Italy has undoubtedly been one of the main countries worldwide to be under the spotlight during the coronavirus, especially the region of Lombardy and its metropolitan city Milan. During the three months of complete lockdown, from the beginning of March until the end of May 2020, citizens of the Italian fashion and design capital, just like any other Italian city, were interdicted from leaving their homes. Engel & Völkers has analysed the effects of the lockdown on local property prices and location developments. “Milan is now slowly trying to come back to normality. Fortunately, the real estate market seems to be strong enough to resist this pandemic with no major kickdowns on prices and demand,” says Marco Sorbara, Sales Director of Engel & Völkers in Milan.
Regardless of the strict measurements imposed by the Italian government during the three months, property transactions have been carried out thanks to virtual tours and online meetings. Engel & Völkers Milan has rigorously worked with digital platforms such as Matterport, to virtually show their clients around, and has executed a couple of transactions in the seven-digit range. “Over the last three months, prospective clients, of which 95 percent were national, have been very open-minded when it came to digital technologies. They have accepted virtual viewing appointments with great interest. We believe that these technological tools will open up a new perspective towards local and international buyers in the upcoming future,” explains Roberto Magaglio, Managing Partner of Engel & Völkers in Milan.
Central districts such as San Babila and Castello, as well as the historic Quadrilatero and Brera quarters still remain the most sought-after areas, where top prices per square metre in the portfolio of Engel & Völkers reached 19,000 euros for apartments. During the coronavirus period an apartment has been sold here for 4.4 million euros. “We also noticed that many clients are now seriously interested in moving into flats with a terrace, as well as houses or apartments on the ground floor with a garden. An office room for smart working is now very much appreciated as well,” says Marco Sorbara.
Milan as well as the country’s future will largely depend on the political and economic strategies that the government will adopt in the next weeks and months, to guide Italy out of this period. “Engel & Völkers predicts a significant reduction of number of property sales in the second half of 2020 due to the COVID-19 lockdown, however prices will remain stable for the moment. Properties with terraces and gardens will slightly grow in value as the demand will rise,” Marco Sorbara concludes.