The New York Times: Here’s Who Will Be Left Behind in the Housing Boom

The New York Times, July 14, 2021, Here’s Who Will Be Left Behind in the Housing Boom

When Covid-19 first hit, those of us in the real estate industry predicted a collapse of the housing market. In just the first two months of the pandemic, 22.4 million Americans lost their jobs, while gross domestic product fell at the fastest rate in modern history in the second quarter. Instead, what unfolded was a transformation of the housing market, fueled by what I call “migration mania.”

For employees in many industries, working remotely during the pandemic effectively has untethered them from their physical offices. Historically, but even more so during the pandemic, those with higher-income jobs are the most likely to work from home, McKinsey & Company found. As a result, many of them have chosen to move from more expensive areas of the country to lower-cost metros.

This emergence of buyers relocating to lower-cost markets, paired with low interest rates, limited housing supply, investors looking to make money on the housing upswing and home shoppers caught up in the excitement, mean higher home prices. In the existing market, which represents the bulk of total home sales, prices are up 24 percent nationally from prices in May of last year, accordingto the National Association of Realtors.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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