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COVID-19 Set America’s Housing Market On Fire. That Could Alter U.S. Politics For A Generation

Thanks to COVID-19 Americans are on the move—again.

Written By Peter Lane Taylor FORBES MAGAZINE Contributor

In less than twelve months, panic selling, irrational buying, jittery markets, remote work, and the desire to get more space for less money in the middle of the ongoing pandemic have created one of the most frenzied and unpredictable real estate markets in a generation.

On a local level, single-family suburbs are back. Tight, overpriced apartments in Manhattan and San Francisco are out. In itself, this will take years to unravel as urban real estate re-prices, businesses re-open (or don’t), and companies decide when, and if, to bring employees back to work. Americans are also hitting the road across state lines faster, farther, and more permanently than ever before.

This is according to the most recent data released by moving companies U-Haul and Atlas Van Lines based on one-way moves during 2020 as well as real estate website Redfin which tracks housing markets. Lured by warmer, healthier, stabler, and more affordable places where they can work remotely, residents from high-tax, heavy-lock down states like New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois, and California are fleeing to Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, and Nevada in near record numbers.

This COVID-catalyzed migration wave will have outsized consequences for housing prices, infrastructure, and jobs nationally as well as locally. It’s longer-term shock, however, may be felt at the ballot box.

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