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In times of crisis, rental becomes a solution once again
08 April 2020 | Ana Tavares

With the crisis caused by Covid-19, rental might become the solution to overcome a bad moment for the real estate market. Francisco Rocha Antunes has no doubts about that.

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During his conversation with Vida Imobiliária for the segment Conversas Diárias – Especial Covid-19 (Daily Talks – Special Covid-19), the Chief Developer at Capital Urbano stated that «we now have an offer of thousands of dwellings in the city centre which no longer have their usual clients» since the main impact with the tourism breakdown is «the number of empty rooms and houses in Porto», which now require to be «converted in types of accommodation which depend less on tourists». He believes that the time has come for the market to be based on «local clients».

In times of crisis, «it is fundamental for any market that all its agents understand that they all need each other – owners and landlords must realise they need to ease their relation with their tenants and look for other tenants as well».

For Francisco Rocha Antunes, it is also important that the Porto City Hall takes the initiative, «and places itself as the rents’ guarantor with the new programs» it has been presenting, such as Porto Com Sentido, which will rent dwellings from owners and sublet them on the affordable housing market, including local housing.

20-year changes in only a few weeks

Admitting that «it is still too soon to realise the full impact of the crisis», Francisco Rocha Antunes believes that «the impact of remote working on real estate will be massive». This will change «very deeply the way we work and the way we shop».

He considers that this will be a «great reset». We will need to rethink everything we do in the real estate market. Where will people want to work? Where will they want to live? Will we need so many physical stores or not? A process that would take 20 years to conclude was now compressed into a few weeks».

On the positive side, the fact is, that according to his experience, «we manage to gain new clients, which may be very unlikely, but there are investors who know that this is the right time to make decisions». And he is sure that, within real estate, «we must remain connected as much as possible through these new means».