Corona increases 2nd residencies!

Secondary residence

Corona increases 2nd residencies!

Corona provided all-time high in secondary residences

Nearly 90 percent of all Austrian districts had more secondary residences at the beginning of 2021 than a year earlier. Winter sports resorts saw most declines in secondary residencies – due to seasonal residents.

Secondary residences in Austria increased by almost five percent in the Corona year 2020. According to a survey by Statistics Austria for DER STANDARD, there were 60,894 or 4.97 percent more secondary residences in the nearly 2100 Austrian municipalities on January 1, 2021 than a year earlier. For comparison: in 2018 and 2019, the increases were only 0.40 and 0.77 percent, respectively.

However, Corona has changed quite things, with very uneven developments, as a glance at the map of Austria reveals. Thus, although there was even an increase of five percent or more, in just under three quarters of all municipalities (1515). In the year 2019, this was only the case in around one in five municipalities.

Secondary residence

But some sharp declines also stand out – and especially the situation of the severely affected municipalities. After all, most of the communities leaving are well-known winter sports areas in western Austria. In Ischgl, there were 81 percent fewer secondary residences at the beginning of 2021 than at the beginning of 2020, and in Sölden there were 73.2 percent fewer. For Sölden Mayor Ernst Schöpf, however, the explanation is simple: “Normally, we have around 5500 employees in tourism businesses during the winter months, who then also live here for five to six months and have to register a secondary residence. This year, however, they have of course largely stayed away.” A few dozen had already arrived, “also in the hope that there might still be a winter season this year. But the majority did not arrive at all.

“Total failure of the season”

Also in Salzburg winter sports resorts one refers to the “total failure of the season” and does not mean thereby Zweitwohnsitzer from Germany, the Netherlands or Italy, but simply the thousands Saisonniers, which would have worked in the catering trade.

In Untertauern, 70.2 percent fewer secondary residences were reported, while in Tweng the decline was 72.9 percent. “This is purely due to the staff,” says Tweng municipal office manager Peter Macheiner in response to a question from the STANDARD. Although some hoteliers had still hoped for a partial season in November and had registered one or the other seasonal worker, at the latest over Christmas these had been deregistered again. In absolute figures, the dimension becomes particularly clear: On January 1, 2020, 693 people were registered in Tweng with a secondary residence, on January 1, 2021, only 188. For comparison: Tweng has 260 inhabitants.

Declines in the West

It is therefore not surprising that the number of secondary residences declined overall in the three western provinces of Vorarlberg, Tyrol and Salzburg. In Tyrol, the drop was greatest at 3.8 percent, followed by Vorarlberg with minus 1.2 percent and Salzburg with minus 0.3 percent.

However, as can be seen in the map of Austria, there are also provinces with strong increases. Carinthia recorded the highest number of new secondary residences (plus 12.4 percent), followed by Burgenland (plus 10.4 percent) and Upper Austria (plus 9.4 percent). The municipalities with particularly large increases are spread across Austria without any discernible pattern. For example, the municipality with the largest percentage increase in Austria, Breitenwang, is also located in Tyrol. It is followed by the Upper Austrian communities of Oberhofen am Irrsee and Nußdorf am Attersee.

Overall, all Salzkammergut municipalities have more secondary residence registrations in the Corona year compared to 2019 and are thus in line with the Austrian trend. If you ask the Attersee leader Nußdorf how it came to the plus of 73.5 percent (which corresponds to a secondary residence increase of about 1100 people), you get a simple explanation.  It is down to campers, now registering because of their being under lockdown in certain areas.

Source and graphic: Der Standard

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