As more people get vaccinated for Covid-19 and nations around the world emerge from lockdown, many are considering international travel and investment for the first time in over a year. The EU has decided to ease travel restrictions on fully vaccinated tourists from non-EU countries, and aviation and travel groups are urging a reopening of travel between the U.S. and the U.K.With this reopening will come a travel and investment boom, many real estate experts anticipate. In popular holiday destinations, particularly ones that have year-round appeal like the French Alps, Venice, Mallorca and others, buyers who were once frequent visitors are now considering purchasing properties where they can settle in for longer stretches and work remotely.
“People have moved away from the idea of a holiday home to a proper second home, especially in places that offer communities 52 weeks a year,” said Hugo Thistlethwayte, head of global residential operations at Savills in London. “Those places that genuinely offer a community where people can work from home, like the Lisbon suburbs, and some of the ski resorts in the French Alps like Megeve, really stand to benefit.”
“Buyers are all waiting for the release of EU restrictions on travel, and we’re expecting a real boom in June as more Americans and EU buyers come back,” said Diletta Giorgolo of Italy Sotheby’s International Realty in Rome.
Ms. Giorgolo said she has noticed two different types of buyers: Those who want a vacation home in the Italian seaside or countryside and those who are seeking a permanent residence.
“People from big cities like London want to live and work remotely in Italy, within one hour of an airport,” she said. “Rome, Milan and Florence are No. 1, but people are also looking at medium-sized cities like Lucca, Palermo and smaller cities on Lake Como. We have more demand now than good inventory.”
Inventory remains tight in many of these destinations, and buyers—especially those from overseas—need to acquaint themselves not only with their desired regions but also with taxes on investment and currency exchange rates.
“There was an expectation that the dollar would weaken, but now that’s changed and it’s expected to strengthen, which will have repercussions,” said Kate Everett-Allen, head of international residential research at Knight Frank in London. “U.S. buyers will be able to achieve larger discounts in some of the non-U.S. dollar dominated countries.”
The pandemic has shifted buyer priorities in a number of ways, and one major change is that many are seeking holiday homes less as investments than as retreats they will use more frequently and for longer stretches of time. With many companies having instituted long-term or permanent remote work policies, more buyers are adopting “digital nomad” lifestyles and looking at destinations comfortable for both work and play.
“Right now we’re thinking more about what we want than about homes that will provide good rental income. Before, buyers wanted second homes to work for them for the rest of the year, but that has become much less important,” Mr. Thistlethwayte said. “Where the buzz is at the moment is that full-on second home in a place with a lot of energy, like Aspen [in Colorado], the Hamptons [in New York] and Jackson Hole [in Wyoming].”
Proximity to airports is also important to these buyers, for easy access to their primary homes and offices. In Europe, the resort towns of the French Alps that are close to Geneva, the suburbs of Barcelona, and the area around Lisbon are all expected to experience high demand in the coming months.
Article Source: Mansion Global