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European Housing Trend Report 2022

Lisa Pribik
Head of Marketing at RE/MAX Europe

The cross-European consumer survey reveals the coming trends that will have the biggest impact on the real estate market.

Understanding where you stand today is critical if you want to prepare for where you are headed tomorrow, and with so much changing these days, it’s vital for consumers and real estate professionals alike to have the latest market information. So we recently surveyed almost 16,000 people across 22 countries in Europe to understand emerging and developing trends. We are thrilled to release the results: our brand-new RE/MAX European Housing Trend Report 2022. The report reveals insights into the changing attitudes of consumers as well as significant differences between countries, generational-based living trends, investment motivations, international moving patterns, and much more. Read on for just some of the highlights…

Economy not discouraging consumers

Europe is in one of the most turbulent periods in recent history, however, despite the ongoing effects of the pandemic, energy shortages, and political divisions, the negative news is not discouraging European homeowners as much as you might expect. In fact, 45% of people are now more likely to buy a property than they were last year. What’s more, among those who say they are more ready to move than last year, nearly a fifth of those surveyed (18%) see moving as an answer to the rising cost of living – as a way to reduce household bills by downsizing, moving to a cheaper area or buying a more energy-efficient property.

Motivated by work or entrepreneurship

However, with predictions of harder times ahead for the European economy, reducing costs is not the only financial incentive for consumers to move house. Some consumers are looking at relocation as a means to increase their earning power through new work or new businesses. This desire for work opportunities has the biggest effect in Croatia (17%) and Slovenia (16%), where almost one in six are now more likely to move for work. In Croatia, 12% want to move to open a new business – more than four times the level in the Czech Republic (3%) or Germany (4%).

More optimism for younger consumers

Unsurprisingly, younger consumers are significantly more likely to move within the next five years, as they leave their parents’ homes, start university or work and look to move in with friends or partners. Almost a quarter (24%) of 18-25-year-olds expect to move by summer 2023 and another 54% expect to move within two to five years. Urban areas are the destination for young consumers who are attracted to cities for access to work (50.8%), educational opportunities (37.1%), the chance to mix with more diverse communities (36.6%), or to feel part of modern life (34.9%).

Climate change and shifting priorities

With the frequency of wildfires, droughts and floods increasing, climate change has already driven many consumers to make lifestyle choices to reduce energy consumption. Many consumers are willing to make still more compromises: Some 31% of Europeans said they would move to a smaller property for a more environmentally-friendly house. However, while Europe is considered a world leader in environmental protection, when it comes to homeownership, attitudes vary a lot. In the Netherlands, over 40% of respondents would not make any concessions for the environment, whereas in Turkey almost 80% would make one or more compromises – possibly reflecting the extreme weather events Turkey experienced in 2022, from heavy snowfall to a rare supercell storm.

Growing attraction of the countryside

After some 200 years of migration from rural areas toward towns, the data from this survey shows signs that this trend is reversing. While two-thirds of consumers are happy in their current location – primarily in cities – one in five are considering moving to a coastal or rural location – which is more than twice the number contemplating a move to a town or city. Those aged 26-55 were most likely to want to move to the country, but even 19% of 18-25-year-olds are looking for rural life. The attractions to the countryside were primarily to be closer to nature, have more space, and increased privacy. Despite the pandemic’s push for so many to work from home, respondents ranked this far down their list of reasons to move to rural areas.

Dreams of moving abroad

Nearly a quarter of Europeans are looking beyond their national borders, either as their primary home or as an investment property. However, the differences between countries are significant: In the Czech Republic, 78% of respondents would not choose to move to another country, while 55% of respondents in Malta hope to move abroad. Younger people are also much more likely to consider moving abroad – almost two-fifths (39%) of survey respondents aged 18-25 are thinking about buying abroad, compared to just 14.7% of those aged 56-65. And Europeans aren’t just looking for more sunshine – because although Spain is the top destination for those looking to buy abroad, England is a close second.

While it is impossible to predict the future, the 2022 European Housing Trend Report is a critical tool to anticipate and prepare for changes in the housing market in Europe. To read more insights from across Europe and go in-depth for individual regional summaries, download the full report.

Please Note: While RE/MAX Europe has compiled the information on this page diligently and to the best of its knowledge, RE/MAX Europe does not assume any liability for the accuracy of the information or for any damages resulting from the use of the information.

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