Offering specialist insight in their sector, these industry experts have offered predictions as to how the second home international property markets are set to unfold over the upcoming year including the issues, trends and technology, which are set to have the greatest impact.
Giles Gale, Managing Director, Mark Warner Property
Secondary Destinations Growing in Popularity
The strength of the pound in recent years means that the alpine market has surged, with increased popularity in what have traditionally been considered ‘secondary resorts’. A noticeable trend in Austria is the heightened demand for resorts that a few years ago may have been considered too small or with not enough kilometres of piste. One of the key drivers of this has been UK buyers adopting a more ‘European’ approach to their skiing, now driving to resorts and exploring the nearby region during their stay skiing two or three different areas rather than staying put for the duration of their holidays.
The obsession with km’s of piste has taken a recent backseat as buyers are now more prepared to purchase a second home in more affordable authentic villages which, although might not have mile upon mile of piste by the front door, do have access to varied and challenging ski areas within a 10-15 minute drive.
David Rogers, Director, Rocksure
Increasing Interest Stateside
We expect there to be continued growth in travellers selecting the USA as their destination of choice for holidays. Offering a vast variety of experiences from California to the Rockies and of course, New York, the country offers an alternative to European destinations and in our experience is proving more popular especially with young professionals and families. In line with this, access to a span of ‘activities’ is considered a key asset for holidaymakers looking to enrich their trips.
We also note a discernible move amongst travellers now seeking independent accommodation in the form of apartments and villas rather than the more traditional option of hotels.
Finally, perceived ‘value for money’ – which has always been a requirement for people making any kind of investment – is something that remains of the utmost importance to individuals. We have seen people question whether ‘sinking’ £5,000-£10,000 a week for a villa each summer is the best way to spend their cash versus an option which could give a financial as well as lifestyle return.
Anwar Harland-Khan, CEO, L’Amandier
Emerging Destinations Come to the Fore
In 2016, we expect emerging destinations like Costa Rica, Iceland and Morocco to come to the forefront of the international property market. Morocco is fast becoming a hotspot for those wanting to buy property abroad thanks to its cultural richness, liberal society and year-round sunshine. Morocco’s tough policy on domestic security and strong governance means that tourism has grown steadily year-on-year for over a decade and the country’s economy has continued to go from strength-to-strength. Property investors are also attracted by Morocco’s value-for-money compared to many European counterparts.
Richard Deans, UK Sales, MGM French Properties
Increasing Demand for French Alpine property
There is undoubtedly a real appetite for buying in France largely due to the increase in purchasing potential of the pound. Last year the pound to euro exchange rate reached its strongest point for seven years. Today’s exchange rate means that a €450,000 property is now £55,000 cheaper than it was in March 2014– a huge incentive for prospective purchasers. At the end of last year, we noticed a definite increase in pre-season enquiries across the Alps thanks to the strength of this exchange rate and greater confidence in the market. Further, the additional stamp duty of 3% on second homes and the additional buy-to-let taxes mean that prospective investors will look for alternative purchasing opportunities overseas.
Adam & Alex Pinion, Founders, Pin & Pin
Waterfront Properties in High Demand
Despite the Croatian tourism market continuing to soar, the country’s luxury property market still remains relatively untapped. We have noticed an increasing demand for waterfront properties on the Dalmatian Coast from those looking to escape the busy hotspots like Monaco and the French Riviera. The Croatian government also has plans to increase the number of yacht berths in the country by 50% by 2018 from 14,000 to 28,000, which we expect will make one of the world’s most impressive coastlines increasingly accessible and drive demand.
Yolanda Ros, Sales Manager, La Manga Club
Growing Interest in Bioclimatic Homes
We predict increasing interest in bioclimatic properties which have a close connection to nature and take into account climate and environmental conditions to help achieve optimal thermal comfort whilst using minimal air-conditioning and heating. We have conducted in-depth studies to be able to provide these homes which leverage the natural energy of the area making them sunnier and warmer in the winter and colder with a natural breeze in the summer. By taking advantage of the resort’s natural resources, we minimize homes’ power consumption.
Of great importance to investors is also a luxury product which has access to health and wellness amenities. People look for areas with clean air, sports facilities and healthy food options and our recent resort renovations within the hotel, Club House & Pro Shop and La Manga Club Spa & Fitness Centre address these requirements directly.
Maria Moreno, Sales Manager, Abama Luxury Residences
A Rise in Gastro-Tourism
Demand for gastronomic dining continues to rise amongst our investors who are accustomed to a luxury lifestyle in their day-to-day home lives and want to extend this whilst at their second homes abroad. In line with this, the Abama Resort offers owners and guests two restaurants with a total of three Michelin stars between them which we have found to be particularly popular in recent years. Indeed, bookings at both restaurants are often a pivotal part of owners’ stays. We also predict that access to a range of amenities especially spa and golf facilities will continue to greatly affect purchasing decisions amongst high-net-worth individuals.