How does economic uncertainty affect the luxury second-home market?
The western world has experienced a series of political and economic shocks in recent years. From Brexit and Trump to the rise of European populism and the surprise result in the UK’s general election – it seems we are living in a period of unprecedented uncertainty.
Although uncertainty can have a commercial impact, the current outlook for property investors is positive.
Buyers remain undeterred by uncertainty
The decision to purchase a luxury property is usually a matter of choice rather than necessity. So when potential buyers feel uncertain about the future, they tend to hold on to their money until the uncertainty has passed. However, we are living in a time of historically low interest rates, so it has never been cheaper to borrow to invest.
Property is often considered the most reliable of investments as it does not experience the abrupt ups and downs of the stock market. In this time of economic uncertainty, it seems that many are turning to property as a safe haven. While the more cautious investors may still prefer to hold on to their money, they risk missing out on a golden opportunity – and a spectacular property.
Whatever the economic climate, the lure of exceptional properties in stunning locations is simply too much to resist for many people. As a result, lifestyle preference has prevailed over political and economic doubts for many of the more affluent property buyers.
Advances in technology have also helped to motivate a decision to buy. High net worth individuals wishing to combine business with luxury living in distant locations can now work and communicate with effortless ease.
The unpredictability of an uncertain market
It could be quite some time before the long-term consequences, both economic and social, of the Brexit negotiations are known. Contributing to this period of uncertainty are the imminent elections in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, and considerable challenges still facing many of the world’s major economies following the 2008 banking crisis.
Conversely, the thing about uncertainty is that you just can’t tell what’s going to happen next. For instance, a big tax cut in the US – as President Trump has previously signalled – could lead to a large number of high net worth Americans with a cash windfall to spend. Rather than risking a fluctuating stock market, they may choose luxury property as a relatively safe, stable and pleasurable place to invest.
Many luxury second-home resorts, therefore, are still feeling upbeat despite the uncertainty. At ONE Select Properties, for example, we have never been so busy. Properties are selling well across the price spectrum. Our range of exclusive homes are highly sought after thanks to both the beautiful location, the attractive price and the timeless sense of pleasure a spectacular home can provide.
In spite of political and economic uncertainty, therefore, it seems that many people are seeking security in the sumptuousness surroundings of a stunning home abroad.