The economy is in crisis, but the housing market is booming : The Indicator from Planet Money Most of the U.S. economy is in crisis: Unemployment and bankruptcies are skyrocketing, and millions aren't paying rent. But home sales are skyrocketing, too. In fact, they're rising at a record pace.

The Coronavirus Housing Boom

The Coronavirus Housing Boom

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Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images
Construction workers are seen outside a new house being built in Monterey Park, California on March 19, 2019. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images)
Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

You might assume that in the middle of a pandemic, when businesses are closing, and one in five Americans of working age are now unemployed, and everyone's staying at home...that the one market that would be in complete decline would be housing.

Well, it turns out that the housing market is in the rudest of health. Traffic on the real estate website Redfin is up about 40 percent, and the National Association of Realtors announced that pending home sales are up 15 percent from last month.

People are moving. Well, some people are moving. People who don't have to be tied to big urban areas are migrating to towns, rural areas and small cities. They're being driven by conditions related to coronavirus, and the understanding that the way we work — or that some of us work — has fundamentally changed.

Today on the Indicator, the coronavirus housing boom. What it says about the state of the economy, our state of mind and the widening gap between those workers who can do their jobs from anywhere — and those who can't.

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