The bad news is that America’s housing affordability crisis has gotten even worse. Rents will probably come down over time in places where housing construction isn’t prevented by excessive regulation. (Sorry, this is one policy area where blue states generally get it wrong while many red states get it right.) But NIMBYism in places like California and, yes, New York will do even more damage in the remote-work era.
The housing story, then, is that the pandemic changed the way we live and work — or, more likely, brought forward changes that were going to happen eventually. This led people to want more space at home. And that’s OK. What we need now is to let markets give people what they want, at a price more people can afford.
This is from Paul Krugman, “Wonking Out: How the Remote Work Craze Made Housing Affordability Worse,” New York Times, September 30, 2022.
HT2 Cyril Morong.