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

Abstract

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

Guglielminetti, Elisa and Loberto, Michele and Zevi, Giordano and Zizza, Roberta, Living on my Own: The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Housing Preferences (June 25, 2021). Bank of Italy Occasional Paper No. 627, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3891671 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3891671

Elisa Guglielminetti (Contact Author)

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

Michele Loberto

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

Giordano Zevi

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
00184 Roma
Italy

Roberta Zizza

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
00184 Roma
Italy

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