A study by ApartmentList has
identified a new category of workers, arising, at least in part, out of the pandemic.
Lynn Pollack, writing in GlobeSt, says this “untethered class” hold
remote types of jobs and have little reason to stay put.

They have a median age of 32 and are “on the precipice of settling down.” They
are currently renting, living alone or with a similarly untethered partner, have
no school-aged children and are likely to live in a state other than where they
were born. ApartmentList suggests that there may be 8.7 million untethered
workers, constituting 5.6 percent of the American workforce.

The highest share, 13.5 percent, live in San
Francisco, followed by San Jose and other high housing cost cities like Los
Angeles, New York, Seattle, and Boston.

Pollock quotes housing economist Chris Salviati
who says in the report, “Given that so many untethered workers are living in
the nation’s most expensive housing markets, many may choose to relocate to
markets where they can afford to purchase homes
and raise families more
comfortably. While such a trend would be unlikely to lead to the demise of
superstar cities, it has significant potential to reshape the markets that the
untethered class moves to.”

ApartmentList estimates that about one third of the country’s
jobs can be performed remotely, but the number is much higher in areas like
Silicon Valley, where percent 46 percent of jobs are “remote friendly.”

“Many Americans who worked in offices before
the pandemic are likely to continue working remotely even after it subsides,”
Salviati writes. “By severing the link between job choice and housing choice,
remote work could have a profound impact on where Americans choose to live.”

It is unclear how employers will react once
the pandemic wanes and physical presence in the workplace becomes more
reasonable. Some occupations such as banking will encounter regulatory challenges
to remote working
while others, Pollock cites media, may already be near a
saturation point.

Salviati says at least this much is clear: “The
geographic preferences of remote workers could have significant ramifications
for housing markets across the country. If the untethered class decides that
they are fed up with the high housing costs in superstar cities, they could
spur a wave of migration to more affordable markets. Although superstar cities
are unlikely to face a mass exodus, even a modest outflow has the potential to
disrupt smaller markets. At the same time, a growing number of cities are
making concerted efforts to attract remote workers, seeing an opportunity for
economic development.”

By Jann Swanson , dated 2021-03-15 11:27:21

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Courtesy of Mortgage News Daily

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