It was impossible to predict how COVID-19 would impact the world across virtually all countries and businesses in such a short space of time. Some changes were immediate while others will have long-lasting effects that are forecast to change various habits.
Its rapid spread across the world demonstrates the strength of globalisation forcing some governments to enforce lockdown to keep people at home and to restrict the virus traveling further.
One of the quickest changes to occur was working from home as a result of self-isolating and social distancing. Employees set up their office at home relying on technology to conduct business as usual and to stay connected to their team and clients.
Simultaneously online shopping sales were boasted including takeaway food services that escalated further with the Thai Government closing all shopping outlets except essentials such as food and medical suppliers, and only allowing restaurants to operate a takeaway system.
People are spending more time at home than ever before thinking of innovative ways to go about their everyday life without stepping outside of their doors. For some it is mentally hard to get through the day without a change of scenery and attention has been turned to home improvements.
After all, if we are all stuck at home, why not make the most of the space around us especially as we are welcoming people into our home through virtual meetings that might not have come inside before.
The property market in the short term will be impacted by fewer transactions as investors halt their property search or as tenants extend their tenancy should they no longer be able to move. Real estate agents will implement creative measures to keep the industry going such as virtual viewings through videos that might even catch for the long term long after COVID-19 has passed.
However, looking to the long term, buyers and tenants are expected to strive for their homes to have sufficient space and within that, personal space. Working, relaxing, eating, sleeping, and even exercising in one area can be taxing on the healthiest of minds.
The DDproperty’s Thailand Consumer Sentiment Study, which was carried out pre-COVID-19 revealed the importance of needing more personal space amongst buyers and tenants. It was classed as the most important factor when choosing a new home even above location suggesting its importance before the sudden change in living arrangements as a result of the global pandemic.
Bangkok is renowned for offering a wide range of accommodation from budget to luxury with the lower end appealing to tenants who want to live on their own. However, much of this type of accommodation is within a single room or studio style as many residents, until now, only sleep at home while spending the day working, socialising and eating elsewhere.
While working from home for some business models might not work, this current norm will enlighten other businesses in adopting a more flexible approach in the future thus affecting the standard nine-to-five.
Consequently, more time at home will affect future renting and buying choices for the property market with expected heightened demand for bigger space influencing how developers design future properties.
In the interim, we must all sit this pandemic out and function our every day as best we can. But as people spend more time shopping online, partaking in virtual exercise classes, and realising what is possible to do within the confines of four walls, a new appreciation for the home will grow as well as a shift in the overall spending habits and the economy itself.
Stay abreast of the industry’s news and updates sending directly to your inbox, sign up here.