ANALYSIS: How the pandemic practice of working from home is driving up property prices in rural Spain

HOUSE prices in rural areas across Spain have soared over the last 18 months owing to changing preferences of buyers, who are now looking for bigger homes with more outdoor space.

A shift in working practices since the pandemic hit means many people are now more able to work from home and are therefore reassessing their living conditions.

This has created a tempting opportunity for workers to move to a cheaper, quieter place with more living space away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. 

A study conducted by property portal Idealista found that housing in towns of less than 5,000 population has gone up by 6.2% on average across Spain, far surpassing the 1.2% rise in house prices generally since March 2020 when the pandemic hit.

Spain’s leading property valuation firm Tinsa explained the rise as a direct reaction to the months of being cooped up inside when Spain imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe in March 2020. 

They said house buyers were seeking to move as a ‘reaction to the lack of space both inside and outside homes during quarantine’. 

Meanwhile property developer AEDAS Homes found the number of people contemplating a move was higher among those who had the option of working from home.

In a survey of 4,000 workers they found 34.7% of those who work at home for three or more days expressed a desire to move home in the next two years.

Rural Areas
Image: Pixabay

The figure drops to just 21.4% of those who do not have the option of working from home.

The survey found a notable change away from urban living with people saying they would happily give up communal recreational areas in place of more private space.   

In answer to the question: “What would you give up to find your perfect home?” the most popular responses were access to sports courts, children’s playgrounds or gyms.

Buyers are now considering moving out of urban centres to smaller towns where houses are far cheaper and their money will go further. 

On average in Spain, the price per square metre in the provincial capitals is €1,729, while in towns with less than 5,000 inhabitants the average price per square metre drops to €834.

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