Are housing markets returning to normal? 

    Aug 25, 2020 @ 03:49 AM / by Philli Wong

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    Old charm Danish houses in the countryside.Photo provided by AIRINC's International Research Manager, Andrew Morollo.

    Rental market updates from Europe and Asia

    AIRINC recently conducted rental market updates across Europe and Asia and, in many places, life was getting back to normal. The impact of the pandemic on the rental market varied depending on the local cost of living, typical population of expatriates and tourists, flight and border restrictions, and general purpose of property investment.


    Asian housing markets in the recovery mode

    In Asia, I found that most housing markets have decelerated and prices in many locations have softened. Our real estate sources noted that landlords who are in possession of high-quality housing often had “deep pockets” and were not overly worried about obtaining rental income from their properties.

    In China particularly, the market was the first to be influenced by the pandemic and then among the earliest to flatten the curve towards recovery. Local businesses and rental activities quickly resumed despite the borders remaining closed. In certain second-tier cities, the high-end housing market almost exclusively serves the international assignee population, while in the capital and other first-tier cities, the market supports itself through wealthy locals.


    Trend changes in European housing markets

    On the other hand, in Europe, the market has gone dormant over the past few months while it was almost impossible to show properties. As the market reopens, expectations are for a potential surge in activity. Real estate sources also reported that low- to mid-priced houses in the suburbs have been in high demand and prices for those properties have increased.

    Furthermore, some creative landlords have altered the purpose of their property to meet the unique needs that arose from the COVID-19 quarantine. Some have highlighted the working space available for those who need to work away from their office, and others have advertised their apartments for hospital staff who want to stay in the city near work and away from potentially carrying the virus home to their families.

    Conversely, some short-term landlords are looking for long-term lease opportunities due to the lack of tourists and short-term assignment workers. And still other landlords, who in the past had rented exclusively to expatriates, are now making deals with local tenants.


    What's coming next for the COVID-19 recovery?

    AIRINC continues to monitor global changes and the impact on expatriates. As the next quarter starts, we’ll report back on what we find. In the meantime, please reach out with any questions you may have about how global conditions are impacting your business and assignees.

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    On-site Insight: 

    This post is part of AIRINC's On-site Insight series. On-site Insight provides readers with an exclusive “behind-the-surveys” perspective of new and existing expatriate locations based on commentary and photos from our global research team. Included is information on general living conditions as well as changing costs for both Goods & Services and Housing & Utilities, along with much, much more.


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    Topics: On-site Insight, Hardship, Expatriate Housing, China, Global Mobility, Insights and Experience, International Housing Guide, Coronavirus, COVID-19, COVID-19 Recovery, Europe, Asia

    Philli Wong

    Written by Philli Wong

    Philli joined AIRINC in 2011 as a researcher, she moved to the client engagement team in 2020, and joined the marketing team in 2021. Philli primarily looks after the Chinese-speaking market, and coordinates marketing activities in APAC. While in her researcher role, Philli conducted researches in over 200 locations in more than 90 countries. Philli received her B.A. in Chinese Business Studies from Hong Kong Baptist University, and gained experience in a Chinese financial institute prior to joining AIRINC. In addition to English, Philli speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, and intermediate Spanish. She is based in Hong Kong, and her clients are based in Greater China.