Over the past decade, U.S. homeowners saw their cumulative home equity climb by $6 trillion. That massive gain—larger than the GDP of every nation with the exception of the U.S. and China—confirms that real estate is still a winning strategy for wealth building.
But the coronavirus pandemic is reshaping where that money is going to be made in the years to come. Millions of Americans have physically uprooted themselves in recent months, fleeing cities to second homes or to stay with relatives (in my case, with my in-laws in Ohio). That is already disrupting the housing market. And if more employers make remote working the new norm, it could further transform real estate. Like the 2007–2009 recession, this downturn is hitting some regions and cities—in particular, tourist destinations—harder than others.