Remote work drives housing costs up, researchers say

housing market
Posted at 12:11 PM, May 31, 2022

More Americans are working remotely, and the price of housing has gone up in the last two years. But are the two issues related?

A recent academic report released by experts with the National Bureau of Economic Research shows a connection between rising housing prices and the increase in remote work.

The report says that housing costs have increased by 23.8% since 2019. The experts say remote work is responsible for more than half of this increase.

They say that a rise in remote work has accounted for a 15.1% jump in housing prices since 2019.

“Our results suggests that house price growth over the pandemic reflected a change in fundamentals rather than a speculative bubble and that fiscal and monetary stimulus were less important factors,” they wrote. “This implies that policymakers need to pay close attention to the evolution of remote work as an important determinant of future house price growth and inflation.”

The researchers say the future of housing prices will depend on whether remote work continues to grow or not.

“Our results also imply that the future path of housing costs may depend critically on the path of remote work,” they wrote. “If remote work reverses, then there may be a general reversal in housing demand and potentially house prices. If remote work persists, we may expect important repercussions as increased housing costs feed into inflation and so affect the response of monetary policy. Given the macroeconomic importance of either outcome, policy makers need to pay close attention to the future evolution of remote work.”