How does an industry based mainly on face to face contact react in a context where that type of contact has to be limited? Adapting its processes and searching for new solutions. And that’s what the real estate industry has done. Even though there was real concern that all business would be paralyzed, the truth is that business never stopped, and it’s expected that the real estate market will recover in some months.
Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the impact of COVID-19 on sales and prices.
Impact on sales
It’s undeniable that there has been an impact on sales and a decrease in transactions, which was perfectly normal bearing in mind that real estate industry was suddenly confronted with the impossibility of working in the usual way, being forced to readjust and to find alternatives to make sure that transactions could go on.
In the first quarter of 2020, partially affected by the pandemic, the total number of transactions of family homes was at 43,532, which represents a decrease of 12% in comparison with the last quarter of 2019, but a decrease of less than 1% if we consider the number of transactions in the same period of 2019.
In a very difficult context, we must pay homage to the perseverance of all professionals, that were able to reduce an impact that otherwise could have been harsher.
Since the pandemic started, there was much talk in Portugal about a price decrease, but the truth is that in May, when most people were still in confinement, the prices of homes sold continued to increase, even if, as reported by “Confidencial Imobiliário”, that increase was only 0.9% in comparison with the previous month.
But Standard & Poor’s believes that prices will decrease in the main European markets, with a decrease of 2.5% expected in Portugal, followed by a quick recovery through 2022.
What will the future bring? Even without a crystal ball, we can be optimistic. A study by Property EU, that interviewed 840 specialists, points out that in 12 months the market will be back at pre-covid numbers. The international real estate specialist, Colliers, even talks of a strong recovery in the second semester of 2020.
The deconfinement process and all the tools that professionals have acquired during the pandemic will definitely contribute to greater agility and proximity with clients in the future, and the real estate industry can become stronger and return to great form very quickly.