Expertise for Communities

Two Stories From 2020: Which Is True?

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 9:10 PM | Daphne Politis (Administrator)

Have all cities lost people due to COVID-19, or just a few high-cost ones?

There have been many, many stories about a decline in demand for urban housing* caused by the COVID-19 recession. Because many people can work for home, they no longer need to live in expensive downtowns. As a result, rents in midtown Manhattan and urban San Francisco have plunged. One possible interpretation of these facts is that the 2020s will be like the 1970s, when cities declined and suburbs exploded. Another interpretation is that the most expensive cities are losing people, but that cheaper cities are doing no worse than usual. Which story is supported by the data?

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