Holiday home needs and specs

The increasing interest shown in Greece by prospective holiday home buyers from abroad in recent months has to some extent confirmed the views of certain real estate circles which believe that Greece’s tourism product should be more focused on the supply of vacation homes. However, though there are large numbers of foreign buyers wishing to purchase a holiday home in Greece, it appears that local constructors have not been paying the necessary attention to what exactly those foreign buyers are seeking, i.e. what kind of home they would like. Usually, houses constructed by local builders do not fully meet foreign buyers’ expectations or needs. According to some surveys, many prospective buyers are older, near retirement age, and as a rule prefer more isolated locations, in regions or islands that they have previously visited when on vacation. Another requirement by foreigners, in addition to tranquillity and a nice view, is some unbuilt space on the plot of land. In a word, apart from the actual specifications of the house itself, foreign buyers are looking for sparsely built locations, quality of construction and the option to create an albeit small garden. Also, many such buyers are intent on having their say during the building phase, to make adjustments according to their personal likes and dislikes. Such requirements often constitute a barrier that small construction firms operating in popular tourist areas sometimes find difficult to overcome. A recent report by real estate services company Knight Frank, in cooperation with Citi Private Bank (a Citigroup member), showed the basic elements in the selection process for the right holiday home include a number of unique advantages offered by the property and the location, e.g. for fishing and sporting activities. It is worth noting that almost 50 percent of the participants in the above survey already own a second home in a foreign country, most of which are located around Europe (75 percent). Another equally significant factor for higher income earners in particular (84 percent), is the lifestyle and prestige offered by the location of their prospective holiday home. For instance, it is almost certain that some of them would prefer to spend their money in Monaco rather than southern Spain. Clearly, a great deal of foreign buyers (61 percent) view their house purchase as a long-term investment. Another interesting point is that most people who already own a holiday home in a foreign country believe that the likelihood of the emergence of dense construction and highly crowded areas in the next five years may play a far more important factor in choosing a location. Noise and annoyance in general are things that drive down interest in a specific area, with people nowadays increasingly turning to more isolated, still undiscovered regions, primarily in Europe. It is here that Greece could be a viable alternative for such buyers, and this seems to have been heeded by investors in the domestic holiday home market. Most of the newly built holiday home complexes on Greek islands and elsewhere are located in areas that are relatively off-the-beaten-track, with limited building activity in the immediate environs. Though foreigners are attracted by the prospect of longer hours of sunshine, they are deterred by the higher temperatures in the area of the Mediterranean. Finally, access would be another crucial issue to be considered by foreigners, since most of them value an easy and direct way to return home for business or in case of emergencies.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.