Living on my Own: The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Housing Preferences
55 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2021
Date Written: June 25, 2021
We quantify the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on housing demand of Italian households by exploiting new information on their search activity on the market. The data comes from two unique datasets: the Italian Housing Market Survey, conducted quarterly on a large sample of real estate agents, and the universe of weekly housing sales advertisements taken from Immobiliare.it, a popular online portal for real estate services in Italy. The latter includes high-frequency and house-specific measures of online interest of potential home buyers. The pandemic induced a large increase in demand for houses located in areas with lower population density, mainly driven by a significant shift in preferences towards larger, single-family housing units, endowed with outdoor spaces. Fear of contagion, lockdown measures and the rise of remote working arrangements all likely shaped the evolution of housing demand, with potential long-lasting consequences on the housing market.
Keywords: Covid-19, housing market, real estate, online housing advertisements, survey data, working from home
JEL Classification: I18, O18, R21, R31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation