The Covid-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions on international travel have hindered foreign buyers from investing in overseas real estate, and as a result, domestic buyers are dominating many luxury markets around the globe. In the U.S., for instance, the National Association of Realtors found that international buyers accounted for US$54.4 billion in home sales from April 2020 to March 2021, a 27% decrease from the same period the previous year.
There have been similar shifts in Europe. In Spain, for example, the first quarter of 2021 saw a 23% drop in foreign investment from the first quarter of 2019, the Association of Spanish Land Registrars found.
Diminished competition from overseas investors—and the desire to upgrade to larger properties amid the pandemic and ongoing remote-work policies—have motivated domestic buyers to purchase luxury real estate in their home countries, according to reports.
“Italians are definitely buying more than before the pandemic,” says Diletta Giorgolo Spinola, head of residential, Italy Sotheby’s International Realty. “And as smart work seems to be the future, they’re opting for larger apartments or properties with outdoor space.”