Remote work is responsible for soaring housing costs across the country, accounting for more than half of the total post-pandemic price increase, a new study finds.
The big shakeup shows no signs of slowing down, leading some to question the myth of the American dream. Where is he going ? Was he ever really there?
What makes America? Is it freedom, wealth, social mobility or equality for all? The lack of a central definition gives life to this myth. Notions of freedom may be discussed in high school classrooms, but what real Americans want is more tangible: a roof over their heads, job security, a cohesive family, and a white picket fence, but only if this fence is not too expensive.
The American dream is as malleable as the people who make up our country; right now that dream is changing and a generation is trying to follow.
Remote work and the housing market
As Americans weather the aftershock of the Covid-19 pandemic, battling inflation, violence and new viruses, the housing market is not immune to the crisis. There is some evidence to suggest that the shift to remote working has driven up house prices.
“The shift to remote work explains more than half of the 23.8% national increase in house prices,” according to John A. Mondragon and Johannes Wieland in their new study for the National Bureau of Economic Research.
While most American businesses have moved away during the national shutdown, many have decided to stay at home even after the easing of restrictions across the country. 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs last year, choosing to earn money through self-employment instead. We can now analyze the effect of this surge of remote work on our country, in particular on the housing market.
“We’ve seen what we’ve called the ‘Big Shake’ that has helped housing demand nationally,” says Chris Glynn, chief economist at Zillow.
Mondragon and Wieland’s research shows that the shift to remote working has boosted U.S. house prices by 15.1%. Remote work means people can leave densely populated cities in favor of temperate climates, more space and a better quality of life.
A dream forever deferred
With remote work driving up house prices in an inflation-ridden country, many Americans are questioning the fundamental pillars of the American Dream. Does it still exist? Has he already done this? And will I ever get there?
Twitter is ablaze with criticism of the myth of the American Dream as many Americans experience disillusionment. Twitter user @1987Tucson writes, “Hedge funds buying up the housing market to create a generation of renters are more un-American than any brutal dictator or communist regime.”
A global pandemic that could have brought everyone together may have revealed just how wide the gap between rich and poor really is.
Another frustrated American tweeted, “Being limited on healthcare due to cost – even having insurance – and knowing you really need to see a therapist [is] the American dream. #American dream.”
“The American Dream has always been a prospect for success, but 100 years ago the phrase meant the opposite of what it does now,” says Sarah Churchwell, author of Behold America. “The original ‘American Dream’ was not a dream of individual wealth; it was a dream of equality, justice and democracy for the nation.”
In search of a new optimism
“The American dream is unsustainable,” Zach Goldstein, CEO and founder of Public Rec, told us. While Zach may be critical of the American Dream, he doesn’t view the rise of remote work as a barrier. Instead, it views remote work as a “hotspot.” “The traditional work model has never been durable enough to withstand the test and changes of time,” he explains.
If remote work allows Americans to spread out, leave harsh cities behind in favor of pleasant temperatures and more spacious homes, rising house prices may just be a temporary setback to more development. advantageous.
Some business leaders view the American Dream as an outdated concept in need of a reboot.
Remote work “reorganizes the concept that was confusing,” Eyal Pasternak told us. “Remote work promotes equality,” he believes. This new model could eliminate the biases that prevent traditionally marginalized groups from getting jobs.
Remote work is a testament to the adaptability and resilience of the American workforce, and its impact on the housing market will continue to be studied as the world of Zoom calls, Slack message boards and side jobs from home will become a permanent part of everyday life.
“It is the only country in the world that has this constant and repeated revival,” President Woodrow Wilson said in a 1915 address to a group of newly naturalized citizens in Philadelphia. “America was created to unite mankind through those passions that uplift and not through the passions that separate and debase,” he said. For Wilson, the American Dream was a simple concept of equality and respect for our fellow human beings.
He defines the American dream as “the spirit of hope, the spirit of freedom and the spirit of justice”.
There’s no denying that we’re changing, but a little hope goes a long way. A dream was born out of hope, and despite rising home costs across the country, remote work appears to be a conduit for a new American dream rather than a destructive force. History will tell us if we are right.