More Germans mull move to countryside as 'home office' grows in popularity

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More Germans mull move to countryside as 'home office' grows in popularity
The idyllic small town of Stande, Schleswig-Holstein. Photo: DPA

Over one-fifth of Germans would consider moving house if working from home remained an option after the coronavirus crisis, according to a new study.


The research by from market research publication Handelskontor showed that for 16-24-year-olds, the figure stood as high as 35 percent.

For those in the 25-34 year-old range, the figure was 29 percent, with each age group progressively less willing to budge from where they currently call home.


Prior to the pandemic, only three percent of Germans worked from home on a regular basis - a number that’s expected to grow 166.7 percent once the crisis is over, according to figures from Bitcom.

"In the Corona crisis, flexible working experienced a strong boost and will continue to shape the new normal in the world of work after the pandemic," said Bitkom President Achim Berg in a statement.


Over the past year, the inclination towards working from home in Germany has been aided by tax benefits, more companies allowing and encouraging their employees to work remotely and - as of January - a mandate that employers must allow their workers to take part in “home office” whenever it’s possible.

Property prices in rural areas especially spiked amid the pandemic. Real estate prices more populated parts of the countryside grew by 8.9 percent, whereas the increase stood at 6.5 percent in urban areas, according to Handelskontor.

Google data for Germany in November showed that the search term “house in the countryside” reached a five-year high. 

The following graph shows the increase in property prices in four categories: metropolitan areas, large cities with at least 100,000 residents, more populous rural areas and scarcely populated rural areas. 

Demand for holiday homes also grows

The demand is not just growing for a primary residence, but also for holiday homes. The demand for holiday properties amid the coronavirus crisis rose by 54 percent. 

By the end of 2020, a total of 1.26 million Germans owned a vacation home or apartment, up from 1.4 million the year before, according to Handelskontor.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Where (and why) demand for holiday homes in Germany is skyrocketing

"The demand for vacation properties is definitely higher than before the crisis," says Daniel Ritter, managing partner at the broker von Poll.

"The desire to escape from the city into nature and be able to avoid contacts has increased even more." 

The increased desire for a holiday home away from home is also reflected in the prices. The prices, for example, for the coveted holiday apartments on the North Sea islands, which already cost upwards of €10,000 per square meter before the pandemic, rose again by around 20 percent in 2020.

All graphs in this article are courtesy of Handelskontor.


Comments (1)

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Anonymous 2021/02/16 22:05
Hi there. Why are we missing th age gap for 35 to 44 year olds?

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