The Greatly Exaggerated Death of (Some) Cities
Bloomberg Businessweek|February 15 - 22, 2021
Anticipating the end of the pandemic, U.S. homebuyers are looking to denser neighborhoods in smaller urban areas
By Prashant Gopal and Alex Wittenberg

Maybe you’ve heard: The pandemic is killing cities, fueling a rush to spacious digs in the suburbs. That’s largely true of pricey New York and San Francisco, but in downtowns across much of the rest of the country, real estate demand is booming. From Pittsburgh to Phoenix, condos and townhouses within stumbling distance of bars and restaurants are hot. Like families upgrading to bigger suburban homes, young white-collar workers are taking advantage of record-low mortgage rates and flexible remote-work policies to move to desirable cities they find more affordable.

In denser, more urban neighborhoods, home prices jumped 15% in the three months through January, slightly ahead of the pace in suburbia, brokerage Redfin Corp. says. That marks a shift from early in the pandemic, when downtown prices lagged outer areas or even fell, a sign that Covid-19 vaccines are helping fuel demand as nightlife returns. “People are anticipating that now is a great time to buy,” says Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin. “They’re not thinking about the short term. They’re looking forward to eating inside restaurants and going to concerts.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEKView All

The Hyperinflation Hype

Talk that the U.S. is going the way of Zimbabwe or Venezuela is bunk but bunk can move markets and influence policy

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 08, 2021

The Sheriff Wants a Word With Robinhood

Massachusetts regulator William Galvin says the free app is encouraging novice investors to trade themselves into trouble

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 08, 2021

The Geopolitics Of Chips

Taiwan and South Korea have amassed an uncomfortable degree of market power

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 08, 2021

THE SUPERCAR SPECIAL

Electrification is redefining what it means for a car to be extraordinary.

7 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 08, 2021

Tech's Latest Perk: Never See the Office

Silicon Valley companies are wooing executives with the promise of remote work forever

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 08, 2021

VACCINE CAPITALISM

Pfizer deserves every bit of the credit it’s receiving. But should a drug company decide who gets a shot?

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 08, 2021

GOD SAVE MY PUBS

Tim Martin is fighting to keep Wetherspoons, his working-class British chain, alive. His detractors would bid it good riddance

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 08, 2021

WHO GUARDS THE SECURITY GUARDS?

THE PEOPLE ASKED TO ENFORCE COVID SAFETY RULES PUT UP WITH LOW PAY, MINIMAL TRAINING, AND SOME DANGEROUSLY ANGRY CUSTOMERS

9 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 08, 2021

Can Clubhouse Keep The Party Going?

Silicon Valley’s hottest app is getting more than just money from its prominent investors

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 08, 2021

After a Grim Limbo, Hope

A migrant camp empties as Biden undoes Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 08, 2021