Second Homes Report: Closer And Healthier
More than ever, wellness has become a high priority for many buyers. From searching for properties with gardens to considering air quality in a destination, buyers are keen to focus on their wellbeing and their health
For many, Covid-19 shifted priorities for what people search for in their second homes. Lockdowns in countries around the world confined people to their homes where they began to reassess their needs. As in the market for primary residences, buyers are looking for accessibility, more space, more wellness amenities, and better connectivity in their second homes. There is also the aforementioned trend of splitting time differently between primary and secondary residences, where owners will spend longer amounts of time in their second homes often balancing working from home, and relaxing away from their city primary home.
The locations that are most appealing for second home buyers are evolving from far-flung locales requiring lengthy travel times to locations closer to home. Many buyers are looking for destinations within 2-3 hours either by plane, train, and more increasingly, by car from their main city base. These shorter travel times enable owners to use the second home properties more frequently and for longer periods of time while also allowing for easy commuting to major cities – turning some previously seasonal destinations into lively year-round communities.
More than ever, wellness has become a high priority for many buyers. From searching for properties with gardens to considering air quality in a destination to looking for sport and wellness amenities when considering a location, buyers are keen to focus on their wellbeing and their health. Locations offering the above as well as those which have ample access to nature through beaches, mountains, and national parks will continue to attract buyers in the future.
CÔTE D’AZUR – CRÈME DE LA CRÈME
The Côte d’Azur features on the list of destinations for the three World Cities, and for each of them, the region comes first among the three second home locations for each World City. The depth of the property market, abundance of wellness activities, and strong connectivity propel the French Riviera to the top of the league table. The region benefits from access to both sea and countryside, ample sport options, including Alpine skiing, and one of the highest quality of life scores for any of the second home locations profiled. These benefits haven’t gone unnoticed; average prices in the region have increased by 15% over the past year, reaching over 9,000€ per square metre.
A highly international destination with a growing proportion of younger buyers, the region has been a top location for second homes for over a century. Buyers in the region are drawn to the top-quality residential properties as well as the amenities on offer, plus excellent infrastructure. Increasing development of towns such as Valbonne and Grasse which are slightly inland but still accessible to the seaside and major resort towns along the Mediterranean will appeal to a larger market who might have been priced out of the ultra-prime locations in the region.
The French Riviera offers a second-to-none range of outdoor leisure activities. Biking, hiking, swimming, diving, running, tennis, skiing, kitesurf, golfing, stand-up paddle and, kayaking, just to name a few. Add to those excellent health services, and your body is very well taken care of!
Alex Balkin, Executive Director, Savills French Riviera
SPAIN – NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL APPEAL
Spain is a key market for second homes for buyers from across Europe. Sotogrande, the wider Costa del Sol, and the Balearics are key destinations for buyers from Germany, other northern European nations, and as far afield as Dubai. International buyers are boosting property prices in the regions. Over the past 12 months, prices in the Costa del Sol and the Balearic Islands have increased more than 10%, as buyers bid up prices for the limited supply of residential property. These locations have the seaside, sunshine, and year-round outdoor sports amenities missing from many northern locations within a relatively short journey from most of Europe.
The importance of taking care of ourselves has never been greater, and we have seen that hybrid work models can be effective. This leads me, and many others, to question whether my lifestyle and my home truly suit my needs. We are all seeking health and wellness enhancing solutions in our daily lives and in our homes, inspiring spaces that bring peace and mindfulness to our lives.
Susana Rodríguez García, Chief Commercial Officer for Savills España
For Spanish locals, the northern coast and countryside of Galicia tops the table. Madrileños in particular look for cooler climates and more green space which can be found in abundance in Northern Spain. The lower property prices, lower cost of living, clean air, and ample wellness amenities found across the region – from spas to world-renowned golf courses – along with relatively easy access to Madrid, push Galicia up to the top spot for Madrid residents looking for second homes. Prices in Galicia are some of the lowest in the Spanish markets studied, according to Idealista, averaging just over €1,500 per square metre.
ISLAND TIME – MEDITERRANEAN LEADERSHIP
A key theme of the analysis of the second home destinations was how well the island destinations performed against other non-island locations. The Greek islands, Sardinia, and the Balearics each offer strong residential markets, ample wellness opportunities, and connectivity that belies their island nature as pockets of land cut-off from the mainland. In fact, Mediterranean island locations perform just as well if not better than other coastal Mediterranean locations.
The island destinations tend to be much more international than their mainland counterparts. Buyers in the Greek islands and Balearics come from across Northern Europe, but predominantly Germany, Scandinavia, and the Netherlands. Sardinia has an even more international appeal with buyers coming from across Europe and beyond.
And this activity has had its effect on pricing, as average asking prices have increased by about 7% year-on-year in the Cycladic islands in the second quarter of 2022, according to Spitogatos. This way of life across the Mediterranean islands, with its emphasis on wellness is a key driver for second home buyers in the region.