Austria’s capital city Vienna is world-famous for its rich history and imperial architecture. Just some highlights include the Vienna State Opera, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and Hundertwasser House. In 2019, Vienna was named for the tenth time as the city offering the highest quality of life in the world, by the international consulting agency Mercer. It managed to impress once again with moderate rents and a wide range of leisure and cultural activities to offer. “The city’s heritage properties and charming palaces make Vienna a desirable first and second home market in Europe. For many years now, the city has been a magnet for buyers and investors from all over the world. In the long term, the coronavirus crisis will not affect either this high level of demand or the upward price curve,” says Philipp Niemann, Managing Director of E&V Residential GmbH.
During the period from March to June 2020, prices on Vienna’s real estate market remained stable, without any significant impact from the coronavirus pandemic. There is still a strong excess in demand, with no change to the limited number of listings on the market. General uncertainty from buyers was registered during the initial outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Real estate agents were not able to hold viewing appointments with clients in person due to the strict social distancing regulations in place. “Our clients responded very positively to digital technologies however. This meant we were able to carry out online property valuations and virtual viewing appointments without any problems while restrictions were in place, and close a number of real estate transactions as a result. Later on, personal viewing appointments were permitted once again, with strict safety measures in place,” Philipp Niemann explains. In the meantime, the frequency of client enquiries, property valuations and actual transactions has returned to the same level as before the coronavirus crisis.
The 1st, 4th, 13th, 17th, 18th and 19th districts rank among the most exclusive places to live in Vienna. Prestigious mansions changed hands here in 2020 for as much as 11.5 million euros. Exclusive freehold apartments have reached top prices per square metre of up to 24,500 euros. Domestic buyers dominate the real estate market in Vienna, at around 60 percent. Other prospective buyers include Germans, Swiss nationals, and Austrians living abroad. The majority of buyers gravitate towards both luxury new developments and refurbished heritage buildings with state-of-the-art fittings and amenities. A good location is also a top priority. The Vienna Market Center has generated a transaction volume of 23 million euros in real estate sales since the start of the lockdown. Engel & Völkers anticipates that prices on Vienna’s real estate market will remain stable. “Interest in residential property is still very high. Real estate will always be a sustainable investment – even during times of crisis. Investors and buyers are drawn by the relative overall stability of Austria’s economy, the high construction standard and the exceptional quality of life in Vienna. We have noticed that our clients have become more critical and are increasingly questioning price and quality when selecting properties. In more and more cases, they are also looking for real estate with outdoor spaces such as a garden or terrace,” says Philipp Niemann.