Using zip code-level data and nonparametric estimation, I present eight stylized facts on the US housing market in the COVID-19 era. Some aggregate results are: (1) growth rate of median housing price during the four months (April-August 2020) since the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented monetary easing has accelerated faster than any four-month period in the lead-up to the 2007-09 global financial crisis; (2) the increase in housing demand in response to lower mortgage interest rates displays a structural break since March 2020 (housing demand has increased by much more than before). These results indicate either the existence of “fear of missing out” or COVID-induced fundamental changes in household behavior. In terms of distributional evidence, I find that the increase of housing demand seems more pronounced among the two ends of the income distribution, possibly reflecting relaxed liquidity constraints at the lower end and speculative demand at the higher end. I also find that the developments in housing price, demand, and supply since April 2020 are similar across urban, suburban, and rural areas. The paper highlights some potential unintended consequences of COVID-fighting policies and calls for further studies of the driving forces of the empirical findings.
to analyze the existence of a structural break (in March 2020) in the housingdemandresponse to lower interest rates. However, the estimated mortgage rate elasticities (in Table 9 ) after controlling for the mobility indicators are comparable with, and in some cases larger than, those without these controls (the “Since March” columns in Table 6 ).
Table 9. Panel Regressions with Similar House Sizes, Mobility Indicators, and PMI
(February 2020 – August 2020)
This Selected Issues paper examines the labor market and migration in Sweden. Sweden enjoys a broadly well-functioning labor market. The labor force has been expanding at a healthy pace, in part reflecting rising participation including by females. This paper discusses the compositional changes in the labor force, employment, and unemployment over the past decade. A brief overview of migration flows, their composition, and their demographic benefits is provided. An assessment of the potential implications of the projected increase in migration for unemployment is done. The features of Sweden’s labor market that contribute to the higher unemployment rates of the lower skilled and foreign-born are also outlined.