Richest European countries cool about second-home ownership

Second-home ownership rates on left, average gross monthly wage on right. Source: RE/MAX, Idealista

Second-home ownership rates on left, average gross monthly wage on right. Source: RE/MAX, Idealista

Research by the Global franchise chain of estate agents RE/MAX reveals that second home ownership is less prevalent in rich European countries than in poorer ones.

One in six Europeans owns a second home, but the prevalence of second-home ownership varies significantly by country, with low rates of ownership in some of Europe’s richest countries like Germany.

Paradoxically, European countries with low average wages have some of the highest rates of second-home ownership. In Greece, where the average gross monthly salary is just €1,064, 32.8% of the adult population owns a second homes, whilst in Germany, where the average monthly wage is €2,609, the rate is just 5.4%.

According to the research and surveys carried out by RE/MAX, there is a clear correlation between European wealth and coolness towards owning a second home, as illustrated by the chart above (prepared by the property portal



8 thoughts on “Richest European countries cool about second-home ownership”

  1. John T

    Let’s put the ownership taxes and minimum expenses for the house and we maybe will better understand the reasons why richer ? people don’t want ( anymore ) second home. Being from France, it’s abvious.

  2. David

    With so many people feeling the pinch globally especially in Europe 2nd home ownership will be in the doldrums for years. Why bother with a large asset cost and huge transaction costs buying and selling, community fees and taxes, and then have the worry about your 2nd home being vandalised whilst away and/or possible depreciation when you can holiday wherever you like using capital and interest sensibly as and when?

  3. Bernard Hornung

    Northern European Homeowners are far more secure in the mature primary residential markets in their own countries. They understand the significant risks and costs of second home ownership in less established residential markets, and the volatility of second home market values. The compelling case for second home ownership was once underpinned by scarcity and shortage, but with 11 million empty homes in Western Europe it is difficult to judge if and when, there might be a recovery.

  4. Profile photo of rojoybagorojoybago

    oh dear Bernard, you’ve become a cassandra. Do you take the FT on a saturday? there is such a pent up demand for second homes all over the world and it (the demand) is only starting !!- Never mind Southern Europe, just check out Asia and Florida where the last boom has been replaced with an even bigger one!!!!!

  5. David Vick

    There looks to be an uncanny relationship between second home ownership and willingness to pay taxes; – also to the relative (un)reliability of property records. A popular way to hide dodgy cash in the leading countries?

  6. David

    You are correct in your analysis Bernard. The reply to you from the poster below yours is utter tosh when it comes to Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, French homes etc There is no pent up demand in those and many other worldwide countries, one can only assume he works in the industry talking the market up. Spain alone has 1.6 million homes for sale and even more empty homes lying idle. As you say, the primary residential markets in their own countries is far more secure, as well as profitable. Only top destinations abroad will have any demand of sorts.

  7. Impartial Observer

    2nd home ownership is high in Greece because almost every Greek person living in an urban area (e.g. Athens) has a VERY STRONG emotional attachment to their ancestral home. That is, most Greek people retain the countryside home of their parents, grand-parents, etc. It is very common to see bothers and sisters sharing their parent’s home in the countryside. This is also true in many Mediterranean countries.

    So the re/max survey is very misleading. Many owners of second homes in the countries mentioned INHERIT second homes from family. They DID NOT buy these second homes. That is an important difference.

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