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Hybrid living and the new outlook on real estate autumn 2022

Posted by FindHomeAbroad on October 5, 2022
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Companies and workers have become used to the flexibility brought on by the pandemic and are gradually adapting to a hybrid working model with many employees working four days a week, others having to come to the office once a month. The hybrid lifestyle will largely follow the hybrid working trend as people continue to take advantage of this increased flexibility and the ability to prioritise work-life balance.
In real estate, potential clients have grown accustomed to Google meets and other Zoom technologies to meet with their agent or visit a new home. One strong condition will be for Internet connections to improve greatly if we are to really be able to live this new hybrid lifestyle. Hopefully, after Covid, governments can concentrate on this issue as too many of us still suffer…

Another effect felt in a post-pandemic world is that people have become more health conscious and are willing to change their lifestyles to stay healthy. Alpine real estate prices have increased greatly as many clients identified the mountain as a new source of freedom, a bit like the new frontier but for Europe. A well-connected second home with access to nature and wellness amenities can contribute to this. We expect this shift in priorities to drive demand for second homes in the locations highlighted in this report. Buyers are likely to come from diverse demographic backgrounds; couples and families who adjust to the hybrid way of life and older retirees, which were an established pool of buyers even before the pandemic.

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In terms of destinations, some second home markets could become more domestic and regional soon, as buyers may increasingly focus on locations which are easily accessible. Buyers will continue to value close proximity to their city base to allow for easy commuting. Destinations accessible by plane may potentially become less appealing as people focus more on their individual carbon footprints. Regardless of place, however, the increased year-round nature of many second home locations will have the added benefit of revitalising local communities and bringing increased economic activity to locations which used to be predominantly seasonal.

There are a few grey clouds on the horizon, however. Rising interest rates will make borrowing for a second home mortgage more expensive and could deter some buyers from purchasing an additional property. We are already seeing, what used to be a problem for non-residents mainly, French clients being denied French mortgages in drove, mainly due to the usury rate, the highest rate at which a French bank can lend. Basically, this rate has become too low due to interest rates rising and all the extras to be added like the insurance and the different bank fees.

New developments and several next-big-thing locations also have the potential to unseat some of the well-established markets studied here, as a broader demographic and income base of buyers look for second homes which have the trophy status of being at the head of the curve, fulfilling wellness criteria, and have the potential to offer positive price growth as well.

Another option, if you cannot quite afford a premium property or cannot obtain a mortgage to finance it, is to explore the fractional ownership. You purchase for an eighth of the price and split the costs/taxes equally. These are premium properties in top locations with a high wellness index.

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