On February 26th, I published an article titled Financial Coronavirus. In that article, I colossally underestimated the health impact that would ultimately be produced around the world by what, with sarcastic condescension, I called “the bug”.
In fact, it suggested that the greatest danger that threatened us then was not a health crisis, but the “irresponsible” management that could occur in networks, and in the media, of the information in this regard. At the height of the audacity, I even bet in a radio interview that in January 2021 no one would remember the coronavirus. Obviously, not only will the coronavirus be discussed next year, but also probably in the next 100 years, and it will be a subject of study in all disciplines, from health to economics, through psychology.
I humbly admit my mistake in my assessment at the time, and I can only argue in my defense and for my consolation that my poor divinatory skills were not much worse than those of innumerable politicians, doctors, scientists, etc. However, in that article I also launched a forecast in which unfortunately I was not so wrong and it was about the economic consequences that the phenomenon could produce, although, and I have to say this too, I never suspected that they could be so devastating.
As predicted, the financial tsunami produced has exposed the volatility, if not fragility, of the equity markets, that is, and to understand us, the stock market. On that playing field it is obvious that some have won because many others have lost, or, put another way, the stock market is normally a 0-sum game where a few win what many lose.
This is why, once again, I want to vindicate the real estate sector as a refuge sector for investment in difficult times like the ones we are experiencing. Naturally, the real estate market in all its aspects cannot, and will not be, oblivious to the turbulence that we are already experiencing and those that are coming, but its strength and resilience will face much better the financial pandemic that will follow the viral pandemic.
Almost nothing will be the same after the pandemic, and of course, neither will the real estate sector.
Both the market, as well as the real estate concept itself, will have to be deeply rethought. New demands, needs and trends are already on the horizon that professionals in the sector have to make us reflect, from now on, to give a complete and effective response to the challenges that we are going to face. As an example, it occurs to me for the moment that telecommuting will lead to an exodus from the center of cities, or their urban areas, towards smaller municipalities with more affordable prices and a better quality of life. In this regard, for example, our region has an important role to play, since we must not only attract new clients of national origin but also, as is our tradition, international.
The mousetraps that many cities have become, or, for example, residences for the elderly, invite us to think about larger and better prepared homes from a biosanitary point of view where there is enormous room for improvement. The residential concept itself, especially for the increasingly numerous European elderly mentioned above, will have to be directed towards complexes equipped with a certain degree of healthcare facilities, while providing them with space and habitability, as well as the necessary health security in the face of a future circumstance similar to the one experienced.
The real estate market is going to be very active in the coming months and years and I believe that it is not a brave decision, but a sensible one, to consider betting on a sector, which in addition to being a traditional refuge for investment in major financial crises, in This case is also called to play a key and relevant role in the recovery and in the new economy that will necessarily emerge after the financial pandemic.