Country houses for sale

Future property hotspots

Although the more established places to buy property continue to outperform other destinations, this may be set to change, according to new research from Knight Frank. Researchers interviewed High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) to find out what their plans are for their property portfolios, and discovered that interest in tax havens and offsetting carbon emissions is high, while Eastern Europe, China, India and Brazil are all set to make waves in the international property markets as investors look to diversify their portfolios of property abroad.

Factors HNWIs consider when choosing primary residence locations include the style and location of the property and the type and amount of land which comes with it. Sunbelt and Alpine resorts are of course still popular, although concerns about the Mediterranean becoming uncomfortably hot, and the lower ski resorts not being able to guarantee snowfall are mounting alongside evidence of climate change.

Non labour-intensive small business opportunities also appeal to this type of buyer, says the report, which specifically mentions olive groves as particularly in demand for second properties abroad, alongside fishing and sporting estates.

Buyers are also looking further afield than is traditional: ‘We are now seeing an increasing push towards remote and new unexplored locations for second homes,’ it states, although it also mentions that properties which are further away do have the problem of long haul travel coupled with concerns about carbon footprints, which puts some buyers off.

In terms of prime country property worldwide, St Jean Cap Ferrat is currently the most expensive rural location, with prices at ?30,300 per sq m, with Courchevel topping prices in the Alps, at ?21,000 per sq m. Surrey and Oxfordshire come in at 15 and 16 in this global top 20, due to their proximity to London, where the market has been performing extremely well over the past twelve months – prices currently stand at ?35,000 per sq m in the capital.

Looking to the future, cities to watch are almost certainly to the east, according to recent trends in prices: ‘The crucial players to watch are St Petersburg and Moscow in Russia, Delhi and Mumbai in India, and Guangzhou and Beijing in China,’ this research predicts. It also claims that within the next decade Moscow will almost certainly be challenging London for the title of most expensive city. New York is set to fall from third to fourth most expensive, it says, as Hong Kong, expected to recover from its current underperformance, will see an improvement in demand, and take over as number three in the world. Sao Paulo in Brazil was also mentioned as a city to watch in coming years, as South America drops onto the international second homes destination map.

Closer to home, Dubrovnik in Croatia is also expected to perform extremely well in coming years, as are areas of northern Europe including Scandinavia and Ireland, and island locations, where demand is driven by exclusivity.

Finally, the report predicts that interest in tax havens is expected to grow hugely: ‘Demand coming out of the UK for property in Monaco and the Channel Islands will expand steadily and will continue to underpin prices,’ the document predicts.

And the trend for the extremely weathly to shape the future of the global property market is unlikely to change, as economies globally continue to prosper, and the number of high net worth individuals continues to grow, conclues ther report: ‘Without a catastrophic economic or geopolitical events, there will be no halt to the large-scale wealth creation we have seen in recent decades, the authors promise. ‘The positive effect of HNWIs on prime residential property is undeniable, and our data strongly indicates that these markets will continue to outperform.

‘The HNWIs which have been created as a result of market conditions globally mean an increasing number of investors and institutional funds will have no option but to ‘follow the money’. This mantra is too true to be ignored.’