So what is next after wide spread vaccinations and herd immunity take hold?
Already young professionals with the jobs that enable remote work have fled the crowded and overpriced cities for the suburbs, exburbs, and mid-sized cities. Forty percent of the U.S. labor force is working from home full time, and a national survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta found that employers expect the number of work-from-home days to triple after the pandemic. Yet the more things change, the more they stay the same. While the median rent in San Francisco dropped nearly 25% since stay-at-home orders were issued in March, the City by the Bay still is the most expensive of any major city with median rent for a two-bedroom apartment at $2,377.
Will people return to the urban core when bars and restaurants reopen? What are the housing challenges for workers who don’t have the luxury of telecommuting, and what is the impact on carbon emissions? Nobody really knows the answer but this story in The Times of San Diego makes its best guesses.
While urbanists like Mirante remain confident that demand for denser housing environments will rebound once people aren’t scared to share apartment building elevators anymore, there is evidence to suggest that the pandemic has unleashed a desire for more space that will outlast the virus.
Many of the homebuyers sending single-family-home prices across the state skyrocketing are millennials who, now in their 30s, are taking advantage of record-low interest rates to finally buy a house. While the suddenly pressing need for a backyard where a COVID puppy can happily frolic is the proximate reason, younger would-be homebuyers are also looking for the spare bedroom they can convert to a home office when telecommuting more frequently in the future.