What do overseas home buyers want in Portugal?
Amenities, high-speed internet access and a good view top the wish list for people buying in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, says Savills in its latest research on home buying trends in the four countries.
Jelena Cvjetkovic, director, Savills Global Residential, said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about changes to the way people live and work, altering what buyers deem important in their homes. From the search for more space, the need for connectivity to facilitate increased homeworking, to rising environmental awareness, the findings highlight trends that are playing out across residential markets globally.”
In What Buyers Want, Savills World Research surveyed buyers across the Savills network seeking property in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal during February and March 2021. The findings, based on 500 responses, provide an insight into homebuyer motivations and desires today.
Proximity to amenities, high-speed internet access and a good view ranks as the top three factors. Outdoor space matters too, with those buying in an urban environment placing high importance on balconies or patios, whilst those purchasing in a rural setting prioritise larger gardens.
A house in the country
The search for space continues with 58% of those buying a main residence planning to buy in a rural environment. For those looking for a second home, the figure rises to 80%.
86% of those buying in Portugal ranked proximity to a beach rather than amenities as the most important local factor, compared with 77% of those purchasing in Spain. Buyers in Spain, meanwhile, deemed amenities as the most important local factor (90%), followed by buyers in Italy (87%) and buyers in France (81%). A major airport is also important with 75% of buyers in Portugal and 65% of buyers in Spain citing it as a key factor.
Out of the buyers surveyed, those purchasing in Portugal placed the highest importance on a swimming pool (77%). This group also placed high importance on proximity to sporting facilities (70%) and a golf course (63%).
With the Covid-19 pandemic forcing many people to work from home, over a quarter (27% of respondents stated that increased home working had influenced their purchasing decision in some way. Just under three quarters (74%) expect to work from home at least one day a week, up from only half prior to the pandemic.
Almost 70% of buyers surveyed deemed energy efficiency an important property feature, while half of those cited sustainable building materials as important.
Purchasing a second or holiday home remains a significant motivation for prime property purchasers. Of those surveyed, 37% stated this was their reason for purchase.
The prime second home markets in Italy, Spain and Portugal are highly international. In Italy, British buyers account for 43% of those purchasing a second home, followed by Italian buyers (17%) and French buyers (9%). The market for main residences however remains predominantly domestic (64%) yet British buyers make up just under a quarter (21%).
The British are also the dominant nationality for second home buyers in Spain (57%) and Portugal (47%). Spain has the broadest appeal with buyers coming from Germany (11%) and Belgium (7%). Buyers from the Netherlands and America as well as those from Spain each take 4% of the market.
France remains a predominantly domestic market with the French making up 40% of those surveyed. British buyers account for 28%. American, Belgian, German and Swiss buyers are also active.
Paul Tostevin, director, Savills World Research, adds, “Increased remote working means that owners will be spending more time in their second homes. That may mean they are prepared to travel further to reach them, in turn, opening up a greater variety of second home destinations.”
Property preferences vary by country and nationality. Owners in France are willing to travel for longest to their second homes, while German buyers are open to the broadest range of property types.