HOW THE PANDEMIC AFFECTED REAL ESTATE SELECTION CRITERIA02/07/2020
PSN Group carried out a survey to assess changes in the key selection criteria for clients as regards the purchase of real estate. Around 300 people answered the developer’s questions.
The survey results indicated that more than half of respondents (58.6%) had switched to remote working during the lockdown. Approximately 30% had a positive view of this format and expressed a desire to work fr om home in the future. 42% are ready to combine remote working with periodic visits to the office.
About a third noted a significant drop in income — by more than 20%. At the same time, more than half (55%) felt no financial change during the pandemic.
67.3% of respondents have children, and only 23% experienced no discomfort due to the closure of schools during this period. A third of survey participants noted the need to arrange extra leisure activities for children.
More than 30% would review their selection criteria if buying a flat after the pandemic. These include criteria whose significance has risen by more than 5% after the pandemic compared with before. First of all, the importance of real estate value has increased. What's more, some respondents admitted that they would not buy a flat or take out a mortgage in the post-pandemic period, and would reconsider their plans and financial options — direct confirmation that clients’ income and purchasing power have decreased.
A portion of respondents noted that the availability of recreation zones and sports infrastructure for adults inside the residential complex was now more important for them. The significance of social and commercial facilities inside the residential complex (clinics, pharmacies, shops, etc.) also increased. More than 14% stated that the decoration and finishing of common areas had become more important; logistics and the layout of communal space in terms of separating pedestrian and vehicle flows are now weightier issues for 8%.
Other factors now more consequential are the number of flats per storey and the interior finishing, including the suggestion that more properties should be sold pre-finished. This is partly because many buyers over the past few months have revised their attitude towards finishing, and are now ready to purchase fully finished flats to save time and money.
There is greater need for additional space inside the residential complex: for example, a clubhouse, a separate workplace or a study inside the flat wh ere one can work and hold conference calls without interfering, or interference from, other family members and without leaving the home. These trends emerged long before the pandemic and have since solidified.
The criteria least affected by the pandemic were location and district, transport accessibility, the presence of parks and pedestrian areas near the building, the storey, layout and orientation of the flat, and the window views.In addition, respondents suggested other criteria that they would now pay more attention to when choosing a property, and which, in their opinion, developers should focus on. They include such factors as contactless opening of doors in common areas, disinfection of hallways, elevators and public spaces in the immediate vicinity of the residential complex, the availability of a balcony or loggia in the flat, as well as personal plots of land for residents, and a secluded courtyard.
Hence, the study showed that despite the new realities the pandemic and economic crisis have not radically altered people’s approach and attitude to buying real estate. In general, their preferences and selection criteria remain the same as before, with some clients adjusting the priority of certain factors.
Ekaterina Thain, Vice President, Retail Sales, PSN Group:
“The survey results show that things turned out less frightening than was predicted at the very beginning of the epidemic. Many of us feared that our lifestyle and habits would change dramatically, that we wouldn’t be able to adapt to self-isolation and remote working. But now we see that the vast majority of people have successfully adapted to the new conditions of existence, and are eager to carry on living and developing, start a family and buy a property. What's more, the desire to live in big cities will remain, and demand for flats in the capital will stay at a high level.”
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