The shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered major changes in real estate, as in other sectors. However, in most cases, it has only accelerated transformation processes that were already in progress. It has essentially been a sort of catalyst that has strengthened the Logistics and Residential growth trend and has exacerbated the uncertainty linked to Retail; Hotels have instead seen a sudden stop, but are intended to recovery rapidly with the gradual resolution of the pandemic; in the Office sector, the crisis has raised several questions regarding the configuration, size and quality of spaces, but this will remain the main asset class of the Italian real estate market.
This is the overview for 2020 which, in figures, involved a decrease in the volume of investments over the previous year by 29%, amounting to €8.8 billion in commercial real estate transactions in Italy: essentially, after a record 2019, there has been a return to 2018 levels, which were adversely affected, above all, by the political uncertainty and the increase in BTPBund spread. The share of foreign investments dropped from 69% to 59% of the total. We do not believe that this is due to any specific reason for pan-European investors to shun Italy but rather to the fact that their activities have shrunk throughout Europe due to COVID-19, whilst domestic investors have even increased the total investments made in Italy in 2020 compared with 2019, likely considering the national market to be safer during this time of uncertainty.
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