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Coronavirus apartment hunt: How to find a rental

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Coronavirus apartment hunt: How to find a rental

This statistic must bring home the idea that finding the right apartment is more important than ever: “People have spent more time in their apartments during this pandemic than they normally have in a year,” said Frances Williamson, director of SEO and content for Apartments .com That is a finding shared at a recent company meeting. “Isn’t that crazy?”

The good news: Even in the midst of a pandemic, the rental market continues to churn. So if you are thinking of moving or are looking for a new place in Southland or more, here are some tips that will help.

How do I find a new apartment now?

As with most things during this pandemic, the apartment hunt is best done online.

This is the part of the rental process that has changed the most, with landlords – from small building owners to large management companies – offering safe alternatives to finding a new place.

The most popular new method: virtual tour. They take different forms, including a 3-D virtual tour and live video chat with rental agencies walking around the room. Many units currently available for rent offer this online search.

“Many markets have shifted in that direction,” said Evan Raciti, executive vice president of the rental listing company RentHop. “Many owners and proactive agents take it themselves to make online video tours and make sure they can send it to interested tenants.”

If you still want to see the place directly, some landlords have a system to leave the key in the dropbox or with employees on the spot.

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“That’s the way to overcome the locking order,” Raciti said. “So the agent isn’t really present.”

Can the whole process be done online?

For most places, yes – and this has proven to be more effective than you think.

According to Williamson, Apartments.com has seen record levels of users since the initial drop in mid-March, with digital content features such as photo units and online messages with prospective owners responsible for massive spikes.

According to a study conducted this month by Apartments.com and real estate research company Kingsley Associates, Williamson said, 53% of the tenants surveyed had toured the apartment almost during the pandemic. And 63% of those who take a virtual tour say it’s enough for them to make a hiring decision.

“The interesting part for me is seeing how comfortable people are with this transition to online,” Williamson said. “I think part of it is reality, circumstances. But there doesn’t seem to be much doubt. “

Rental agencies have also begun to revolve on digital methods such as virtual consulting. And even before the pandemic, more and more apartments have adopted the signing of online leases.

“With people who cannot visit the community as much as possible, do not go alone to fill out applications, the intention to go through the full journey of online tenants has increased,” Williamson said.

Is it easy to find an available unit?

Yes, and somewhat surprised those in the industry.

According to the same study, Williamson said, 40% of those surveyed wanted to move within the next six weeks, more than double the number before the pandemic. Raciti has seen a spike in the list of sublets, a potential indicator that is looking for more tenants to break out of their current agreement.

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Most of this, of course, is financially driven. But Williamson believes it could be the result of staying home orders too.

“I think many people are like, ‘Oh, I’m sitting in my apartment, and that makes me ready for change,'” he said.

Whatever the cause, it has kept the rental market moving even when many other parts of the economy are screaming. More than two months in many closures, inventories have remained stable.

“This works at a relatively good level,” Raciti said. “You will be surprised. We see the agreement being finalized.”

How about the price?

According to Raciti, unit prices in general remain stable and can actually be set to go down in the near future.

“Landlords will always try to keep their rents looking good,” he said. “So they won’t want to drop prices right away.”

In contrast, the prevalence of “concession deals” – such as lower security deposits or first month’s free rent – has increased, especially in crowded metropolitan areas.

“But if that doesn’t work,” Raciti said, “you will see an abundant supply in the next few months, and I will imagine we will start to see actual gross rents begin to fall, along with increased incentives. So that could be a good opportunity very good for people who want to move to the city. “

What else should I consider?

For tenants who have expired leases, Raciti suggests looking for short-term extensions.

“Much of this depends on their current situation, but many current owners are more willing than ever to make short-term extensions to leases,” he said. “So if you want to give yourself a little time to think about where you want to land, I would say, reach out to your landlord and say,” Can we do an extension for three months? “

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“Get yourself a few months to get more visibility where the market is and you get out there,” Oh, the market is far more profitable for tenants, “and you can get a better deal.”

For those who are ready to move now, it may be necessary to expand your search zone to look into the suburbs if possible – a trend that Williamson said has developed in recent months.

“It’s very interesting to see,” he said. “Maybe it’s because more people are attracted to other places, or because jobs are uncertain, or people protect the pandemic from their home market. But that must be the change we have seen. “

But whatever you do, stay optimistic. Because even at a time when almost everything has to be done online and invisible, there is still a world of options available to tenants who are ready to find a new place before the pandemic ends.

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Domestic consumption rises and supports Portugal’s GDP growth

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Domestic consumption rises and supports Portugal's GDP growth

Despite inflation, private household consumption increased between July and September this year. This increase allowed the Portuguese economy to continue growing in the third quarter. The growth was 4.9% compared to the same period last year.

The past few months have confirmed a trend towards sharp inflation and rising costs such as mortgage payments for those with mortgages. Difficulties that are currently forcing families to consume less than a year ago. But, compared to the second quarter of 2022, from July to September this year, private consumption increased by 1.1%. Domestic demand supported the slight growth of the Portuguese economy recorded in the third quarter.

