Rising interest rates and slightly lower demand in the market has caused many people to believe that a housing crash is imminent. Despite some signs that the market is slowing down, you shouldn't get too worried or excited about the possibility of a housing crash.
Housing Market Unknowns
Recent Economic and Market Changes
Inflation in the U.S. has been on the rise since mid 2021 and reached a 40-year high of 8.2% in September. To combat the increase in inflation, the Federal Reserve has increased interest rates multiple times throughout 2022, making it more expensive to borrow money. These rapid rate changes directly impact the housing market - mortgage rates have doubled this year, which has caused some buyers to pause their home search, and sellers to receive fewer offers on average.
Another factor at play is the Russian-Ukraine war. A ban on Russian oil has driven up energy prices, which in-turn has led to more inflation.
These rapid changes in consumer prices and home prices have been jarring for many consumers and have stirred concerns of a recession and/or housing crash. The good news is that the U.S. job market remains strong, and consumer spending is steady despite the effects of inflation.
Signs Point to a Strong Market
Despite the warning signs that the housing market might be slowing down, there isn't any indication that there's going to be a significant downturn in the market that will allow you to buy a home at a much cheaper price.
For one, buyer demand is still high. Many Millennials are expected to buy homes for the first time in the coming years. In 2021, first-time homebuyers made up the largest share of homebuyers at 34%. Since there are a high number of first-time buyers in the market, it's likely that demand will continue to be strong for the foreseeable future.
Secondly, housing inventory remains near historical lows. A housing crash usually happens when there is excess inventory and hardly any buyers. Lending standards are also much stricter today than in 2008, reducing the number of loan defaults and foreclosures.
As long as home values and demand remain high, there isn't much that can cause the housing market to crash. If you want to buy a home, property values might drop slightly throughout the remainder of 2022, however you shouldn't expect a sizable drop anytime soon.
Ideas for giving back this holiday season.
With the holidays fast approaching, you may find yourself in the holiday spirit, or perhaps in more of a stressed-out spirit. Either way, it’s a wonderful time of year to give back to your community.
You'll find that there are countless opportunities to get involved this time of year, and taking time to think of others and do some good can help put everything else in perspective. Here are some of the ways you can give back this holiday season.
Donate to Your Preferred Charity
Charitable giving is one of the most effective ways you can help people and organizations in need. Volunteering your time and skills is excellent, but every organization needs money and resources on-hand to cope with new challenges. There are many options out there for charities you can donate to. A few favorites among people looking to donate during the holiday season include Toys for Tots, Meals on Wheels, and St. Jude.
If you plan to donate physical items like toys or supplies, keep in mind that some charitable organizations place restrictions on what they will accept this time of year. Check your charity’s website to see what items they need the most.
Volunteer at a Local Food Bank
Food banks are always on the lookout for volunteers. From sorting food to delivering meals to hosting food drives, there are plenty of ways to provide hands-on help. Many food banks even allow for virtual volunteering too. For instance, Feeding America is an organization that provides volunteers with the opportunity to write thank-you notes or make thank-you calls to donors. If you have children, they could help you decorate cards with drawings or stickers.
Help a Neighbor
One of the simplest ways you can get involved in your community is by doing something nice for a neighbor. If you have an elderly, or less-mobile neighbor, consider lending a hand with property upkeep – raking leaves, shoveling snow, hanging holiday lights. Once cooler temperatures set in, elderly individuals or those with limited mobility might find it difficult to complete such arduous tasks. Small tasks go a long way too – helping with groceries or packages, bringing in a trash can, etc.
Start a Holiday Donation Jar with Your Family
If you have children, a holiday donation jar is a great way to get everyone in the family involved in the holiday season. For instance, your children could donate a portion of their allowance to the jar. You could also match your children's donations and set a goal to reach by the end of the holiday season. Decide together where your funds will go so everyone is invested in the outcome.
Visit a Nursing Home or Children's Hospital
The holidays can be a lonely time for many people, especially those that are unable to go home or be with loved ones. Facilities like children's hospitals and nursing homes usually welcome visitors, but it’s important to call ahead of time to make sure. Ask what time is best for visiting, which residents are most in need of company, and what activities they might enjoy. You can plan to read stories, sing songs, or just have a friendly conversation.
However you decide to give back this year, know that even the smallest efforts can make a world of a difference to someone in need. Our community is stronger when we work together.