Finding affordable accommodation is more difficult than ever, and this applies regardless of whether you are considering renting an apartment or hoping to buy a home. According to the Pew Research Center, U.S. single-family home prices rose 25% between the end of 2019 and the end of 2021, with the median sales price averaging around $408,100. At the same time, the vacancy rate for rental properties fell to 5.6%. That means more people, with fewer options, spend more money.
Not only do houses cost more than they used to, but mortgage rates have also gone up. This makes home ownership even more expensive, overall — and while choosing an adjustable-rate mortgage may save you some money right now, your ARM could end up costing you a lot more money than you expect.
Now that you understand the bad news, here̵7;s the good news. Some people believe that sustainable investment can help us solve not only the energy, climate and food crises that threaten to destabilize our planet, but also the housing issues that prevent many people from finding an affordable home.
Here’s what you need to know.
What are sustainable investments?
Sustainable investing, in its simplest form, is an investment strategy that considers the long-term health of the planet. More specifically, sustainable investing means investing in companies that work directly to solve some of today’s biggest issues—renewable energy and sustainable agriculture, for example, as well as permaculture, biotecture, and other large-scale efforts to stabilize our climate and improve our climate. future.
Sustainable investing is not necessarily the same as ESG investing, which is a type of socially responsible investing that focuses not only on environmental protection, but also issues of social justice and good corporate governance.
By choosing sustainable investments, you put your money directly into companies that work towards short-term solutions and long-term sustainability. Sustainable investment can benefit the entire ecosystem – and may even help address the housing crisis.
How can sustainable investment help the housing crisis?
Companies that focus on sustainability understand that we need more than clean air and clean water. We also need clean, comfortable and safe places to live. This can be as revolutionary as building an apartment complex with eco-architecture integrated with vertical farming, or as simple as retrofitting existing structures with solar panels and heat pumps.
There are many ways to improve the state of housing in the United States, whether it includes renovating old hotels into apartments for the temporarily homeless, or turning resorts and retirement communities into mini-villages with schools and vegetable gardens.
“I really like the idea of businesses reinvesting in the local economy, especially if you’re remodeling, renovating or renovating older buildings instead of knocking them down and building a brand new building in its place,” said Jim Wang, founder of WalletHacks. “It’s often more expensive to do that than tear down and rebuild, but keeping the history and keeping the material out of the landfill is commendable.”
By investing in companies that directly support sustainable housing efforts, you have the opportunity to spend your money on better housing for all. And as the demand for this type of housing continues to grow, you may even see a return on your investment.
How can sustainable investments help the economy?
Every time you contribute to your 401(k), put money into an IRA, or transfer your spare cash to your roboadvisor app, you’re investing not only in yourself, but also in the larger global economy—and when the economy is in a period of growth, we are more likely to see the kind of innovation that can result in affordable homes.
This means that even if your sustainable investments are in agriculture instead of architecture, the money you invest can still strengthen the larger economy and lead to more affordable housing.
“For many investors, the bulk of our investments are in retirement accounts,” Wang explains. “If you wanted to vote with your dollars and had the opportunity, it’s not unreasonable for people to redirect those investment dollars to funds or companies that have mission statements that focus on or touch on sustainability. You would still be doing the responsible thing, investing in your retirement, while you make sure that that money is put into businesses that match your vision.”
When you think of investing as “voting with your dollars,” every investment you make is a vote for the success of a particular company. With that in mind, you can choose the companies you think will do the most to help the causes you want to support – and if you need help, you can use resources like Beyond Investing, Adasina or Impax Asset Management to find sustainable investment options.
Some of these options can lead directly to cheaper housing. Others can boost the economy, reduce carbon emissions, reduce the load on the energy grid, help us move away from factory farming or keep our freshwater resources clean.
All of this will lead to a better world overall – which also means better housing.