If you live in the United States, you’re feeling the pains of rising inflation. In December, U.S. inflation hit a rate of 7 percent for 2021 – the highest it’s been in forty years. You’ve likely felt its impact in your day-to-day life, from the gas pumps to the grocery stores.
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If you’ve kept your finger to the pulse of financial news, you’ve no doubt heard the term “stagflation” with increasing frequency over the past several weeks. Stagflation is a portmanteau of “stagnation” and “inflation.” The phenomenon is defined by a lack of economic growth combined with higher-than-usual inflation rates.
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Although COVID-19 still poses a threat to public health, vaccination rates and the lifting of mask mandates have given American life a renewed sense of normalcy.
Are you ready for The Grind?
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The U.S. economy has been in a state of flux this year. Between the yo-yo of the stock market, a manufacturing slump, and the trade war with China, fears of a recession within the next year are not entirely unfounded. Different sources and economists tend to disagree on whether or not a recession is in the future — after all, the stock market is back to record highs after last month’s big scare.
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“Recession” is a dirty word in real estate investment. When we hear it, we tense up. We can feel our hearts stitch a little bit. Our memories of a recession are still fresh. For many, the wounds are raw and the effects are still felt even a decade later. The Great Recession, as many have come to call it, rocked the housing market beginning in 2008 and hit its full stride in 2009 and in the years following.
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At the tail end of 2007, America rang in a recession alongside the new year. This economic downturn officially lasted until June of 2009...though many negative effects having continued to linger well into 2015. As it’s been one of the most significant economic crises in the United States in the last century, many now call it “The Great Recession.”
As real estate investors, it’s vital to pay attention to the economic climate—not just in our local markets, but in the U.S. as a whole.
We still struggle with the aftershocks of the recession. Its causes, recovery, and future are intrinsically tied to the real estate market, unlike that of recessions past. Especially as so much is hinging on the housing market, now more than ever, we should strive to understand how it happened and where we need to go from here.
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Plenty of factors figure into the state of the U.S. economy. When the economy crashed a few years ago, the housing market was largely blamed. Very slowly, we’ve been climbing out of this economic hole. The general public opinion of the recovering economy, however, is still mixed and hasn’t changed much from 2009. In a study by the Pew Research Center in February of this year, a reported 61% of Americans were hearing a mixture of good and bad news surrounding the U.S. economy and its recovery, 33% heard mostly bad news, and only 5% heard mostly good news.