Real estate, the Palermo market at a peak: smartworking saves the center

The Politeama no longer attracts investors who bought and transformed every closet into B & B and holiday homes, the most attractive residential areas, such as via Libertà, hold their own only thanks to those who have permanent jobs and are looking for spaces to work in smartworking. And the houses of the “new city” lose value. But the historic center has held up, where the business destination has changed: from one-week rentals for tourists to long-term rentals. Maybe new professions on the rise (which creditors like), such as public and private employees, doctors and health professions. The only ones who kept the Palermo real estate market afloat in the year of the pandemic, photographed by the Tecnocasa study center. In 2020, sales plummeted by 12 percent, in a city where houses and buildings have lost a third of their value in the last ten years.

The decline of the Politeama

The macro-area where prices have contracted the most is the city center, understood as the area around the Politeama, dragged down by the tourism blackout. “In recent years, the market in this area had been supported by the purchase of apartments to be transformed into bed and breakfasts and holiday homes, so the owners put them up for sale, or kept them, hoping to rent them out for a long time”, Alessandro observes. Pedivellano, team manager in Sicily for Tecnocasa. An effect that has had strong repercussions on the nearby Borgo Vecchio, the most attractive area for investors of this type, because it is central and with low costs, just 1000 euros per square meter. But among the areas where prices and business fall, those parts of the “new city” continue to stand out, which in recent years real estate consultants have downgraded to “semi-periphery”: not only Viale Strasburgo and San Lorenzo, but the Uditore macro-area, the area that it surrounds the park of the Favorita and that of the Mediterranean Fair.

The center never sleeps

The biggest surprise comes from the historic center. Those who believed that with the lockdown, the brake on tourism and the closed premises it would stop, had miscalculated: “The pedestrianization and redevelopment have triggered a renewal process that does not stop: the historic center is a” lion in a cage “- says Pedivellano – those who rented to tourists, now, are looking for long-term Palermo and those who have capital continue to buy while waiting for better times “. The most attractive areas are those near the marina – favored by the redevelopment plan launched by the Port Authority – or close to tourist sites. Most of the operations do not exceed 100 thousand euros and are often two-room apartments of 40-50 square meters, which yield on average rentals of 450 euros per month. The most attractive area remains that of the Foro Italico, between via Alloro and via Butera, where some solutions with a sea view are close to 2500 euros per square meter. It is no coincidence that after the Valsecchi operation at Palazzo Butera, a consortium of investors from Northern Italy has bet on the nearby Palazzo Petrulla and that a residential real estate complex is being built in Sant’Erasmo, next to the new marina.

Smart working effect

But the pandemic has also produced implications of “real estate sociology”: “We have seen the identikit of customers change – says Pedivellano – until the first months of 2020, professionals, restaurateurs, or workers in the tourism and catering sector were moving. buys those who are wealthy and that middle class with a guaranteed income, such as teachers, public and private employees and new hires, including young people, in the medical and health professions “. It is these customers, the only ones to whom the banks lend, to feed the market in the most attractive segment of the bourgeois class, that of Sampolo, Libertà, Statue, Don Bosco.

“In these areas, the market is led by families who are looking for first spacious homes also due to the pandemic and teleworking from home – observes Pedivellano. Many are doctors and workers in the health professions, often young and newly hired, looking for new homes or solutions in rent to get away from the paternal home and not infect the parents “. Distance learning has also played a part for the university area of ​​Viale delle Scienze, where business has contracted, since many off-site students take courses behind a screen and attend the city only for exams. Now, the sector expects a rebound in 2021: the Abitare.com observatory estimates a range of between 3 and 9 percent more sales.

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