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Luxury buyers from the US, China and India are prioritising outdoor space when considering their next purchase to help them through the pandemic.

Neyshia Go of Sotheby’s International Realty – Beverly Hills Brokerage in California says: “In my market, if my property is priced well and has a pool, you can almost bet it can have multiple offers.”

In general, Go adds, buyers are looking for more space to roam during a period of confinement whether that is a roof deck, a private park or a courtyard attached to their home.

With parents and children working and going to school remotely, a home with multiple offices and study areas has become a necessity as having a larger kitchen.

Go says: “With the closure of restaurants, everyone is trying their hand at the latest Tik Tok recipes and looking for even larger kitchens.”

Some are also looking for plots of land to build custom projects, for example, a home office or a giant cinema room, a health and leisure complex with spa options.

Where to buy?

Cote d’Azur agents reported more inquiries last summer than in 2019 primarily from domestic buyers wanting villas or apartments with outdoor space and balconies.

The rise in Riviera homes is likely to continue given how President Emmanuel Macron’s tax reforms have benefited France’s wealthiest residents. Some economists have predicted that the number of millionaires is set to grow in the region by 22% over the next five years.

Edward de Mallet Morgan, partner at Knight Frank says: “We are now starting to see a notable uptick in activity in new people coming to live and buy in Monaco and in people wanting to buy houses on the French Riviera. There have been a number of significant deals of late, and we expect to see a resurgence of buyers from Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) this summer, looking to relocate for the lifestyle, as well as tax benefits that Monaco and the region provides.

“Monaco gives the rare ability of residents to live and work in a buzzing, evolving and modernising metropolis, with the access to the sea and the French and Italian Rivieras. There are also more and more families moving to Monaco, in search of space and larger apartments, taking advantage of a better ability for people to work remotely with access to good private schools.

“In the last few months, there have been a number of deals at the top end of the market (€30m+). It is still the case that most people want to buy something that is in good condition, rather than requiring a lot of work. There is also increased appetite for the very top end of the market, circa €100m and above. Fundamentally, people still want to spend timing living and holidaying and owning property on the French riviera and the pandemic has only enhanced this for some.”

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