New Preferences on Spanish Property Market After COVID-19

How have home buying preferences shifted in a Post-Covid Reality? What type of housing is trending now and why? Are communal pools and open spaces a bad idea? How will construction companies change their planning principles in the near future?
Hаvе you heard about the "microchip" conspiracy theory? Bill Gates started talking about viruses for a reason. This man founded one of the largest companies in the world. He understands the impact of global processes, keeps his hand on the pulse. He, in general, understands better than others what is happening. Since the beginning of the century, Covid-19 is already the fourth threatening virus to all humankind. And the subsequent events: quarantine, self-isolation, changes in investment trends, etc. is partly a coincidence. This could have happened before, which is what Bill Gates was trying to tell us all in his TED talk. But, as it usually happens, listening and analyzing begins post facto.

Anyway, the virusеs must have arrived to stay for a long time. Most likely, this happened due to the growth of the population, increased traffic, the movement of people between countries and continents, and therefore the broader spread of viruses and their mutations. The next question we are interested in is: "How all these viruses affect the reаl estate market?"
Villa with pool
Coronavirus epidemic has changed customer preferences: from apartments in the city center to country houses
The first obvious example: in the middle of 2020, if a person seeks to buy a property, you can ask him the question: "Where would you like to spend your next quarantine?" After all, it is very likely that now quarantines and other self-isolation options will be announced more often.

Furthermore, in recent years, the reference point for buying a home from many customers was the city centre. But after a quarantine lockdown priorities have changed. Thus, in Moscow in recent months, almost all available country houses are rented. Even those that were empty for years.

In Spain, there is a similar trend. But new apartments in the centre of a large city will cost about the same or even more than a detached house on the outskirts. For example, the developers of TM or Alubilding offer their apartments in the centre of Benidorm. The price for a modest apartment ranges from 250.000 to 500.000 EUR. It should be noted that in new apartments bedrooms are tiny – nowhere to put a suitcase, literally 10-12 square meters. At the same time, we have offers in 10 minutes from the city: a 3-bedroom villa with breathtaking views, a private pool and a plot of 450-550 sq. m. for 350.000 EUR.

Despite the transition to a "new reality", construction companies will promote their projects, insisting that everything will pass and return to old normal. Before the pandemic, one of the bonuses was the availability of shared facilities on the territory of the complex: a communal pool with sun lounges, garden, BBQ, etc. All this was a benefit before the pandemic and became a considerable no-no after. But the projects have already been launched, they have several phases, some are three to ten years long, and they have already been started. There is nowhere to go; they have to sell them somehow.
Lifetime of the virus
The common areas have, no exaggeration here, become life-threatening. First, it is easy to get infected there, and second, when there are so many people around it is unreal to keep the territory perfectly clean. Now for pools, there is a recommendation on the use of a huge dose of chlorine, which, as you understand, is not good for your health. Some customers will not care about it, but for those who are worried about their health, we can always offer the best options for a private house with a pool not far from the city centre.

Spain has excellent roads, almost no traffic jams. By car, you can always get to wherever you need quickly and safely. These houses are built in urbanizations that are close to major cities. They are located in common, gated areas close to an entire infrastructure – roads, parking lots, shops, gas stations, banks, etc.. These are small towns, some even have their town halls. Very convenient options!

Concerning future projects – most likely, architects will have to take into account future epidemics and design new housing keeping it in mind. But it will be no sooner than in 3-5 years. So now for those who are worried about their health and the health of children, the best solution is to buy a small house with a private plot. This applies to both housing for permanent stay and for spending a vacation in Spain.

Concerning tourist or investment housing, it is likely to remain in the city centre. We see that the demand for long-term rental housing in major cities has increased, while supply has decreased. Why so? First, families were dissatisfied with the conditions of permanent cohabitation in one apartment (no room for privacy or lack of a workspace). Now they seek to improve them by changing their residence from one apartment to another. Some families have preferred "separate" accommodation: parents rent their grown children a separate apartment. Second, families who planned to buy a home during the transition period have to improve their housing conditions through renting. Third, the demand for student housing has increased – parents are afraid that their children will live in a dormitory and prefer to rent their accommodation.

Add to this the increased domestic demand for holiday rentals (in coastal areas) – here are at least four trends that we observe from April to July this year.

Why is there a decrease in supply? Again, for many of the same reasons, people are improving their living conditions and using their real estate. Security or the opportunity to relax by the sea is becoming more important than income. The second point: the Spaniards are very cautious about those who will rent their apartment for a long time. Usually, they require the tenant to prove their trustworthiness, providing certificates of income and permanent employment. In times of crisis, not everyone can collect the necessary set of documents, and it is more comfortable and safer for the landlord not to rent out than to put his property at risk.
Balcony is spanish apartments
The value of balconies, terraces and other open spaces has grown in the context of the "new reality"
If we talk about apartments in cities, then a great benefit now is a terrace or balcony, and even better – a patio. Another essential factor is zoning. It can be either a few rooms, or open space, which allows you to have private corners for relaxing or for a home office (with the help of zoning).

To sum up, we conclude that after (and during) quarantine, the choice of housing is significantly influenced by two factors – persоnal safety and personal space. Therefore:

  • A house, although small, is better than a large apartment
  • A private patio and a pool are better than the communal areas
  • Private rooms and zoning are better than a single open space
  • Balconies, terraces and private solariums in the apartment are better than a communal chill-out zone

Stay healthy, make the right choice (which you will certainly not regret if there is a "second" or any other wave of a disease). And if you have any doubts – contact our managers!

It will definitely be in demand:

Villas for sale
Houses for sale
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