NAR issues statement on Russia-Ukraine crisis

by Emily Mack

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) released an official statement this week regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Addressed to members of the organization, the short message, penned by NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith, expresses concern and support for the people of Ukraine and pledges to “keep our Ukrainian members and their loved ones in our thoughts as they battle so bravely to defend their homes and protect their families.”

The statement included links to donate to the Red Cross, UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders.

Three days prior to its release, as the world reacted to the attack of Ukraine by Russian forces, an article titled “How Russia-Ukraine War Could Affect U.S. Housing” was also published in NAR’s REALTOR® Magazine.

This article suggests the luxury market will be the sector of real estate most affected, as the conflict disrupts both stocks and cryptocurrency. Further escalation could increase U.S. inflation. In that case, both buyers and renters, as well as homebuilders, will likely feel the pain, the article said.

Another report on the subject, from Realtor.com, quotes Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “It’s all bad for the economy and housing,” Zandi said. “It’s just a matter of how bad. There’s a number of different ways in which Russia’s actions will hurt housing.”

Stocks fell last week as the Russia-Ukraine crisis dominated the news and social media — and the situation is evolving. Before the markets opened yesterday, President Joe Biden expanded economic sanctions against Russia’s central bank, pressuring President Vladimir Putin into calling off Russian troops.

Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, told Realtor.com that, “Investors tend to overreact to bad news and then settle down.” Still, he said, “It’s going to be a tough year for housing affordability.”

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