No. 627 - Living on my own: the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on housing preferences

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by Elisa Guglielminetti, Michele Loberto, Giordano Zevi and Roberta ZizzaJune 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected Italian households' behaviour in many ways. Some changes could be long-lasting and affect households' housing preferences long term together with the dynamics of the real estate market. Using data from the Italian Housing Market Survey and the sales advertisements taken from the portal, the paper analyses the changes in housing demand in 2020.

Based on an econometric analysis that considers a broad set of housing characteristics, both physical and relating to the location of the dwelling, the paper shows that the recovery in housing demand recorded in the second half of 2020 was significantly stronger for larger properties, for single-family ones and for those with outdoor spaces. There is also a demand shift towards houses located in areas with a lower population density, implying a reversal of the trend compared with previous years.