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What do upmarket foreign buyers want in southern Europe including Spain?

The international property agency Savills Aguirre Newman has published a report on the demand for homes in France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

The World Research team at Savills Aguirre Newman surveyed close to 500 clients across their upmarket network of agents in southern Europe during February and March this year to get an insight into “homebuyer motivations and desires today.”

They found that the “Covid-19 pandemic has brought about changes to the way people live and work, altering what buyers deem important in their homes.”

They found rising interest in “rural idylls”, with 80% of second-home buyers looking for a rural environment, though older buyers were more interested in rural locations than those aged 40 or under.

The survey reveals that “proximity to amenities, high-speed internet access, and a good view rank as the top three factors for homebuyers,” with outdoor space also featuring highly in the list of ‘nice to haves’.

The growing need, in the light of the pandemic, for home office space was another trend they identified. “With the pandemic forcing many people to work from home, over a quarter (27%) of respondents stated increased home working had influenced their purchasing decision in some way. Just under three quarters of those surveyed (74%) expect to work from home at least one day per week after Covid-19, up from only half prior to the pandemic.”

Second homes

37% of the “prime property purchasers” they surveyed were looking to buy a second-home. 

“In a boost to the sector, increased remote working means that owners will be spending more time in their second homes,” explains the report. “Property preferences vary by country and nationality” with owners in France prepared to accept the longest travel times. “Half of those buying in France are willing to travel over five hours to reach their second home, compared to just a quarter of those buying in Spain.”

23% of buyers in Spain said they “intend to spend more time at their second homes as a result of the pandemic,” compared to 40% in France.

The following table shows the features that buyers in Spain deem most important.

You can see the full results of the survey here.

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