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Fimaa: Inflation pushes house prices in 2022

According to the Fimaa-Confcommercio survey on the residential real estate market in the second quarter, sales are expected to rise by 6.2 percent this year. For 73.2% of real estate agents, in the third quarter 2022, housing values ??will remain stable. On the rental front, for 53% of the interviewees the demand is increasing. Supply and rents remain stable.

There is no lack of demand. The offer is missing. For this reason, in the second quarter, for real estate agents Fimaa (Italian Federation of business agents mediators, member of Confcommercio), the housing sale market is characterized by a stabilization of the number of exchanges, of the demand for the purchase and of the prices of buying and selling. While the offer is perceived as a reduction of 48.8 percent.

Increases in prices and rates
The orientation of the operators on the market, in the next 4 months, foresees a general rise in prices for 31% of the respondents. 14.3% fear the reduction in the purchasing power of wages (inflation, however, could also favor the purchase of real estate) due to the increase in energy prices (which also has repercussions on rents) and increases in the costs of raw material.
The rise in interest rates on mortgages, according to almost 21% of the responses received, is showing the first problematic effects, with slowdowns also in the completion of the sales guaranteed by the State (young people under 36), given that the 25-year-old Eurirs is increased by 2 percentage points in two months since the beginning of February.
Concerns about the overall performance of the economy follow with 18.3 percent. In this case, 13% of responses concern the economy tout court, while 3.6% concern the perplexity on the resilience of the employment system and finally 1.7% the poor distribution of income.

The rental market
During 2021, the number of homes rented in Italy was over 1 million and 365 thousand, almost 6% more than the previous year. In the second quarter of 2022, according to 53% of the opinions collected by Fimaa real estate agents, a further strengthening demand corresponds to a slight decrease in supply (46.6%), with a number of contracts and values ??of rents on same levels as in the first four months of the year. The forecasts for the last part of the year, in the opinion of most of the Fimaa operators interviewed, are based on stationarity (66.4% of opinions for the number of contracts and 58, 5% for rents). For rents, however, 24.4% of real estate operators assume an increase.

"The photograph of the residential real estate market in the second quarter of 2022, taken by real estate agents - said Andrea Oliva, coordinator of the Fimaa Research Office - shows a sector that is substantially in good health, driven by new homes which, being energy efficient, also marked a considerable increase in average values. The forecasts for the last quarter of 2022 do not reveal significant changes in relation to the second quarter of the year. The rise in interest rates on mortgages would suggest not waiting for better times for those who intend to buy properties exposing themselves to the risk of a rise in values. The rental market in the second quarter of 2022 is still lively, with further growth in demand and an almost stable supply ". The forecasts for the third quarter of the year, concluded Oliva, "are based on stability both in terms of the number of contracts and rents, which report increases only in metropolitan cities and neighboring areas".

"The uncertainties triggered by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, with the relative increase in energy costs and raw materials, while on the one hand generate a wait-and-see position for some buyers, on the other reinforce the protective orientation towards their savings - said Santino Taverna, national president of Fimaa -. The house, in fact, by not being subjected to the volatility typical of financial products, historically attracts investors even in the phases of increase in inflation. In fact, real estate has always been considered a "safe haven". In the 80s and 90s, properties were always bought and sold despite interest rates over 20% on mortgages, also to protect their savings. The pandemic with the lockdowns has also directed demand towards larger housing solutions, with a garden, balcony or terrace as well as spaces to be dedicated to smart working. Fimaa real estate agents feel, among other things, a renewed interest from investors in small real estate units to be used as second homes by the sea, lake or in the mountains ».

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