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Despite the economic turmoil induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, residential rents in major European cities – with a few notable exceptions – held up well in 2020. This paper sheds light on the stability and resilience of European residential markets by showing that the path of asking rents remained solid throughout a year.

Key points

  • Rents in the residential sector have not moved substantially during 2020 as measured by listings from multiple listings systems (MLSs).
  • There is more dynamics at the high end in most cities analysed, but base line rents remained solid.
  • No significant evidence for “flight” into the suburbs. Areas popular before the pandemic remain so during the pandemic – demand has not substantially changed.
  • There is evidence of an ‘inverse Airbnb effect’ in markets such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Madrid and Rotterdam as landlords seek to limit rental losses by switching assets from the Airbnb market to longer lease use.
  • PATRIZIA believes European residential assets went into the COVID-19 crisis as a solid performer and will emerge even stronger from the pandemic. This is further supported by the performance of rents throughout the COVID-19 crisis, which have largely proven to be stable and resilient and are likely to continue to remain so.

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