Milan and Rome: Greater demand for large properties designed for smart working

Milan and Rome have been for many years the most prestigious real estate markets of Italy. According to the “Market Report for Residential Property in Milan & Rome first half year 2020” published by Engel & Völkers, both of these metropolitan cities saw a change in the trend of the luxury segment. The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a greater need for properties with outdoor spaces and extra rooms that make it possible to work from home. “Thanks to the highest level of technological and digital tools, we have been able to meet the needs of our customers during COVID-19. These have become indispensable during a time where we have been facing new market challenges and client contact has been reduced,” says Alberto Cogliati, Commercial Director at Engel & Völkers Italy.

Hamburg - This 600-square-metre rooftop apartment in the historic centre of Rome is on sale for 12 million euros. It consists of six bedrooms, six bathrooms and two parking spaces. (Image Source: Engel & Völkers Market Center Roma)

Milan property market: Stable prices in the first half of the year

In the first half of 2020, prices in all areas of Milan remained substantially stable compared to the previous six months. The most expensive freehold apartments in Italy were located in the historic centre of the country’s fashion and design capital. Prices in the Quadrilatero and Brera districts reached as much as 18,000 euros per square metre, 17,500 euros per square metre in Porta Nuova in the Northern area of Milan and 17,000 euros in San Babila and Castello Foro Bonaparte. “Corona has had an important impact on the demand trend, both in the buying and selling sector, changing buyers’ preferences in favour of large outdoor spaces and rooms for smart-working,” says Roberto Magaglio, Licence Partner of Engel & Völkers Milano. “Given the high volume of investments in important urban redevelopment works, we believe that Milan's market, compared to other cities, will certainly be the first to reach the same level again after its slight decrease,” he explains. International buyers have especially reshown interest in purchasing a property once the borders reopened in July.

Rome: COVID-19 effect could redraw the capital's housing map

The demand for real estate in Rome has been rising since May. With the coronavirus pandemic the property market in Italy’s capital has seen different priorities and housing needs. “An extremely positive element at the end of the lockdown period was the high demand to replace the main residence with larger properties that were better suited to the new needs highlighted during the lockdown period. With an openness towards new neighbourhoods in favour of quieter and not necessarily central living, with green areas and outdoor spaces,” says Helio Cordeiro Teixeira, Managing Director of the Engel & Völkers Market Center in Rome. “The new needs that are emerging now could lead to a change in the housing map that could prove to be a great opportunity for the real estate sector,” he remarks. Renovated freehold apartments located in the historic centre of Rome reached peaks of up to 11,000 euros per square metre in areas such as Campo Marzio and Trevi. Buyers from Central and Northern Europe, particularly from Belgium, Germany and France, still express interest in luxury properties in the districts of Pigna, Parione and Campo Marzio.

Outlook: Great demand for areas outside the historic city centers

The next political and economic maneuvers that will be adopted at national level will be fundamental in tracing the path towards renewed economic stability for the second half of 2020. Engel & Völkers forecasts stable prices for all the city areas in Milan and Rome. “We expect that the demand for real estate with larger living areas and outdoor spaces will continue to rise and people will also consider to move outside of the historical city centers. In terms of property prices, these will remain stable also for the first semester of 2021,” concludes Alberto Cogliati.


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