Will COVID-19 spell the end of the German city dweller?
After years of booming property prices, and rocketing demand for inner-city housing, it seems that many in Germany are looking to move away from the city and head for the countryside, according to various experts in the industry.
It’s time to move out of the city
The COVID-19 pandemic has already wreaked havoc across almost every industry in Germany, from healthcare to hospitality and far beyond. While the pandemic has caused much chaos, it has also brought about an opportunity for people to reflect upon their lives, leading many to come to the same realisation: it’s time to move out of the city.
Since working from home has become the new normal, lots of people in Germany are now seeking a property with a garden - something which is often not possible in the apartment-style living spaces of large German cities. Many of those looking to move house are also seeking larger living spaces, with extra room for a home office. The change in demand for properties outside the city can be seen by the 8,6 percent jump in the price of single and two-family houses during the latter half of 2020, according to data collected by the Hamburg research institute F + B.
The housing shortage has not changed
Traditionally, people move to places that are prosperous, with plenty of job opportunities, but in the past year, this has become less of a concern since remote working has become much more widely available. Despite the exodus from the city, the housing shortage in Germany remains a troublesome issue.
For much of 2020, the German housing market was at a standstill, with few viewings, sales or purchases of houses throughout most of spring and summer. Since then, unemployment has risen, and the economy has suffered again from new restrictions and the economic repercussions of the “second wave” of COVID-19. Even with this dreary economic situation, however, there is strong demand for housing in Germany, with property experts hopeful that the market will pick up again soon.
So, will Covid-19 spell the end of the city dweller?
For the time being, remote working will remain king, but it is too soon to imagine what the future holds for living and working in a post-COVID Germany. As vaccinations are rolled out across the country, and people begin to go back to work, the economy should be able to find its feet once again, and only then will the true effects of the pandemic be seen in the housing market.