The real estate It has been affected by the pandemic, with the consequent changes that it has had to implement at forced marches. However, pre-pandemic levels are beginning to recover.
In this sense, UCI (Union of Real Estate Credits), an entity specialized in sustainable housing finance, and its development area for real estate professionals, SIRA, have recently brought together 27 CEOS and main managers of large real estate networks in Spain -among which are Redpiso, RE / MAX, Century 21, Donpiso, or Look & Find- to discuss all the variables that affect the real estate market in the I Immorate Residential Forum, a meeting held within the framework of Inmociónate 2021, aimed at professionals in the sector.
The opening of the day was given by Roberto Colomer, CEO of UCI and deputy chairman of the European Mortgage Federation, who assured that the real estate sector must “Be proud of the support you have brought to society during the pandemic.” In addition, he highlighted some of the issues that hinder the development of the sector, such as “affordability”, that is, the possibility that buyers can afford access to housing with a reasonable salary, as well as accessibility and rehabilitation of homes as essential points to achieve the European decarbonisation objective.
Addressing the new Housing Law, Colomer stressed that “It is not necessary to oppose the existence of a rule that regulates access to housing, although greater legal certainty is necessary, especially in everything related to the right to property.”
This I Immociónate Residential Forum also hosted a round of debate moderated by José Manuel Fernández, UCI deputy director general, where the attendees raised their expectations and proposals to improve the real estate sector and facilitate access to housing, as well as to boost the growth of its professionals.
Among the topics addressed, those that affect regulation, new business models, additional services in real estate agencies, technology and digitization, demographic challenges of housing, health and well-being have had a special role; in addition to the current situation of the sector and the expectations for 2022, based on a previous survey carried out with the CEOS and main executives of large real estate networks attending the forum.
What do the CEOS think about the regulation?
Consulted by the regulation of real estate brokerage, with a rule similar to the one that has been made for financial brokerage, eight out of 10 executives claim to agree with the implementation of a rule, which comes from a registry of companies and agents, putting the focus on consumer protection and transparency.
Thus, Gerard Duelo, president of the general council of the Official Associations of Property Agents, was optimistic about the new Housing Law and assured that this regulation “It is a unique opportunity that we must not miss without trying to establish an order.”
For her part, Maria José Corrales, President of Housing, pointed out that “Europe is advocating for sectors to regulate themselves through specialized qualification and training”. And added that “The main objective of training is to be useful and beneficial for consumers”. In addition, Miguel Ángel Gómez, president of AMADEI (Madrid Association of Real Estate Companies), pointed out that “We need to have a voice that represents the entire sector.”
Digital and specialized
The pandemic has accelerated the digital and technological transformation of real estate agencies. In fact, as reflected in this survey carried out by UCI and SIRA, the use of technological and digital tools is increasingly present in real estate activity. Among its benefits, agents especially value the agility of digital transactions, as well as greater transparency and control of operations for customers.
Recovery of the sector and expectations for 2022
Currently, according to six out of 10 CEOs and representatives of Spanish real estate networks, home purchase transactions are growing significantly and prices remain stable or with a slight increase. In addition, since the beginning of the pandemic, interest has been maintained in exterior houses, with a garden or terrace and facilities for teleworking. A more negative effect has had the Covid-19 in the rental of housing, since almost half of real estate companies point to a decrease, although not very marked, in these operations and in rental prices.
A situation of stability in the real estate sector that predicts an optimistic future in the eyes of these executives, since nine out of 10 expect to increase their billing level in 2022. Of these, one in four real estate networks expects to bill 30% more in the next year.
Most of these managers assure that they could slightly increase their workforce and their number of offices. Likewise, one of the most shared opinions is that the main investment from their agencies will go to technology and digitization, as well as to the training of the agents themselves.