Turns out the real estate market has been under remote control.
According to a new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, remote work accounts for at least 50% of the record home price growth that’s occurred since the outset of the pandemic — as much as all other factors combined.
That’s highly significant for the present and future of the housing market, because those other factors (low mortgage rates, stimulus checks and lockdown orders) are no longer with us, but working from home is here to stay. In fact, it’s likely to expand exponentially: In May 2020, about 1 in 50 Americans had moved because of remote work; today, roughly 1 in 10 plan to do so. That should drive demand for upsized housing for years to come.
Along the way, the study also debunks the idea that the run-up in the housing sector is a speculative bubble inflated by buyers taking advantage of cheap money. The demand was genuine, driven by a revolutionary shift in the economy that is only just getting started.