What are the new dream homes for Spaniards in a post-Covid-19 world?
This is the fourth article of our dedicated reports on the Coronavirus and its impacts on the Spanish real estate. Here is our main article: the Spanish Housing Market post-Covid-19 and here is our introduction paper: What are the impacts of Coronavirus on the Spanish real estate?
The housing situation in Spain is the same as in most countries: housing is expensive in specific city centres: Madrid and Barcelona, and other cities like Bilbao, Santander, and the Balearic Islands. Outside of these city centres, housing is more affordable and more in line with the income of Spaniards.
In this context, most Spaniards can’t afford spacious housing in city centres and had to either take affordable housing in the city centres: small and often without a lot of light, or to go to suburbs outside the city centres.
Don’t forget that after this unpleasant forced period of staying-at-home, as we wrote in our earlier paper: What are the effects of Coronavirus on people? people like to prioritise, and so has their criteria when they are searching for a property. Here is how:
Home: A place for sleeping and eating
For many people, a home is mainly the place for eating and sleeping. Thanks to the wonderful weather, Spaniards have their social life outside the familial house and their housing has two basic functions: sleeping and family place (eating)
Spaniards housing habits will change after the Coronavirus
In a normal world people sleep at home for 8 hours, eat with their family, take care of the kids and then everyone goes to school/work for 8 hours and then have a few hours of sports or social activities outside the home.
- More activities at home
All the members of the family will spend more time at home: kids will play “safely” at home and adults will do more homeworking and so, many families will need more office space.
- More time spent at home
If you don’t want to go outside,…If you need to work at home,… If kids can’t go to school or parks,… yes people will spend a lot more time at home
- Bringing more social life inside vs outside?
As weather is great nearly 320 days per year in Spain, and you prefer to stay at home longer, increasing your outside private place becomes a must if you can afford it: terrace, garden, courtyard, balcony… Those findings were confirmed by the last property search statistics published in the article of CincoDias (Spanish): 40% more searches for properties with outside space as terrace or garden.
- Bigger private space either inside or outside
For sure, no one expected to have to stay at home 24/27, 7 days a week for nearly 2 full months. This will change habits as we wrote: What are the effects of Coronavirus on people?
- People will want to live closer to work:
Walking or biking distance from work becomes the new target
- Less commute time on public transport
- A location closer to work to help reduce traffic jams: we expect more traffic jams once economy recovers full speed, as people will prefer own transport rather than public transport
- Many will want to live closer to green and blue areas as parks and beaches
“During the quarantine, many Spaniards have realized that they live in a house they do not like and would prefer to live in less central areas in exchange for having more square meters, more light, gardens or a terrace,” says the head of studies at Idealista, Fernando Encinar. We agree with Fernando and thank that it’s actually the case for many of us, anywhere in the world. Real estate is so expensive.
It is not new information that green and blue spaces have positive effects for the health and well-being of populations. This is even more important as we face serious life changes as a result of coronavirus. See how blue spaces improve your health and well-being here.
As a result, we see an increasing demand for rural housing within 1 hour of commuting time outside the big cities as Madrid and Barcelona and to a less extend outside Valencia and Malaga have a look at the article published in Spanish by “El pais” on the same subject: “The real estate exodus that comes after the virus: from the city to the countryside”.
To conclude this first part of our article, Spaniards that can afford it will go for more private place inside and outside to play, to work and to have a social life at home. So, here is the real choice Spaniards will need to make: space vs commuting time, luckily, thanks to the Coronavirus, homeworking could become more the norm than before. It is the sixth positive effect we found: Your 7 positive life changes after the Coronavirus.
Wealthy Spaniards will go for bigger Space
As earlier said, wealthy people
- will reassess their life choices
- will take into account that they could have to spend more time at home as anyone,
as a result may decide to switch for bigger inside and outside private spaces.
Here were our conclusions on Prime residential real estate in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia written in our earlier report: What are experts’ expectations for the Spanish housing market in 2020 and 2021
- We see a very minor impact for premium properties in those cities as supply is low and demand should remain high.
- Interests from both wealthy Spaniards and foreigners.
- Wealthy Spaniards will want to get more space as residential units are “small” due to historic constructions in city centres.
- Wealthy foreigners will reassess their life priorities as well and could decide to get more sun and buy a nice property in Spain.
- Current prices remain very competitive in comparison to European international cities. Read our Spanish property prices analysis for more on that.
This concludes our report on What are the new dream homes for Spaniards in a post-Covid-19 world?
To end our series on the impact of the Coronavirus on the Spanish real estate, we will cover those topics:
- What are the ideal Spanish properties for foreigners in a post-Covid-19 world? Market update on foreigners activity. How can you seize potential real estate opportunities in Spain? Is it easy for a foreigner to buy while being abroad?
- Are distressed sales back in Spain due to Covid-19 as in 2008?
- Mortgage financing conditions update in a post-Covid-19 world
Last but not least, don’t miss the core of our research: our in-depth analysis of the Spanish Housing Market post-Covid-19.
Don’t neglect the basic recommendations to keep yourself and others safe:
- maintaining a social distance of 2 m,
- regular hand washing,
- cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze,
- avoid touching your face after touching hard surfaces where the virus can live.