The Rise of ‘Zoomtowns’ is Going to Make Home Prices and Rents Cheaper for Everyone
It’s easy to blame remote workers for the pandemic’s chaotic housing market. Highly paid white-collar employees who exercised their newfound freedom and turned once cheap locales into expensive “Zoomtowns” make for vivid villains.
But a new analysis from the Economic Innovation Group, a bipartisan public-policy organization, argues that, eventually, the shift to working from home may turn into the antidote for the price spikes that we’ve seen. That’s because the places where remote workers are flocking — the Sun Belt region in the Southern US and suburban areas outside big coastal cities — are exactly the kinds of locations that are best-equipped to build cheap housing to absorb the flood of newly remote workers.
“People are able to consider affordability more, while putting less weight on, ‘I need to be near the office,’” Adam Ozimek, the chief economist at the Economic Innovation Group and one of the authors of the paper, told me.