Yes, A Home Is Still A Good Investment

Yes, a home is still a good investment, despite falling home prices. After a lengthy surge in property prices, indications now point to a time of deceleration. Instead of being enthusiastic about this potential, many homebuyers question if purchasing a home during a recession is still a sensible investment.

Despite a few outliers, house ownership is a wise financial decision for the majority of individuals. This is especially important if you intend to keep the property for at least five years. Here are the most important reasons you should still prioritize purchasing a home.

Hedging versus inflation

Historically, real estate appreciation has exceeded the rate of inflation. According to Yale University economics professor Robert Shiller, the annualized return on this asset class between 1928 and 2021 was 4.2%, and during the same period, the annualized inflation rate was 3.08%.

There are years in which inflation exceeds real estate appreciation, including 2024. However, real estate returns tend to be greater when patterns are examined over a longer time.

This investment may also be evaluated in terms of your mortgage rate. If you purchase a home and obtain a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage of 5.25 percent, you will pay this rate for the full 30 years. Due to the likelihood that short-term interest rates will remain elevated, you come out ahead since your interest rate is lower than inflation.

As inflation decreases, interest rates will also decrease. You may refinance to a lower interest rate and still save money at this time.

If you decide to rent instead than buy, your rent may alter when your lease expires. For the majority of tenants, the duration of the lease is simply one year. According to RedfinRDFN -0.5%, the current year-over-year rent rise is 15% and has been in the teen range for several months.

By renting instead of purchasing, you run the danger of incurring more annual housing costs than you would if you owned a property.


It is essential to note that a percentage of your monthly mortgage payment goes toward paying down the loan’s principle. That is, you are accumulating equity. When you sell the property, you will receive this amount back.

In contrast, renting does not develop equity. When you pay monthly rent, the only tangible benefit you receive is a roof over your head. If you obtain a $200,000, 30-year mortgage at 6% and sell after 10 years, you will have amassed more than $32,000 in equity.

Tax advantages

Tax deductions are a big advantage of homeownership. The two most important are the mortgage interest deduction and the exemption on capital gains. You may deduct interest payments based on your tax bracket with the mortgage interest deduction.

If you fall in the 25% tax bracket, 25% of the interest you pay will result in tax savings. Therefore, if you itemize and paid $10,000 in mortgage interest during the year, you might deduct $2,500.

As a result of the capital gains exemption, single filers can deduct from their income up to $250,000 of the gain on the sale of their principal dwelling. Together with your spouse, you can exclude up to $500,000 if you submit a joint tax return. This is a big tax benefit and provides a method for people to develop wealth through real estate investment.

No tax deduction is available for renters, and there are no tax exemptions.

Permanent appreciation

In addition to creating equity, you also experience price appreciation. As previously indicated, the yearly property price growth is around 4%. Using the rule of 72, you may anticipate that your home’s worth will double in 18 years. After 18 years, you would have accumulated $77,123 in equity if you made a down payment of $50,000 and borrowed $200,000 at 6% for 30 years. The whole worth of your home, which you acquired for $250,000, has climbed to $500,000. If you were to sell your investment, you would have a balance of $377,123 ($50,000 down payment plus $77,123 in principal payments plus $250,000 in appreciation).

Historically, house prices have increased, with occasional exceptions, mostly in 2008 and 2019. Therefore, there is a significant likelihood that your home’s value will grow.

As a tenant, the only appreciation you receive is the annual rise in your monthly fee, and you cannot experience long-term appreciation since you are not accumulating equity.

Why is this time unlike the last

63% of consumers, according to Consumer Affairs, wish for a housing meltdown so they can afford to purchase a property. Unfortunately, there are no indicators that this will occur. The consensus amongst analysts is that a 2008-style market catastrophe is unlikely.

There are several explanations for this. First, the consumer’s balance sheet is healthier now than it was in 2008. Additionally, many of the mortgages approved in 2008 were of poor quality, and there were few safeguards in place to prevent ineligible borrowers from acquiring subprime mortgages. There are more limits on who may qualify for a mortgage in today’s business, which is significantly different.

Lastly, a market crash occurs only when there are more sellers than buyers. With few customers, sellers must reduce the price to attract a sale. However, a catastrophic crash is improbable if 63% of people are on the sidelines. A huge number of individuals are in the market to purchase; therefore, any price reduction will result in an influx of buyers and stabilize prices.

Has it always been terrifying to own a home?

Purchasing a home has always been a terrifying prospect. It is a substantial financial commitment since you will make monthly payments for the next 30 years. This is why housing prices fall during economic recessions. If a person is apprehensive about having a job the next day, they are unlikely to commit to purchasing a home.

In most cases, only one couple earned an income in the 1950s, which explains why property costs were far lower. Additionally, it was difficult to purchase a property due to stringent lending requirements. It became simpler to acquire a home until the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Administration (VA) home loan programs were established.

Nevertheless, purchasing a home was a massive task. During the 1970s, when stagflation took hold, and interest rates rose to over 20%, this was accentuated.

In 2008, the government had to intervene again to encourage individuals to purchase homes by offering an $8,000 First-Time Homebuyer Credit.

There are always reasons why individuals are apprehensive about purchasing a property, regardless of the era (besides the fear of committing to a monthly payment for 30 years).

What if you own a property already?

Given that real estate is a fantastic long-term investment, what else can a homeowner do? First, you may consider purchasing an investment property. Not only do you benefit from long-term appreciation, but when you rent out the home, the renter pays your monthly mortgage, increasing your return.

Not everyone is interested in physically owning a rental property or the associated duties. Investing in real estate through purchasing stocks in firms with ties to the housing sector is an alternative. Take advantage of an investment that includes REITs and other real estate assets.

Some individuals may contemplate paying more principal on their mortgage. However, if your interest rate is below 4%, it is more prudent to invest the money instead of paying down your mortgage because you may make a greater return on your investment.

Stock market returns average 8% a year. If you invest $6,000 a year for ten years, you will accumulate $93,872. If you paid an additional $6,000 yearly on your 4% mortgage, you would have saved $69,655 over ten years. Because your stocks will yield $24,217 more than your interest savings, investing in the market is preferable.

Who shouldn’t purchase a house?

There are a few instances where renting is preferable to purchasing. All of these go back in time. It makes little sense to commit to a home if you are just beginning your job and know where you wish to reside.

In addition, if you just started a new job in a new location, it is financially prudent to rent for the short term while determining where you want to reside long-term. If you do not anticipate owning a property for at least five years before selling, you are better off renting rather than purchasing. This is due to the possibility of property values not increasing in the short term and the closing fees associated with purchasing a home. It takes time for equity, appreciation, and tax savings to help you overcome the first hurdle of closing expenses and realize the rewards of homeownership.

Bottom Line

Despite the decline in property sales, real estate remains an excellent investment. While prices may decrease or level out shortly, we do not anticipate a decrease as severe as in 2008’s. If you are investing in the stock market, you understand that time spent in the market is far more crucial than market timing. In other words, investing in the real estate market — even during downturns — is preferable to find the optimal moment to purchase or sell.

Nobody knows when the bottom of the market will be reached or when prices will begin to rise again. To avoid missing the action, you should enter immediately rather than wait.