stimulus

Tenants, Stimulus, and Inflation

One of the worries landlords have these days, is that due to the Covid-19 situation, some tenants who may lose their job, will be unable to pay rents.

We have already addressed this (banks also allow leeway in mortgage payments etc.). However one point to consider is the following.

Unemployment benefits have been beefed up aggressively by the government. Once people who are unemployed or partially employed start getting their unemployment benefits (hopefully any minute now), and due to the enhanced payments, many people will earn about as much as they did while they were employed. Especially in the median income territory, where a lot of our tenants live.

This is something to consider, as the fears may have been over-blown. The unemployment payments are slated to be serious, and make a big difference. The idea behind them is that unemployed or partially employed people, could pay rent, buy food and gas etc.

On the issue of the government stimulus overall, the US government has just come out with a stimulus of over 2 trillion dollars. The Fed is also injecting liquidity into the financial markets, to the tune what appears to be 4 trillion dollars. The Government is already seeking a second stimulus (possibly having to do with massive infrastructure once people can be out and work), also seemingly to be about 2 trillion dollars.

With all these trillions of dollars essentially just being “printed by the government”, any economist will tell you that it will very likely create inflation. Possibly a strong one, once things are recovered.

At the same time, interest rates are close to being the lowest in history.

Once again, you can buy a single family home now, with a 30-year fixed rate loan at maybe the lowest rate ever. Then the home price is likely to go quite a bit higher just due to inflation (not even counting real appreciation). The mortgage does NOT go up with inflation, of course. Thus, as I always say, the 30-year loan gets eroded by inflation, and your equity gets built up faster thanks to inflation. Hard assets benefits during inflationary times, and are usually the safe havens investors go to. Single family homes are not only a hard asset , but an undeniable necessity (as opposed to office buildings, for example, since people can work from home. From HOME! Yes they need a home). Also, they are the asset class on which the fixed rate loan, which never changes with inflation for as long as 30 years, can be obtained.

When inflation hits hard, you will likely feel pretty smart having bought single family home investments, with fixed rate loans.