For agents

Italy: influence of coronavirus pandemic on real estate market

Source: www.immobiliare.it Press release

Survey by Immobiliare.it of more than 18 thousand users 

Coronavirus and real estate: home remains a safe haven and less than one out of three people (31.2%) thinks to postpone property purchase Among the most common fears, especially in young people, there is the job loss 

Milan, April 2020 – The pandemic and the lockdown caused by the Coronavirus in Italy will soon lead the country to an economic crisis, but the house seems to remain a safe haven for many people. This is what comes out from a survey carried out by Immobiliare.it (www.immobiliare.it), the market's leading ads portal, of more than 18,000 users looking for a property to buy. According to the results, in fact, less than one out of three people (31.2%) is thinking to postpone the purchase. 

“The lockdown has blocked all activities related to the real estate market and it is now probable that we will have to revise downwards the number of transactions that we expected this year – says Carlo Giordano, a CEO of Immobiliare.it – Our users’ answers, however, demonstrate that the Italians strongly value their homes and that, despite the pandemic, home remains a safe haven which only few people are ready to give up”. 

The rest of the interviewed users can be divided into those who are worried but do not intend to give up the idea of buying a house (30.1%) and those who, on the other hand, feel more optimistic according to the research (22.7%). Finally, for 16%, this situation does not have any influence on their decision to purchase a property. 

Who is thinking to postpone the purchase? 

Age does not seem to influence the intention to search and purchase a house; in any case the percentage of the respondents who are thinking to postpone everything to better times is very similar between the under-50 and the over-50 (30.7% and 32.3% respectively). 

What seems to make the most difference in the current situation is the purchase purpose. Those who are intimidated the most by the pandemic are those who are looking for a house to buy for their children, in fact 37.2% of them are thinking to postpone it. The percentage drops to 33.9% among those who are looking for a personal investment and touches the lowest peak of 28.7% among users looking for the first property – the group that seems to remain the most consistent in their desire to purchase a house in any case. 

The most common fears among those who are thinking to postpone the purchase

Over 30% of the respondents who said that they were worried to the point of thinking to postpone their real estate search were also asked about the reasons for this option. First of all, one of the most common fears is the fear that a heavy economic crisis will soon explode, during which people will not be able to get into debt with the purchase of a house: this reason was indicated by 59.3%. Then, 20.7% of those who are thinking to postpone the purchase would do so believing that the pandemic will lead to a drop in prices, therefore it may be worth waiting for better offers of the market.

10.4% are considering the idea to postpone the searching process due to the fear to lose a job after the lockdown. This fear is mostly spread among young people: in fact, it was indicated by over 12% of the under-50 and only by 6.9% of the over-50. Finally, 9.7% of users may postpone their search because they do not believe that banks will give them a mortgage.

How will the pandemic affect the Italian economy? 

The respondents do not have good expectations of what will happen to the Italian economy this year: according to 58.5%, in fact, the pandemic will soon lead to a recession. 18% of the respondents turn out to be slightly less pessimistic, foreseeing some economic losses, however contained. 4.3% suppose that after the lockdown the Italian economy will slightly grow, while the percentage of those who forecast even an economic boom after the reopening of all activities is higher (7.1%).

“These answers were collected a few days before the government's announcement of new measures taken to support businesses, which perhaps could have contributed to encouraging workers. In any case, if the results of these measures are visible quite soon and the support for the country's economy is strong and decisive, it is likely that even those who initially were skeptical and thought to postpone their purchase will feel safer and continue their research”, says Giordano

How the interview sample is made 

About 18 thousand people (registered on the Immobiliare.it website and currently looking for a property) took part in the survey. 

Below is the composition of the sample by age groups:

  • 68,3% less than 50 years old
  • 31,7% over 50 years old 

This is the subdivision of the sample according to the purchase purposes:

  • 31,8% property replacement
  • 43,9% first property purchase
  • 16,7% investment
  • 7,7% purchase for children