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How the Pandemic Affects CEE Real Estate Market

D&T
June 25, 2020

According to a recent survey by Deloitte, almost nine out of ten respondents expect real estate market activity to decline in 2020. Between January and April this year, the perception of the players in the sector changed radically.

Although more than half of the respondents expect only a short-term economic impact, 90% expressed a pessimistic view of the economy as a whole. the biggest challenges are faced by the retail sector, both in terms of investment and development, while the logistics sector may be the winner.
The Deloitte survey was presented by Gábor Kohári, MRICS, a real estate consulting expert at Deloitte Hungary. The study compares the views of real estate market players in the region in two time periods: respondents' sentiment in January 2020, before the COVID-19 epidemic in Europe, compared with their views three months later, when the impact of the epidemic was strongest.

A radical change of attitude
Participants in the research included investors, financiers, developers and market advisers. The economic indicators of Central Europe showed a positive outlook at the beginning of 2020: at that time, 82% of the players in the sector expected the economic situation to remain stable or improve.
A few weeks later, however, the picture changed sharply: by then, 88% of respondents expected activity in the real estate market to decline in the coming months, and a total of 93% had a pessimistic view of the economy. A comparison of the following responses in January and April clearly illustrates the radical change between the two dates:

  • In January 2020, 82% of respondents still believed that the availability of bank financing would improve or remain unchanged. In April, only 25% of respondents thought so;
  • In January, more than a quarter of respondents (27%) expected the size of transactions to increase in 2020, while in April no respondents thought so.

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