Property And The Pandemic – Part 2
Where are the safest places to buy?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the way we live our lives and the decisions we make every day – and the property market is no different.
Naturally, we’re happy to report it hasn’t dried up; not by any means. Indeed, since travel restrictions were eased a little in June, most countries have been reporting a surge of activity. Buyers and sellers have been trying to get deals done speedily in case there’s a second wave.
But, if you’re considering investing overseas, there are factors to take into account. Any could affect your decision on which home to buy – if not in terms of design then at least in location.
Of course, the coronavirus may not be so much of a factor in months or years to come – particularly if the search for an effective vaccine is successful. However, in the meantime, here are a few things you might want to think about:
Buying in the city
There’s safety in numbers or so the saying goes but, when COVID-19 really got a hold, suddenly, living cheek-by-jowl with millions of others seemed less attractive. In fact, fears about the spread of the virus prompted many to seek refuge away from the cities. Those who could were soon snapping up rented homes in less crowded areas usually let to holidaymakers.
The rental market in many less-populated areas is still benefiting even now but it might not have been such a smart move by the new tenants. Although those who joined the exodus for the city may perceive themselves as safer, local hospitals may not be as well-equipped or have the capacity to cope should an outbreak occur.
So, if you’re buying property and you feel you need to factor in a COVID-19 risk, make sure you check out the health and hospital facilities nearby. You can sometimes use Facebook groups and forums to ask the relevant questions.
Also bear in mind, if you’re a newcomer to a foreign land, you may need health insurance. Not every policy is universally accepted so make sure you know you’re covered and how much it’s going to cost.
Buying in town
It’s natural to assume there is less risk from the virus among a smaller population. After all, smaller towns tend to have less-mobile populations with fewer people coming and going for business and the habits of the residents themselves are perhaps less transient.
This was certainly the case when travel restrictions were imposed and the populations of many countries were prevented from moving around freely. However, these are strange times and the usual trends may not apply, particularly in areas which have been re-opened to tourism.
If you’re considering a purchase overseas – at least while COVID-19 remains an issue – it may be safe to presume the risk levels in a city will remain pretty much constant. However, they may ebb and flow in a town – particularly in spots which tend to be popular with holidaymakers.
Buying in a village
Once again, it would seem to stand to reason that fewer people will mean substantially less risk. Also, properties in villages and other rural locations tend to be well-spaced and close contact with other people need not be quite so much of an everyday occurrence.
However, villages can also exist in bubbles. While a strong sense of community is often a good thing, it’s also possible communication on the current risks and precautions may not penetrate quite as much as they do in cities and towns. In rural Turkey for example, villagers may have lived their lives in much the same way for generations and change – in whatever form – can be a long time coming.
It’s also worth bearing in mind, should the virus arrive, resources which can help may be some distance away.
As ever, the choice is very much down to the individual. Some will feel very much safer closer to the hub – and therefore ready assistance – while others will prefer to be as far away from any potential risk as they can.
But, as ever, if you’d like any further advice on a move overseas, the current availability of Golden Visas in Portugal or citizenship in Turkey, or just a general chat about the logistics involved in a fresh start overseas, please let us know. We’d love to help if we can.
Alternatively, feel free to browse other blog posts or why not have a look at some of the villas and apartments we have for sale by clicking here.