DP16080 Flattening the Curve: Pandemic-Induced Revaluation of Urban Real Estate

Author(s): Arpit Gupta, Vrinda Mittal, Jonas Peeters, Stijn van Nieuwerburgh
Publication Date: April 2021
Keyword(s): bid-rent function, COVID-19, land values, working from home
JEL(s): R12, R23, R51
Programme Areas: Public Economics, Financial Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16080

We show that the COVID-19 pandemic brought house price and rent declines in city centers, and price and rent increases away from the center, thereby flattening the bid-rent curve in most U.S. metropolitan areas. Across MSAs, the flattening of the bid-rent curve is larger when working from home is more prevalent, housing markets are more regulated, and supply is less elastic. Housing markets predict an urban revival with urban rent growth exceeding suburban rent growth for the foreseeable future, as working from home recedes.