HOW has the COVID-19 pandemic affected buyers’ work/life priorities? After an unprecedented period of lockdown, many people have taken the opportunity to reassess their lifestyles and values. The threat of future outbreaks occurring has also had a specific effect on those looking to purchase a second home or retreat. 

Knight Frank’s recent annual Global Buyer Survey has highlighted some of these trends. For some, the ability to work remotely, alongside incentives such as visas for digital nomads, and a desire to travel after a period of confinement, has boosted demand for a home-from-home.

The pandemic has sparked a wave of second home demand with 33% of respondents saying they are more likely to buy a second home as a result of COVID-19. Better lifestyle and use as a retreat was the key reason cited by home buyers.

Of those looking to buy a second home, 23% say the pandemic has influenced where they want to buy with countries with advanced vaccine programmes or stringent lockdown measures topping the menu with an overwhelming 67% of respondents citing this as a major sway factor.

Buyers of second homes are prioritising outdoor space, a home study and greater privacy post-lockdown.

The property market in several areas in Spain witnessed an immediate surge in enquiries after lockdown. Researchers are already predicting a second wave of activity as rules start to ease and travel restrictions loosen  – a trend already evident this summer across prime second home hotspots France and Italy. The reappraisal of the work/life balance may signal a boom in the luxury property markets throughout Spain, which may well boost Gibraltar’s market too.

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