COVID-19 pandemic and real estate market, let’s take stock

For many areas of the business world, the COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects. We might be led to believe that it was the same for the real estate world, but digging deeper it turns out that this is not quite the case.

It is a reflection of the crisis: some categories such as hotels, shops, restaurants, theaters, cinemas and artistic activities have had a sharp decline in turnover from March 2020 to today, for some it has even been zeroed. This involves an opportunity for those in the world of real estate investments, especially for commercial use. The market has never been so thriving, now that so many businesses have had to close or downsize.

Pandemic and commercial real estate

Taking advantage of the data made available by casa.it, we are able to better understand how the market has changed in the last 12 months, which never before have brought all our certainties to their knees.

Let’s start by saying that commercial advertisements have increased in Italy by 16% in the last 12 months, evidence that, unfortunately, many businesses have closed and the owners of the walls are unable to find replacements. Hotels for sale grew by 22%, offices by 14%, entire buildings and buildings by as much as 27%.

The trend is more or less the same throughout Italy, even if some areas of our country are suffering to a greater extent. In fact, the South and the Islands saw 31% and 36% more commercial advertisements respectively, a sign that in those areas the crisis has hit harder than ever. At a regional level, we have + 87% recorded by Molise, + 83% by Sardinia, + 55% by Marche and + 50% by Calabria, closely followed by Umbria, Puglia and Abruzzo. Only three Italian regions recorded a decline in real estate advertisements: we are talking about Trentino-Alto Adige with -4%, Val d’Aosta also with -4%, and Basilicata with even -34%.

The situation in the main Italian cities

The data from casa.it also report the situation in the main Italian cities, analyzing the trends in the commercial real estate market in the cities of Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples. In these five cities, which at the same time represent both the largest and the most touristic in our country, only figures with the + sign are recorded, indicating that the suffering of businesses, shops and businesses is still high.

In Milan and Florence, commercial advertisements increased by 3%, in Venice by 19%, in Rome by 16%, in Naples by even 29%. In the Campania capital we report a record increase of + 112% in hotels for sale, warehouses by 67% and offices by 29%. Only the hotels in Florence hold, with numbers that have remained unchanged compared to 2019, despite the crisis having gone down heavily in the Tuscan capital in terms of tourism.

COVID does not stop Accenture in Milan

But in this crisis that seems to have no end there are also lights of hope: the new headquarters of Accenture, a software multinational with billionaire turnover, is almost ready. The employees will be transferred to the new building on Via Bonnet, in the heart of Porta Nuova, as part of a mega investment of 360 million euros, which began in 2019, which despite the pandemic has almost come to an end.

There is talk of the construction of a 20-storey tower with an area of 15 thousand square meters, the heart of a project that has as its cornerstones the sustainability and safety of the occupants. The property is owned by Coima Sgr, one of the most active players in the Milanese real estate market.

Milan was one of the cities where COVID-19 hit the hardest, but there was so much suffering and the desire to start again, to become even stronger than before. According to Francesca Patellani, Geographic Services Director of Accenture Italy, the building is a direct consequence of what we have “experienced in recent months, a combination of flexible work and an important physical place for the professional life of those who will frequent it”.

As for the actual opening times of the new Accenture headquarters, we are talking about September-October: the external works are finished, now it’s time to customize the interiors.

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