What springs to mind as you read the words 'second home'? Perhaps you conjure up images of a quaint farmhouse close enough to a village to get to the shops, but far enough away to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside? Or maybe it’s a lock-up-and-leave bolthole somewhere sunny?
However, rather than having an idealised vision of their perfect second home, today’s buyers are honing in on the specifics. According to the Savills Second Homes Spotlight, the three factors buyers deem 'very important' are broadband internet, a balcony or terrace and proximity to a beach.
The need for broadband shows that buyers want to get away from it all, but stay up to speed – a reflection of the digital age we live in and illustrating the need for connectivity, even on holiday. Crucially, broadband internet is a key requirement across the spectrum of second home buyers, whatever their age or nationality.
Having a balcony or terrace provides all the benefits of outside space, without having to worry about the logistics of maintaining a plot of land in another country. Indeed, the research shows that balconies are significantly more popular than large gardens amongst most second home buyers.
Proximity to a beach is by no means a new entry on the wish list, nor is it surprising. Being close enough to walk to a beach is a huge draw in many searches, and sometimes the key, non-negotiable requirement.
There is good news for second home owners who are looking to rent out their property. Short-term renters’ requirements largely overlap with those of second home buyers: they too want broadband and to be close to the beach. Owners may want to consider installing air-conditioning, as this ranks third on the renter's wish list.