Even with the fall in exports and investment, GDP grew by 0.4% compared to the previous quarter and by 4.9% compared to the same period last year. The numbers that need to be produced to ensure that 2022 ends with a booming economy, even during a downturn and international uncertainty.

This instability still does not affect the unemployment rate, which remained at 6.1% in October. Compared to September, the number of unemployed has decreased by 2,000. The active population has also declined and there are still 285,000 people who are not considered unemployed but are out of the labor market or only work a few hours a week.

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5-star hotels lead the way in the restoration of Portuguese tourist sites

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5-star hotels lead the way in the restoration of Portuguese tourist sites

In October, the number of overnight stays in 5-star hotels increased by 15.9% compared to the same month in 2019, which, according to additional information, namely from the DMC (Tourist Inception Agency), is associated with a strong increase in tourism from the United States. states.

Information published today by INE indicates that in October, compared to the same month before the pandemic, the number of overnight stays in tourist establishments in Portugal increased by 6.2%, with the strongest increase in hotels, at 8.2%. in which, therefore, 62.1% is concentrated. overnight stays.

The information shows that 4-star hotels, where the largest number of beds are concentrated, had 48.9% of overnight stays in October, totaling 2.05 million, which is +7.6% or more than 144.7 thousand than in October 2019.

This was followed by 3-star hotels with 927.3k, but this increase was about half of 5-star hotels, by 7.6% or 65.5k, to 927.3k, and then 5-star hotels with 857. 4 thousand overnight stays, an increase of 15.9%. or 117.6 thousand compared to the same pre-pandemic month.

In contrast to the evolution in these categories, there were 2- and 1-star hotels, in which the number of overnight stays decreased by 2.7%, or ten thousand, to 360.8 thousand.

The cheapest apart-hotels (three and two stars) also saw a decrease in overnight stays, from -20.9% or less than 24.4 thousand, in hotels and farms in Madeira, from -0.4% or less, to about 300, and in tourist settlements, from -7.7. % or less than 17.5 thousand.

At the same time, the number of apart-hotels increased by 1.2%, or 8.5 thousand, to 717.5 million, due to the increase in 5-star hotels by 6.7%, or 6.6 thousand, to 104.9 thousand, and 4-star, by 5.4 thousand% or 26.4 thousand to 519.9 thousand.

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Overnight stays in tourist apartments also increased by 3.2%, or 13.6 thousand, to 437.8 million, local accommodation, by 0.6%, or 5.5 thousand, to 901.2 thousand, and , primarily tourism in rural areas and housing, with an increase of 45.2% or 67.3 thousand to 216.5 thousand people.

The INE data also shows that Portuguese tourist sites were the best in October in terms of overnight stays this year, with peaks achieved by 5-, 4- and 3-star hotels, 5- and 4-star apartment hotels, accommodation . and rural tourism and housing development.

See also:

The US market is already setting new annual records in Portuguese hotels

The Portuguese hospitality industry experienced the best October in terms of number of guests and overnight stays.

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Government approves strategy to combat “Portuguese underrepresentation” in Brussels

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Government approves strategy to combat "Portuguese underrepresentation" in Brussels

This afternoon the Council of Ministers will approve a national strategy to combat what it considers “underrepresentation de Portugal” in European institutions, in particular the European Commission.

“There is a significant shortage of Portuguese, especially those working for the Commission,” explains the Secretary of State for European Affairs in statements to Renaissance🇧🇷 The problem, according to Thiago Antunes, is not limited to middle management: “This is the first time Portugal does not have a CEO in the European Commission”.

The government wants to “correct this imbalance and fight this deficit in order to win.”ability to influence in decisions.” But it is not possible to increase the number of vacancies for the Portuguese, if only because there are no national quotas for employees working in institutions.

To go to Brussels or even work in Portugal on a full-time basis, you need to pass a series of tests prepared by EPSO (European Personnel Selection Office). 🇧🇷These are very difficult competitions.with very concrete evidence,” the official explains.

The strategy will be based on several pillars: training, increasing grants and encouraging the mobility of civil servants. The Portuguese government is going to create a national training center to “better prepare our candidates for competitions”; to bet on “dissemination of opportunities; increase the balls (by quantity and value); and create a statute that allows those who work in the public administration of Portugal to move into the European public administration.

The aim is to achieve “greater representation” in the European Commission in order to have “greater influence” on the decision. Although the strategy is to strengthen the Portuguese presence in Brussels and the employees do not work for Portugal.it doesn’t matter that they are portuguese“, he defends.

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Fruits may not appear early or may not even be measurable. “It will take some time until we see results,” admits the former secretary of state to the prime minister. But the wait does not stop the Portuguese government. “We have to start right now,” Thiago Antunes insists, pointing to the demographic problem among those working in Brussels. “There are a lot of Portuguese who came in at the time of our accession and are now retiring.”

The strategy aims to reverse the cycle of loss of Portuguese representation among the 27. The diploma will be approved this Wednesday in the Council of Ministers.

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