Many media have been talking about it for weeks, and it is confirmed by the President of the National Real Estate Federation, as this article in Le Figaro tells us: housing demand in the countryside has risen dramatically after the coronavirus-related health crisis and the subsequent containment. This may include 200,000 households, or one tenth of the annual amount of transactions normally observed. What are the reasons for this craze and can we expect the urban exodus to be major?
A reflection resulting from the health crisis?
Forced telework during isolation has increased consciousness for staff who have never done it before: it is possible to work from home. Naturally, thinking evolves towards the constraints associated with face-to-face work: the need to live close to the workplace – most often in the heart or close to large cities – and the constraints of this living environment: traffic jams, pollution and increased promiscuity. What if we could have had another life?
The health crisis, however, has only exacerbated a pattern seen since at least 2018: the desire for a “greener” climate. The drawbacks of the city are so great that it’s hard to counterbalance its attractions. But for the moment we can’t talk of a true urban exodus, more of a sprawl of the cities whose suburbs are growing.
The real search for real estate buyers
What has intensified the health crisis especially is the need for room and greenery for urban dwellers who have been unable to take advantage of public natural spaces for two months. And the nuisance of overcrowding among neighbors who could not be away from their homes. Inevitably, cravings emerged for other areas.
Many households now want to acquire property as a primary or secondary residence in the countryside. But work can also concentrate on products in a more open urban setting with an exterior – depending on the financial means. Therein lies the real need: to be able to engage in your favorite hobbies without upsetting the other, to detach yourself if need arises, in short to have more rooms.
An effect that could last
Given the constraints still present, the deconfinement allowed everyone to resume a more outward-oriented rhythm. What could make us forget the stresses of confining and evacuation plans.
But the health crisis is likely to intensify – and bear fruit – a reflection on some new or pre-existing problems. First, the physical proximity promises increased coronavirus exposure or a future pandemic. Then, wellness concerns encourage people to move away from pollution, and why not create their own vegetable garden. Finally, a property in a rural area will be much more spacious at an equivalent price, and will most often have a large exterior.
In the countryside square meters are cheaper, possibly the key reason for the rise in demand. Two months of isolation in an often crowded interior makes having a spacious property understandably so. But only the future can tell us true expectation or contextual influence. At least one thing is certain: the housing market does not complain in complete recovery!