Spotahome moves to three new cities as Covid causes digital housing rental boom across Europe

LONDON, Jan. 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- International rental marketplace, Spotahome, has announced its expansion to three new European cities as Covid continues to cause a boom in demand across the digital rental market. 

Spotahome has seen how Covid has spurred a boost in demand across Europe’s digital rental market, not only from those looking to secure a rental property in a foreign city without the physical need to view the property, but also amongst tenants moving within their home city who also want to minimise risk and exposure to the virus. 

So much so, Spotahome has expanded its area of operations to Florence, Porto and Vienna, as international tenants lay the foundations for a return to normality and life after Covid. 

Like all areas of life, Covid hit the rental market hard, with widespread restrictions on travel, work and education resulting in a fall in tenant demand. As a result, Spotahome saw rental demand reduce by a monthly average of -46% between January and April of this year, with the largest decline coming from international professional tenants forced to put their career progression on hold. 

However, the unique nature of the digital rental market has enabled many to now traverse the Covid rental landscape and plan for the future, even while the virus continues to linger. While traditional landlords and lettings platforms have seen demand dwindle in major cities leading to a dramatic decline in the rent achieved, Spotahome has seen a significant uplift in market activity from both student and professional tenants looking to move within their own cities as well as those planning a move from one city or country to another. 

Since April, Spotahome has seen demand increase at a rate of 25% per month across Europe and not only are tenants returning, but they’re opting to stay within the sector for longer. Spotahome’s data shows that the average tenant is now staying for 153 days, an 8% increase from the average of 141 days in 2019. 

Consequently and perhaps unusually in commerce right now, Spotahome has expanded its operations across three new European cities to cater for the lift in demand, in addition to the 11 major European destinations it is already well established in. 

VP, Business & Operations at Spotahome, Eduardo Garbayo, commented:

“The digital rental platforms, such as Spotahome, have provided local tenants and landlords a new way of renting their properties, easier, quicker and more secure, since it does not require physical contact.” 

Of course, many tenants have remained cautious about their future and how Covid could impact it, so understandably, they don’t want to commit to a lengthy rental agreement should they need to return home. However, with a vaccine around the corner, many are planning for a return to normality, and they want to be ready to hit the ground running when it happens. 

The digital rental market enables this perfectly, and so demand across the sector has started to climb at a notable rate with tenants also staying for longer until the dust has fully settled.” 

Spotahome is now operational across Florence, Porto and Vienna with 200 to 500 available properties in each of the cities, having seen strong inbound demand via their platform for tenants looking for rental options within these cities. These three locations bolster Spotahome’s existing list of 11 other major European cities of operation and provide yet further opportunities for those looking to rent within the digital rental sector. 

Spotahome CEO, Alejandro Artacho, commented:

“Like most, the second quarter of last year was particularly tough, forcing us to scale back our operations to ensure a super-efficient third quarter. As a result, we saw some of the best margins on record as a business. But as demand returned at a rapid rate during Q3, we decided it was time to stop reducing costs and to start expanding to service this demand.

Our latest expansion allows us to diversify our risk in a geographical sense, but it has also been a part of our longer-term strategy to offer greater choice in our core markets. 

We had always planned to move into Porto to further bolster our operations in Portugal alongside Lisbon as one of our key markets. Italy has also been a strong market for us having operated in Rome and Milan for many years, and so further expansion to Florence also came naturally. 

While Austria is a new market for us, there is a strong connection with Germany in terms of the language and flow of individuals. So it made sense to include Vienna in our expansion plans to further support our operations in Berlin. 

A starvation of travel ability has created a coiled spring off tenant demand on a global scale. While this is yet to fully unravel, the digital rental market is seeing strong signs that this will erupt in 2021. 

Although our hands have been somewhat tied due to the pandemic, we’ve taken the time to prepare for this by implementing the right business infrastructure so we can scale next year.”

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James Lockett