A devastating month of March (at best) for the economy and, therefore, for the Spanish residential sector. The rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus has resulted in the entry into force of a state of emergency across Spain, as approved by an Extraordinary Meeting of the Cabinet on Saturday. This represents a challenge for activity in the real estate sector, in particular. Meeting the forecasts for the first quarter will prove impossible, with the movement of people restricted to all but the bare minimum. The fallout for employment and the economy, in general, is going to be far-reaching.
The first obvious impact on the residential sector has been on house viewings. Potential buyers have been cancelling viewings with real estate agencies for days. Sale and purchase signings have also been cancelled for fear of contagion and also of a major recession, according to industry sources. Some real estate companies will rely on virtual house visits for the time being, such as the case of Aedas Homes, which launched its online sales platform, Live, just a few months ago. It is the only platform in the world that allows homes to be visited virtually, with potential buyers being accompanied by a real estate agent. A similar initiative has been introduced by Century 21, which will use virtual reality to show homes and offer real estate advice through video calls. In addition, for the final phase of the house sale, the signing of contracts, and like companies such as CBRE, Vía Célere and Aedas Homes have already done, agencies are enabling a technological solution that allows the sending and signing of documents online with full legal validity and without the need to download applications.
Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake