Country houses for sale

Destinations for sunny second homes

An easy hop: Mallorca

You might only have thought of the Balearic island as a summer destination, but January is peak season for golfers, as well as cyclists and walkers. ‘It’s not exactly bikini weather, but you can certainly go around in a T-shirt,’ says long-term resident Dominique Carroll of Engel & Völkers. ‘Midday temperatures fluctuate between 15° and 18°.’

Market report: The island suffered a downturn with the rest of Europe, but 2013 has seen a marked turnaround and most believe the prices have now bottomed out and are on the rise.

What’s for sale? Engel & Völkers are marketing a traditional finca that’s been restored with a new kitchen, bathrooms, five bedrooms and a large swimming pool, just 10 minutes from the old town of Pollensa (and five minutes from the golf course) for €1.6 million (00 34 971 89 77 00).

Warmer (and further): Cyprus, Malta and Morocco

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Average January temperatures vary little between the eastern Mediterranean islands of Cyprus and Malta and the city of Marrakech in Morocco. Although the average hovers around 13°, there’s room for considerable variation and it’s not unheard of to be enjoying a balmy 22° in the middle of January in Marrakech. One advantage to heading south towards the Equator in winter is the promise of longer days.

Market report: The Maltese market went through a period of decline from 2008 to 2012, but, according to Chris Pace of Chesterton Humberts Malta, the market has started to move again. ‘We’re expecting an even better outcome this year with the new citizenship scheme announced by the government.’ What’s for sale? Christie’s International Real Estate are marketing a small riad in Marrakech for €600,000 (00 212 5 24 42 22 29).

Long haul but no jetlag

Cape Town

Escape the winter altogether by heading to the Southern Hemisphere as soon as the mercury begins to drop in Europe. You won’t be alone.

Market report: In a recently published report by Candy & Candy, Savills World Research and Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, the Cape Winelands- where the average temperature in January is 22°-was identified as an emerging luxury second-home destination.

According to Dr Andrew Golding of Pam Golding Property Group (PGP), activity in the South African market is beginning to show strong signs of recovery.

Who’s buying? Last summer, PGP sold a R23.5 million (£1.33 million) house in Constantia, one of Cape Town’s most desirable suburbs, to a UK buyer.


Alternatively, what about the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius for a winter escape, where the average temperature for January is a very manageable 26°?

Market report: Foreigners have only been allowed to own on the island for a short while and developers have targeted highend clients with a small collection of developments, many with golf courses. Joanna Leverett of Savills International says it has much to recommend it: ‘There are direct flights from the UK and the time difference is only three hours, so it’s possible to go for a weekend without suffering from jetlag.’

Added value: Buyers qualify for residency with attractive tax benefits that include 15% income tax and no inheritance and capital gains taxes.

The Whole Hog: Sydney

With average temperatures hovering around 27°, blue skies in Sydney are almost guaranteed throughout January.

Market report: The recent fall of the Australian dollar compared to the pound has led to high levels of interest from overseas buyers. Adam Ross of Savills Australia Residential explains: ‘Last year marked a significant recovery for Sydney’s housing market and it remains the best performing city in Australia.’

A bright future ‘Prices will remain buoyant throughout 2014,’ Mr Ross

predicts, ‘although the rate of growth experienced over 2013 should

ease. Expatriates are realising that now is the time to buy and some

have been looking for the ideal winter retreat.’

Sizzling Sydney: this three bedroom house enjoys views of Port Jackson, the Sydney skyline and Harbour Bridge from all four levels. £2.38 million through Savills (020- 7016 3741).

* Luxury houses for sale overseas

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