OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Changes in the geography housing demand after the onset of COVID-19: First results from large metropolitan areas in 13 OECD countries

The paper introduces a novel, granular house-price dataset sourced from a network of public and private data providers. It offers the first results of investigations into changes in the urban geography of housing markets following the COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid rise of working from home practices is likely to incentivise many people to seek more space and accept living further away from city centres as commuting requirements are reduced. The paper's results indicate that housing demand might have indeed shifted away from the centres to the peripheries of many large urban areas. These early results also show that such a shift has been neither universal nor uniform. It is typically stronger in cities where pre-COVID-19 house price disparities were larger and where moving to the periphery provides significantly better access to green space while still allowing easy access to high-speed internet and/or where COVID-19 restrictions were more stringent. The paper concludes by discussing implications for policy, including the benefits of flexible settings that allow supply to adjust smoothly to new demand patterns and outlining avenues for future work planned to improve and capitalise on the new dataset.


Keywords: teleworking, COVID-19, digitisation, housing, working from home, geospatial economics
JEL: O18: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / Economic Development: Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure; R31: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics / Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location / Housing Supply and Markets
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