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Living on my own: the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on housing preferences

Elisa Guglielminetti (), Michele Loberto, Giordano Zevi and Roberta Zizza ()

No 627, Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) from Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area

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 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I18 O18 R21 R31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ban, nep-eur and nep-ure
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