The coronavirus pandemic, which has affected almost no state in the world, has forced us to look at familiar things from a different angle. This also applies to the arrangement of houses and apartments, many of which, most likely, will no longer look the same. And we are talking not only about those residential real estate objects that are at the planning stage, but also about those that have already been put into operation.
Finding themselves in self-isolation, citizens of many countries around the world began to refurbish their homes based on their own preferences or following the recommendations of designers who quickly identified new trends. If previously few could afford to set up a “home office” in an apartment, even dedicating part of a room or a glassed-in loggia to it, then with the transition to remote work this has become a vital necessity.
Corresponding furniture has also become in demand – in particular, compact computer desks with shelves and drawers where all documents and accessories can be stored.
In turn, owners of houses with land used gazebos and verandas for work purposes, which helped them escape from unpleasant thoughts and concentrate on business. For representatives of almost all professions – especially creative ones – it is important to have a source of inspiration and positivity (this time in the form of living nature), when the established restrictions set one in a completely different mood.
The closure of schools and kindergartens played an important role, which is why many families were in a confined space for such a long period of time for almost the first time in their lives. At the same time, in a number of countries, parents did not have the opportunity to walk long enough with their children or dogs in the fresh air (there were restrictions on walks by time and distance, for example, in Spain) so that they could give vent to their emotions. In view of this, it was necessary to create spaces for study and entertainment – usually in living rooms, which have lost their former purpose.
In recent years, almost all over the world there has been an increase in the number of people involved in sports for recreational purposes – primarily fitness, running, and cycling. No amount of “jogging” along the corridors or terraces could fully replace them – moreover, they were extremely dangerous to health. The only way out in this situation was to purchase sports equipment: dumbbells, barbells, multifunctional machines, exercise bikes and treadmills, which could be placed in the house without infringing on the freedom of other family members.
Many experts do not deny the likelihood of a “second wave” of the coronavirus pandemic and the return of various kinds of restrictions. Already now in the real estate markets there is an increase in demand for apartments with isolated rooms and spacious loggias/balconies. At the same time, interest in studios and other open-plan housing (kitchen combined with living room, etc.), where self-isolation was especially difficult, has decreased. The presence of shops, pharmacies, parks and other amenities within walking distance is also important.
For potential real estate buyers, safety and comfort come to the fore, which can be provided by smart home technologies, which allow minimizing contact with various surfaces: common intercom and elevator buttons, door handles, switches. And although it is still too early to talk about any radical changes in approaches to design, in some countries they have already begun to bring ideas to life.
Thus, in Spain, architects, engineers and specialists in the field of sanitary certification have developed a new construction concept based on the “new normal”. Since the roofs of apartment buildings are considered a public place, where access was prohibited during the pandemic to avoid crowding of people, the need to create landscaped areas and solariums there has disappeared. But spacious terraces have become more valuable than ever before.
In interior spaces, there was a need to install partitions, panels or sliding doors so that at any time part of the room could turn into a classroom, office or even a place to play with the dog.
During the lockdown – the toughest in all of Europe – Spaniards have become more in need of sunshine and fresh air, so apartments with tiny windowless bedrooms are unlikely to attract much interest, despite their low cost. Increasing attention is being paid to the quality of construction and finishing materials, including those that do not contain harmful substances and do not absorb them from the outside. And according to most forecasts, compliance with all these recommendations should not significantly affect the price of real estate in Spain.