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NEWS FROM THE CEO

There’s no place like home

The earliest human shelters were primarily made to protect their inhabitants from the weather and from hostile attacks. This has fundamentally changed. Today, there’s much more to the definition of home than four walls and a roof. ­ ishing to ­become more self-sufficient with w regard to energy production and water supply. Growing your own organic fruit and vegetables is becoming more popular too, and it’s something that fulfills two requirements at once: serving as a gardening hobby and a way of achieving food self-sufficiency. 3 Being together is better than being alone: rediscovering the countryside In turbulent times such as these, many students and young professionals are returning to the nest to seek safety and security with their parents. Back home, their old bedrooms provide a temporary haven of retreat with the added bonus of renewed parental care. This development could turn into a new appreciation for life in the country and result in an upward valuation of areas outside major urban centers. 4 Individualized architectural solutions Generously apportioned interior spaces where work and living areas merge have been appealing to prospective buyers for a long time. But in the current situation, where people are increasingly working from home, the desire for privacy has grown, even within one’s own four walls. As a result, people are looking for real estate that features an extra office or other type of separate room – like a playroom for children, for instance. In our view, demand will only increase for properties with architectural solutions that satisfy a client’s specific wishes. As things develop over the coming weeks and months it remains to be seen whether these changes in our working and social lives are here to stay – and to what extent the trends we have described endure and continue to unfold. What’s certain is that, as a result of the crisis, people will be looking for a safe, secure, comfortable and attractive place to live – because there’s no place quite like home. I feel very optimistic looking forward, and I’m certain that together, we will overcome every challenge that comes our way.

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"In times of the coronavirus pandemic, our haven of retreat takes on a whole new meaning." SVEN ODIA, CEO OF ENGEL & VÖLKERS AG

FACTORS THAT ­CONTRIBUTE TO A WELL-FUNCTIONING HOME OFFICE:

1 a proper technical setup  2 regular team meetings  3 clear distinction between work and leisure time 4 a suitable space in which to work* * based on a Fraunhofer FIT study

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TEXT: SVEN ODIA

A

home offers protection, warmth and security. It is also a space that reflects its owner’s personal preferences and needs, and can be designed accordingly. In times of the coronavirus pandemic, we tend to spend more time than ever in our home, and this haven of retreat that we have created for ourselves takes on a whole new meaning. Behavioral restrictions such as social distancing, which will likely accompany us for some time to come, also affect the way we live. Based on our observations over the last few months, we can see the following trends emerging: 1 The importance of entertaining and providing entertainment in a private setting One of the most important criteria when searching for a new home in the luxury real estate segment is the prospect of a sizable piece of land to go with the new property and no immediate neighbors. But the property should still be close to important infrastructure such as healthcare facilities. It should also feature the latest standard in technical equipment, enabling the client to work productively from home at any time. And since people are now spending more and more of their social and leisure time in the company of select friends at their home or in the grounds or garden, the property should fulfill all the necessary requirements for entertaining at home. As a result of this trend, we will also be seeing a rise in demand for exclusive facilities such as gyms, home cinemas, libraries, as well as pool and spa areas. 2 Independence and self-sufficiency – not just in times of emergency The desire for independence and self-sufficiency is gaining momentum as well. The crisis has exposed the extent to which governments can be dependent on other countries for certain products and how difficult it sometimes is for them to supply people with what they need. This has produced quite a bit of anxiety. So it is perfectly understandable that clients are i­ ncreasingly

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