According to Savills Aguirre Newman's "What Buyers Want" report based on customers who currently want to buy property in Spain, France, Italy and Portugal, international home buyers in Southern Europe are looking for a large outdoor space, Internet connection and an eco-friendly area.
Among the results of the study, conducted between February and March 2021, the availability of services, high-speed Internet connection and good views top the wish list of people who are going to buy a house in any of these countries. For example, good views (94%), the availability of services (90%) and high-speed Internet connection (87%) are the most important factors in Spain. These are followed by close access to the beach (77%), outdoor spaces (71%), energy efficiency (70%) and close access to the airport (65%).
58% of first-home buyers in these countries prefer rural areas, while this figure increases to 80% for secondary real estate buyers. The countryside is the favorite in 73% of cases for the over-60s, compared to 37% for those under 40. Balconies, terraces or patios (an open courtyard surrounded by walls, galleries, green hedges) are priority for those who buy housing in an urban environment, while those who buy housing in rural areas prefer large gardens.
The report also says that, in general, foreign buyers are increasingly thinking about ecological safety when buying a house, which can also help minimize operating costs. Savills Aguirre Newman emphasizes that almost 70% of buyers say that energy efficiency is an important feature of real estate, and half already use eco-friendly materials in construction. For those looking for a new house, these factors are even more important: 87% of them consider energy efficiency to be an important characteristic, and almost three quarters (74%) emphasize the importance of eco-friendly materials.
Buying a second home or holiday home remains the main motivation for luxury residential buyers: 37% of respondents specify this as the main reason. In addition, the report says that as a result of the pandemic, buyers expect to spend 9 to 12 weeks a year in their second homes.
The prevalence of remote work allows homeowners to spend more time in their second homes, and this forces the sector to develop. According to Savills, which also analyzed the duration of the trip to the second home and its importance, it is likely that buyers will be willing to make slightly longer trips, which will increase the variety of destinations for buying a second home.