The Covid-19 pandemic is here to last, as many have predicted. The difficulties in the production and logistics of vaccine distribution, as well as the uncertainty regarding the efficacy in relation to the new variants of the virus, leave in the air the feeling that we are living the "new normal" and many buyers in the real estate market are anticipating responses and defining trends, telework is one of them.
Teleworking an upward trend
This is a trend that has been growing for a decade, in line with the development of digital tools and the growth of jobs in the services area. E-mail, video conferences, electronic devices such as smartphones and others, facilitated this path and "created" professions that survive well from social distance. What was previously unthinkable, if not impossible: working from home, maintaining meetings with co-workers, customers and suppliers, is now a reality easily accessible to everyone. The pandemic only accelerated the pace, in a path that had been foreseen for some years. For many who opted for telecommuting voluntarily, or were forced by the pandemic, agree with it and consider it an advance with no return in sight!
The impact of telework on the reality of companies is great:
- ADVANTAGES : less infrastructure and travel costs , more agility and speed in the execution of some tasks, less distraction factors , greater professional motivation , and greater flexibility in the face of personal impediments such as illnesses of the worker or children, pregnancy, etc.
- DISADVANTAGES also exist: difficulties in controlling worker productivity , greater dependence on internet infrastructure and others (with workers living in different locations, the probability of a failure in supply, or degradation of the quality of electrical and communications infrastructure, increases ), human and social distance that technologies cannot completely bridge, etc.
For workers, dependents or liberals, there are also impacts, such as:
- DISADVANTAGES can be: more expenses associated with telework support services, difficulty in managing working hours with an impact on mental and family health , excess of virtual meetings with loss of productivity, absence of adequate spaces for telework and that facilitate concentration , risk of burnout due to excessive working time, etc.
- But the ADVANTAGES , continue to attract more professionals who no longer want to return to the "old" normal ": less time spent on transportation and travel, the feeling of greater freedom and flexibility in managing the personal agenda , more time for family assistance or personal activities such as sports, less stress on relationships with bosses and co-workers, savings on various expenses such as meals and transportation,healthier eating etc.
Impact of teleworking in the real estate sector
Since March 2020, this trend has revolutionized the lives of many Portuguese. If we add it to the remote education of your children, you can see why your home and its characteristics have become the first priority in the lives of many Portuguese.
1 - Trend towards the acquisition of land or lots for construction
The option for teleworking immediately brought an increase in demand for land or plots for construction . This reinforces the importance of professionals working in the real estate sector to diversify their property portfolio. This need was accompanied by a decentralization of demand: the center of cities is no longer a priority , for those who, on the edge, travel once or twice to the company office, or none. Lisbon and Porto have experienced an exponential increase in housing prices in the last 4 years, on the other hand, land for housing construction is inaccessible in the city center.
For many, relocating to the periphery, 50 or 100 km away, has become an option that is not only necessary but desirable. Building a house from scratch, that responds to new needs, at a lower price than buying it in more inflated areas, while developing a project according to your personal taste, became the new luxury.
2 - Tendency to buy houses
For the segment of the buyer market that is unable to reach the previous level, either because the construction costs have increased a lot in recent years, or because the waiting time for the project and construction can be more than 2 years, the houses have risen to the top of the preferences . For families, betting on larger spaces, which allow complementing teleworking with leisure areas and greater movement is a priority. The search for houses comes with the usual requirements: garden, pool, terraces or porches, etc.
3 - Trend towards buying more spacious apartments and condominiums
But the previous options are not always the most desired by some buyers. Issues such as security or comfort provided by an apartment condominium weigh when deciding. The last few years have brought an increase in the construction of a new residential offer, provided by developments or apartment condominiums, which respond to the needs brought by teleworking.
Once again, the need for more interior and exterior space is the triggering factor for change. Large balconies and terraces are a priority when choosing a new apartment. Penthouses are at the forefront of demand. On the other hand, teleworking brought about the need for another division: the office. Whoever lives in a T2 apartment wants a T3 and so on.
In addition to this, the condominiums provide landscaped spaces and offer complementary services, such as a gymnasium, collective pool, sauna and Turkish bath, as well as leisure areas, which attract national and foreign buyers, with special emphasis on the Brazilian market. .
The year 2020 was a year that put the real estate sector to the test: the number of transactions decreased, the typologies with the greatest demand changed, the time of sale per property increased, but as I said in the beginning of 2020: " A calm sea never made a good sailor .. " and after the storm the calm always comes!
The real estate market in Portugal managed to survive 2020 and is prepared for the new challenges of telecommuting and others, which 2021 is sure to pose. Real estate investment has not stopped, and we remain in the spotlight of foreign investors, who are only waiting for the resumption of airlines and the reduction of constraints to invest in our country. Let us be positive!