Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders.
When consumers at any level get nervous, they tend to curtail spending, particularly for large purchases like homes. “The impact on the U.S. housing markets from the Russia-Ukraine conflict has been muted so far,” George Ratiu, manager of economic research at Realtor.com, told Fortune.com. But an escalation of the European crisis could lead to more trade route and supply chain problems and higher prices, he said.
As investors reallocate their portfolios toward U.S. Treasuries, it could cause interest rates to fall. But if oil prices remain above the $100/barrel level, inflation continues, and interest rates and adjustable rates increase, the impact on the housing market could be negative, causing home sellers to lower prices.