The average house owner spends over 250,000 euros on a second home in his or her country or abroad. However, there are plenty of possibilities for those who want to pay less, as increasingly more recreational properties are being developed for the more ‘limited’ budgets. Next to the Netherlands it is mainly Spain, France, Turkey, Austria and Italy that are popular abroad. “A second home can be a lucrative investment and now that the crisis is practically over, this dream is within reach for more people,” Henkjan Prins, organiser of Second Home International, says.
This biennial fair is taking place from 3 to 5 October in the Jaarbeurs Utrecht. After the country suffered from the crisis a number of years, Spain has been recovering quickly. The number of second houses sold between 2012 and 2013 increased by no less than 43%. What is especially striking is the large number of Belgians owning a second residence in Spain. They were the biggest ‘customers’ last year (+78%), followed by the French (+70%), the Germans (+35%) and the British (+25%). This number will definitely be increasing even more in the future, but figures show that buying a second house closer to home can be at least as lucrative.
A second home nearby
Because owning a second home in the Netherlands is gaining popularity the number of real estate agents present at the Second Home International fair has significantly grown. “Increasingly more people see the advantages of an investment close to home. The buyer can use the second home himself more, and the chance of a good rental profit is bigger. We all know how historically low the interest rates for savings accounts are at the moment, and of course the market reacts to this.” The nice yield in combination with the own use of a second home – for example in the form of a weekend away with the children or grandchildren – is an argument that is often heard.
About a quarter of the buyers of a second home wants to remain abroad for a longer period, but wants to keep the first house in the Netherlands as well. “Think about people that are close to their pension for example and who want to buy a second home for their own use. They do not want to just rent out the house in general, but rent it out in a kind of friend construction and let them enjoy the property as well.” This is in line with the trend that private people do more business with each other via the Internet. “Sharing your belongings, including your second home, and making some money out of it as well is indeed an upcoming trend. Via Home Away for example people can book apartments of others and also Micazu, a Dutch online market place where holiday makers can book holiday houses directly with the owners, is growing rapidly.”
Personal contact is important
Even though a lot of houses can be found on different websites, buyers prefer to gain information first during a fair such as Second Home International. “These investments are quite significant most of the times,” Prins emphasises. “During the fair, these people can contact that real estate agent or developer directly. Next to the fact that they can talk about the country and the type of house, it becomes clear immediately what the buyer wants to do with the second home. Is he looking for a home just to use himself or does he want to rent it out as well?” The various seminars during the Second Home International fair can also help potential buyers with making the right choices.
Most people who buy a second home want to use their savings actively and gain something out of it. “Investing in stocks and shares is too risky for them and savings accounts do not offer an interesting interest rate. In general, a second home is a stable investment. Potential buyers use their second home for their own holidays, but they also rent it out, mainly in the peak season. They can gain a nice extra income thanks to the rental profits of 4% to 8%. A part of the group of buyers specifically purchases a second residence in order to get that profit. Furthermore, from a fiscal point of view renting out is an interesting source of income,” says Prins.