International property: with lockdown easing and discounts increasing, is this now the time to buy a holiday home?

Aleksandra Wisniewska quotes Anthony Lassman, in her feature in the Financial Times Weekend, House & Home 13/14 June 2020 issue:
“Homes at the top of the market are unlikely to be reduced by much. The absolute best is so rarely available,” says Anthony Lassman, founder of Nota Bene. He thinks the luxury market will be the first to bounce back once restrictions lift and quarantine is not required.

Wisniewska continues her analysis by referring to low interest rates meaning affordability to purchase a property has never been stronger, demand having picked up for “I want it now”  sales, as people emerge from lockdown.

Nota Bene Real Estate is currently focusing on seeking and acquiring real estate on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Capri and Costa Smeralda, Sardinia in the €8m to €50m euro price range. “We believe that for the super-prime €8m is the approximate entry price range, but be prepared to invest another €2m on top for refurbishment, interior design and landscaping. At this price level certain parts of Italy, the Greek islands and the Balearics are included.

“However, when we speak of  the ultra-prime sector, for example domains in Saint-Tropez or the waterfront on Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda, the stakes increase  dramatically, with asking prices above €50 million not uncommon. In a number of cases they have been achieved, albeit not over the past six months. So our  role is to be up to date with latest statistics and sales comparables even though there have been so few sales over recent years to compare. We therefore need to rely upon micro-knowledge as to what constitutes the absolute best and then decide how rare is the opportunity offered. This, while taking a broader price analysis before reaching any conclusions. Micro-knowledge is essential, as is historical data, patterns of demand and supply, rarity value and likely future growth.

“The ultra-prime market, irrespective of whether in Europe or the US, for example in the Hamptons, works like no other. The ultimate trophy asset in real estate shares some similarities with a rare artwork. As with art, knowing what constitutes the trophy is key.

“Real estate is for the long term and, while we are not projecting any short-term growth, neither do we forecast any major downward correction. Our belief is  that, especially in this exceptional low interest rate environment, shrewd real estate purchasing and planning makes good sense in 2020.”