How the pandemic has changed American homebuyers’ preferences

From The Economist:

“Lifestyle changes had bigger effects. Because city dwellers could not meet face-to-face, they dispersed, mostly to the suburbs. Holding other factors constant, price changes were 10-15 percentage points greater in middling-density counties like Williamson than in big cities or rural areas.

Covid has also led people to spend more time outdoors. In turn, buyers have bid up homes in areas where it seldom rains, summers are balmy or, like Collier, winters are mild. Weather explains 16 percentage points of the gap in price gains between sunny California and frigid Minnesota.

A final factor is remote labour. Before the pandemic, geographic inequality had been rising: areas that were already expensive saw the biggest price gains. In counties that rely on industries, like construction, in which people have to turn up to work, this trend has continued since 2020.

However, the pattern has reversed in areas dominated by industries amenable to remote work, such as finance. Since covid emerged, price gains have been large where housing was previously cheap, and smaller elsewhere. This supports recent research showing that remote workers tend to move to reduce their cost of shelter.”

Posted by at 8:36 AM

Labels: Global Housing Watch


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