Publications

- April 1, 2021: Vol. 15, Number 4

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Strong foundations: The outlook for Europe’s post-pandemic residential hotspots remains compelling

by Paul Oremus

From Amsterdam to Zurich, many cities across Europe have been dynamos of economic and population growth over the past decade, leading to soaring residential property prices, rising rents and increasing interest from investors, particularly for build-to-rent assets.

This burgeoning subsector of the private rented sector (PRS) has been supported by three factors: The strong economic performance of individual cities (which is often well above national levels to attract both internal and external migration); demographic trends such as rising levels of single occupancy; and low interest rates to fuel demand from investors.

However, after years of supply being unable to keep up with demand, due to the limited availability of land and development finance constraints, the COVID-19 pandemic risks changing the fundamental nature and draw of Europe’s cities. The acceleration of working from home, the decline of physical retail and the yet unknown impact of a year of restriction

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