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How Wellness Is Now Redefining Second Homes and New Hybrid Living

Posted by FindHomeAbroad on September 22, 2022

Based on a popular article by Savills where they explained that across the board, locations which perform well against their counterparts for their particular World City can be found in traditional sun and sea areas (and increasingly the mountain, with Meribel as the third most popular wellness spot for Paris residents).

Before 2020, many people faced a choice of where they would live and spend most of their time: the bustle of the city or the peace of the countryside. Each location has ample benefits and attractions, and for a growing segment of the population, the answer is increasing ‘why not both’? After over two years of pandemic-related lockdowns and hybrid or fully remote working, holiday destinations have seen a surge of second home buyers searching for space, an escape from city life, and a place to focus on themselves. However, because many are still tied to their offices for a few days a week, ease of access to major world cities remains a priority. Hybrid working has been widely discussed, but the trend of ‘hybrid living’ – splitting time between a city base and a second home – is beginning to take off.

Savills Research has examined three second home locations within a two to three-hour plane, train, or car journey from a major world city and ranked them based on their residential offering, wellness amenities, and connectivity.

For any residential property market, the price of a property is key, and the second homes market is no exception (unless you go for a fractional ownership property or buy a collection of these, see here). Second home markets do tend to be slightly less price sensitive than those for primary residences, but buyers largely still look for value and a good investment that suits the needs of their families. The second home locations with lower prices for family-size properties perform well in this category. For those who aren’t settled on a location, there is a strong trend of ‘try before you buy’. Ample short-term rentals for long weekends as potential buyers test the waters of a new location are essential for attracting new residents. Second home markets with high numbers of short-term rentals also score highly in the residential category.

With the increased focus on personal health and wellness, second home locations have to pull double-duty by providing both the traditional sun, sea, countryside or mountains and also providing the key amenities to promote personal wellness. Locations which excel in this category offer ample gyms, high numbers of golf and tennis courts, and large numbers of spas which second-home residents will be able to take advantage of. Air quality is also a key element for a top wellness score, especially as many have recognised the effects of pollution on personal health.

For hybrid living and hybrid working, people need to be connected to the major world cities. All of the locations analysed can be reached within a short travel time, making them easily accessible and more useful for spending long stretches of time in the second home. Internet connectivity and fast broadband speeds are also critical here. Potential buyers are increasingly looking for a second home rather than a holiday home that they will only use occasionally, so having the ability to work remotely pushes up the locations with ample connectivity.

Across the board, locations which perform well against their counterparts for their particular World City can be found in traditional sun and sea areas (mountain locations also have been rating highly in the last five years). Galicia, Tuscany, Bali, the Costa del Sol and the Côte d’Azur each provide top-tier offerings for wellness, a strong residential market, and have solid connections to their world cities, all of which propel them to the top against their competitor markets.

Owning a collection for luxury hybrid living through fractional purchase
Thanks to this new real estate purchase trend where you purchase a fraction of the property, you can now afford one, two or even three holiday homes in the luxury bracket for less than you would spend on one home. You could now easily buy a part in a high-end Courchevel apartment by the snow front and a luxury villa in Provence for less than half that Courchevel apartment alone. The idea is very straightforward: you purchase a part in the company holding the property, usually 1/8th, and you can use this property for 1/8th of the year, that is 44 days or 1.5 months. Combine a ski property and a south of France or Marbella villa and you can enjoy your second home for three months of the year, whether it is for holidays or working from home.
Others might prefer a pad in Barcelona or Madrid or even a pied-a-terre in central Paris, any location is now possible. At Findhomeabroad, we list properties under fractional ownership (this is not timeshare) in most French regions but also in southern Spain, the Barcelona area and the Balearic islands. Check here.

Coming strong from the USA, the fractional ownership started with yachts and private jets to expand to luxury cars and now luxury second homes and it is now taking France and Spain by storm.

You can see below a quick chart showing the differences between buying through the co-ownership system and the timeshare.

Savills Research

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