Is now a good time to invest in real estate in the United States? What about in a region like Southern California? Has there been a decline in urban markets, and an increase in suburban ones due to the pandemic?
All of these are reasonable questions to ask if you’re considering buying or selling real estate in Southern California. Below, you’ll learn how the death of the urban real estate market may have been overstated, as well as what you should consider if you’re looking to invest in the SoCal property market in 2021—whether you need a Carlsbad realtor, or you’re looking at a condo in DTLA.
Is there an urban exodus?
Since March of 2020, you’ve no doubt heard some version of the story that the urban real estate market in the United States is in decline. According to this narrative, with COVID-19 cases on the rise, urban dwellers fled to the suburbs to find more space as urban amenities became unavailable. While this makes intuitive sense, and it’s been repeated ad nauseam, it’s not necessarily true.
As writers like Jeff Andrews at Curbed have pointed out repeatedly, the evidence may not support the breathless stories of urban decline told by outlets from the New York Times to CNBC. Writing in September of 2020, Andrews looked at data going back to March and spoke with economists and others who follow the US housing market. In general, the suburban and urban markets appeared to be doing fine. The exceptions were New York City and San Francisco, “both of which were, until recently, among the most overheated housing markets on the planet.”