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When it comes to property trends over the past two years, buyer motivations are very varied. Some individuals have looked to make property purchases to diversify investments and spread risk over different asset classes. Other investors wanted to generate rental income or are betting on the continuing rise of property prices giving a good return on investment in the future. For other buyers, the reasons are more personal: they are buying a primary residence as an expat, a holiday home abroad or they are simply upsizing or downsizing in their home country. Here are Enness’ insights into some of the best places to invest in property in 2022 for different types of buyers.
Monaco’s property prices have been on the rise over the past decade, but in 2021 they topped the scales coming in at €51,912 per square metre – an increase of 9% on the previous year.
In many ways, the pandemic has only solidified Monaco’s position as one of the ultimate destinations for high-net-worth individuals to live and own property. Security remains among one of the biggest draws of the Principality, but the excellent education, leisure and healthcare options also hold sway, as does the glamourous lifestyle. As Monégasque property prices increase, the Principality effectively becomes more niche and accessible to only the very wealthiest families and individuals. Even for ultra-high-net-worth individuals, mortgages and property finance remain the norm in Monaco.
Much is made of Monaco’s ‘race for space’, and unsurprisingly, larger properties command higher prices per metre. Like much of the rest of the world, Monaco hasn’t been immune to the changes brought about by the pandemic, and more living space is high on the agenda of many moving homes within the Principality or those moving or buying here for the first time.
The UK’s house prices have skyrocketed in the past couple of years, especially in London. The upward trend has been fueled by changing visions on what people want from their homes (namely buying a new property with better access to greenery or a house with a garden, upsizing to have more homeworking space, and so on). At the same time, the historically low interest rates and the 2020/2021 stamp duty holiday have accelerated house price valuations and demand for property.
While it’s expected that 2022 won’t see the valuation rises of past years, house prices will remain steady or drop slightly in some parts of the market. However, it’s thought that valuations for prime and super prime properties will continue to rise.
While there is exponential interest from international investors in UK property at the top end of the market, domestic buyers remain the main source of demand for London real estate. Properties in London’s Notting Hill, for example, remain especially sought after. Like many other areas of London, most prospective buyers tend to be foreign nationals living locally in London full time or British families or individuals upsizing, downsizing or getting on the housing ladder.
France has always attracted foreign buyers, but more so in the past couple of years. Where ‘bargain’ property used to be plentiful in France, the comparatively cheap bargains of days gone by have all but disappeared. Property prices have risen as domestic and international demand for French property has continued to grow.
France has some of the most alluring properties in Europe. The French property market arguably offers something for every type of buyer: Parisian prime and super-prime property, countryside chateaux and spacious properties (both renovated or ripe for development), chalets in the Alps for those drawn by the mountains and stunning coastal properties, especially on the Côte d’Azur. During the pandemic, many high-net-worth individuals considered buying holiday homes. Many buyers have looked at France as the ideal place to buy a property, drawn by the stunning real estate, steady valuations, access to finance and France’s culture, food and climate.
Knight Frank's 2022 Ski Report has highlighted the allure of Swiss property from an investment perspective, with several Swiss ski resorts taking the top spot for price growth over the past year. For non-residents, it is only possible to buy in Swiss tourist regions, which essentially limits the choice of properties to certain mountain resorts. Because relatively few properties are coming onto the market in these areas, there is increasingly a supply/demand imbalance, which (amongst other things) keeps chalet and mountain apartment prices stable and rising, especially for prime property.
Property purchases are firmly on the agenda for expats living in Switzerland (nearly a quarter of the Swiss resident population). Residents with permits can generally buy property anywhere in the country. However, local communes need to give approval based on local quotas that stipulate how many foreign nationals can own property within the commune. Switzerland’s stable economy, growth, political outlook and generally positive reception to the handling of the pandemic are all serving to push resident non-Swiss nationals to buy Swiss property as primary residences. Homes in or near Switzerland’s main towns and cities remain the most popular, as are lakefront properties close to Geneva, Zürich and Lugano. Given the high entry point for Swiss properties (a million francs isn’t uncommon for apartments in the bigger cities with prime property and larger homes costing considerably more), liquidity is critical for Swiss property purchases, and mortgages are the norm.
Whether you are looking to buy an investment property abroad, a holiday home or you are an expat looking to buy at home or in your country of residence, Enness can help source and negotiate property finance. Get in touch for an informal chat about any questions you have, to discuss your plans or learn about your options.