Just when most of us had grown tired of hearing the word "pandemic," a new urgency is already in our midst.
The war in Ukraine, unstable logistics resulting in unpredictable supply, the looming recession in the United States, and many other major and minor factors all point to another global economic challenge: inflation.
Inevitable periods of economic crunches
The headlines sound bleak, and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas recently announced the highest increase in basis points in years. But what does this inflation really mean for the tens of millions of Filipinos in our country?
We already know that the prices of goods are increasing by the day. While majority will still have the same income, individuals and families will need to take a closer look at their budgets. Filipinos have a popular saying that goes, "Kung maiksi ang kumot, matutong mamaluktot"—alluding to the fact that when hardships come, we must adapt.
In this case, when inflation comes, there is not much that can be done but to grin and bear the reality of the situation. But, is there really no other way to shield and protect the middle and low-income class from these inevitable periods of economic crunches?
Safeguarding families, incomes
It is during these times of unpredictable inflation that homes can safeguard not just ourselves but also our hard-earned income.
Many first-time homebuyers are often motivated to buy a home for the more obvious reasons—shelter, independence, or maybe a dream fulfilled. However, one must note that as prices of fuel, goods and over-all cost of living increase, the house purchase price no longer goes up from the time it is purchased by the homebuyer.
At the onset, this investment advantage is not regarded as tangible nor can it be appreciated by many homebuyers. Over time, amid economic boom-and-bust cycles and periods of inflation, real estate proves to be the most solid investment, whether it be for the ultra-rich or for the middle class, as evident in its ever increasing values.
This, for me, is the most solid argument when it comes to the question of buying or renting a home. No matter the situation, each individual or family will need shelter and so it is an expense that cannot be scratched out.
Strong, practical investment
Every month, whether one decides to buy or rent, you must allocate a slice of your income to ensure your shelter. The difference lies when one reaches retirement, as the wise homebuyer may be sitting on his hard-earned asset, which not only withstood the test of time but also outperformed in value any inflation cycle it experienced.
I believe that real estate investment is a strong weapon that can be used by any person to shield the impact of a financial crisis—and more importantly, this option is no longer just limited to the wealthy.
Homeownership is within reach for many Filipinos and it symbolizes more than just a roof over your head. Now more than ever, especially after emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, homeownership should no longer just be a dream, it must be a priority.
I believe that the world will never run out of crises and challenges. There will always be conflict, a major issue that needs to be resolved, a challenge that must be overcome. Whether it be on a global scale, localized to a country, or even just isolated in a community or a family, at the end of the day, everyone will turn to the stability and security of a home.
And that certainty is as priceless as it can be.
The author is the president of Ovialand Inc., a fast growing developer of affordable horizontal projects in South Luzon