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Insights

Meet three new Savills associates: Spain, Morzine and Liguria

Real-estate insight for residential properties in Italy, the French Alps and Spain

Illustrated image of Casa Milà

To find out more about the latest real-estate trends and market intelligence, we asked experts in our new associate offices to answer questions about their specialist region:

Spain

Alex Vaughan, Founding Partner, Lucas Fox

If you had $5m to invest in Spain, where would you choose?

I would spread the investment across three of Spain’s main cities: Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. Despite their ever-growing popularity, they’re still underpriced, offering good potential for medium-term capital growth and attractive rental yields.

What’s the percentage of overseas buyers in your region?

It varies a great deal according to the region. In Barcelona and its surrounding coastal areas, it’s 70% international buyers, with 50% in Valencia, 30% in Madrid and in excess of 90% in Marbella and Ibiza.

Tell us a secret about one of the local areas.

Paradiso is a clandestine cocktail bar that’s accessed through the fridge of an innocuous-looking pastrami bar in Barcelona’s fashionable El Born neighborhood.

How strong is the rental market for prime property in your region?

The long-term rental market for prime properties in Barcelona and Madrid is strengthening year on year, with an increasing number of international clients opting to rent.

What types of property can we expect to find?

This varies immensely according to the region, from small but conveniently located apartments in urban, developed areas, to expansive fincas in rural areas, with large acreages, estate buildings, and even vineyards and bodegas.

Tell us an interesting fact about the local prime market.

In 2017, 20% of our prime property buyers in Barcelona city came from Turkey.

 

Illustrated image of cable car

Morzine, French Alps

Paul Watts, Real Estate Consultant

If you had $5m to invest in Morzine, where would you choose?

The south side of Morzine has stunning panoramic views, so I’d choose a large chalet there. I’d go for one close to the centre but on one of the quieter streets, for the best of both worlds. For around $2 or $3m, I’d opt for a penthouse apartment in a ski-in ski-out building.

What’s the percentage of overseas buyers in your region?

Around 70%. Overseas buyers outweigh local buyers in this area because it’s an excellent location for beautiful holiday homes.

Tell us a secret about the local area.

It’s steeped in history: winter sports enthusiasts have been coming here for more than 100 years. Although Morzine sits at a low altitude, the Col de la Joux Verte pass climbs up to Avoriaz, guaranteeing snow. There’s also a frozen lake for ice skating. With summer trails, bike lifts and forested slopes, the resort is lively all year round, but especially in winter and summer.

How strong is the rental market for prime property in your region?

The cross-seasonal appeal of Morzine makes for a strong rental market, particularly in summer, when the season runs for about eight to 12 weeks. The winter season runs for 16 weeks or so.

What types of property can we expect to find?

Morzine offers a good range of properties for a variety of budgets, with modest but attractive two-bed apartments from around €350,000 and luxury chalets with incredible views for up to €6,000,000.

Tell us an interesting fact about the local prime market.

New infrastructure is planned for the 2020/21 season, linking Morzine and Avoriaz. This is further up the Col de la Joux Verte pass, near the Hauts-Forts mountain. The cable car will be the longest in Europe and will be open day and evening. This improved connection will give better access to higher slopes and guaranteed snow, significantly increasing the market appeal of Morzine.

Illustrated image of cheese, basil and onions to make pesto

Liguria, Italy

Chris Ostet, Director

If you had $5m to invest in Liguria, where would you choose?

A villa in Santa Margherita Ligure, one with a sea view and outdoor space. Or perhaps a villa in the hills in Portofino within the national park. It would be surrounded by natural beauty with a view that’s the same today as it was 100 years ago, and will stay the same as it’s within an exclusive protected area. There aren’t many places in the world where you can buy a view that’s been frozen in time.

What’s the percentage of overseas buyers in your region?

International buyers account for approximately 20% of the market, and it’s continuing to rise. Italy’s new tax legislation incentives are making property in Italy a more attractive option for an overseas buyer, and we’re seeing this filter through into Liguria.

Tell us a secret about the local area.

Frank Sinatra’s mother was from a small Ligurian village. He was very proud of his roots and loved traditional Genoese pesto.

How strong is the rental market for prime property in your region?

It’s very strong, particularly during the summer months. There’s a huge worldwide demand for prime property on the Italian Riviera from June to September for weekly or monthly lettings. Supply is low, especially for modern property refurbished to a high standard.

What types of property can we expect to find?

Apartments in picturesque, pastel-coloured buildings lining the waterfront. These were once fishermen’s houses and are now fashionable, desirable properties with sea views. You’ll also find larger independent villas, positioned slightly into the hills. These are close to the beaches and the cosmopolitan lifestyle, but with privacy, gardens and the knowledge that the natural beauty of the surrounding area will remain untouched because no new builds are allowed.

Tell us an interesting fact about the local prime market.

The region of Liguria stretches from the south of France to Tuscany. It’s fondly known as the Italian Riviera because of the warm climate and natural beauty. On one side, Liguria is embraced by the Mediterranean, while on the other you’ll find the mountainous Ligurian hills. That means there’s not a lot of space for property; new builds are not allowed and strict planning regulations are in place on existing properties. Locals are pleased with these regulations – even the colour of a property’s exterior has to be chosen from a small selection of heritage colours specific to the region, ensuring that the natural beauty of the area is protected and adding charm.