Who are typical fractional buyers of second homes?
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With over 10 years experience dealing with buyers and sellers of fractional property, we have seen how interest in co-ownership has grown and buyer trends have developed.
As a concept which enables like-minded people to share the costs of buying and owning a holiday home, co-ownership attracts discerning buyers who see sense in sharing those costs for a property they will only use for part of the year. For regular travellers, it also allows them to own a share in properties in several diverse locations.
Fractional ownership has always been attractive to the ‘baby boomer’ generation – typically those over 55 who are more likely to have time to travel and the funds to buy a holiday home without having to borrow. They are likely to want a home they can enjoy with their children and grandchildren throughout the year.
More recently, ‘Generation X’ (aged 40 to 55) and millennials who are more attuned to the benefits and attractions of the sharing economy have become an important group and we expect that to increase.
Co-ownership attracts a mix of buyers – those who can afford to buy a second home outright but can’t justify the outlay for the limited use, and those who cannot afford to buy on their own, or at least the quality of home they aspire to.
Although the attraction of buying a 1/8th share of a €4 million home for €500,000 is clear, we currently see little interest from buyers in Europe looking to spend this sort of sum. For those looking to buy in France, Italy, Spain and the UK, the average budget is €90,000 (£76,000) for a 1/8th share. This figure has increased from 12 months ago with increasing interest up to €150,000 (£129,000).
Buyers from North America often have a larger budget as they are more familiar with second home co-ownership. Our research shows that several companies in the United States are offering shares in high end second homes for in excess of $1million.
As a concept which started in North America in the 1990s, it’s not surprising that we see greater awareness of second home co-ownership with buyers from the United States and Canada. This group still makes up 40% of the enquiries we receive.
Over the last few years, knowledge of co-ownership has grown in Europe and we are seeing significant increase in interest – particularly from the UK, followed by Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Sweden. Interestingly, we still see little interest from Asia and the Middle East, except from British ex-pats.
Throughout the increase in interest in co-ownership over the last few years, the overwhelming motivation for buyers is to own a second home for personal use with friends and family. Sojourn8 do not allow homes to be rented out and income from their property does not seem to be a key motivation for many buyers.
Since the pandemic, we have seen an increase in buyers looking to co-own a second home that they can use not only for holidays, but also to allow them to work remotely in a different and more relaxing location than their principal home.
Before the pandemic, we saw some interest from companies interested in co-ownership – mainly properties in Central London for their senior executives and clients. Over the last 2 years, corporate interest has increased significantly as businesses are looking to offer their employees a hybrid office/home working arrangement.