The Stock Market vs Real Estate in 2020
Stocks and homes are two of the most popular investments around. The stock market is a wild, swift, sometimes risky double-diamond ski trail with thrilling highs, deep dives, fast turns and free falls. The real estate market, on the other hand, offers a milder, lower-risk, slower blue or green ski trail ride--or at least it did until 2008, when mortgage lenders made irresponsible loans, packaged them into securities and sold them in the financial markets; when borrowers defaulted on their loans, mortgage-backed securities cratered, homes were abandoned en masse and housing values collapsed.
The stock market and housing market do not typically rise or fall in sync. Under normal conditions, they have minimal impact on each other. Which means if the stock market crashes, real estate may be affected little or not at all.
Other financial factors have a more important impact on housing, like job & income growth and mortgage interest rates. As long as the local economy is adding jobs and seeing wages rise, people will feel confident enough to make the decision to buy a home with that 30-year commitment to a sizable mortgage--which is now cheaper than ever due to historic low interest rates.
The foothills housing market is robustly healthy and the stock market has erased all it’s losses since the advent of COVID. Part of housing’s strength may be attributable to home buyers feeling encouraged by their retirement funds’ recovery since March. If there IS a downturn, though, it will probably occur in stocks.
Real estate is an appreciating asset. Housing is shelter first, and an investment second. So even if the stock market experiences a downturn and adversely impacts the housing market, the downswing should be soft and only temporary. There is certainly no sign of softening at this point.