If there is one sector that has not been impacted by the Covid crisis, it is the luxury real estate sector, which has even met with an unprecedented craze. In an almost “insolent” way, some would say, the sector has – in spite of itself – responded to this desire to (re)connect with nature, to live in a soothing environment, to have more space. For some, it was a way to get away from the anxiety-inducing climate; for others, it was a way to make a purchase on a whim, or even a way to invest in something lasting and tangible in a period that is more prone to uncertainty.
And the figures speak for themselves: last January, BARNES, the prestige real estate specialist, announced that it had sold five prestige properties in less than a month. A particularity: all the properties sold are located in the plain, between Geneva and the Riviera. In all, for the entire sector, nearly one hundred transactions worth more than 5 million francs were recorded in Geneva alone in 2020 (houses and apartments).
Buyers, both Swiss and international, testify to this desire to return to a certain lifestyle, more “anchored”, more stable, less punctuated by constant travel and business trips. Switzerland mirrors this desire to “settle down”, transcribing this stability in a plural way, and reassuring. A notion that we greatly need at the moment!
For Fanny Eyraud, Director of PSPI:
“In this segment of prestige real estate, with such valuable properties, it is essential to subscribe to a global insurance, which covers the property in any situation: against the risks of fire, burglary, water damage, glass breakage or natural disasters. And this for the entire real estate assets of the buyers or tenants of this type of property, whether they are located in Switzerland or abroad.”
And if much has been said about foreign buyers coming to Switzerland to purchase a prestigious villa, the Swiss Ultra High-Net-Worth Individuals (UHNWI) (who own at least 30 million dollars) also participate in the exceptional growth of the attractiveness of these special properties. For example, in Verbier, a prestigious 800 m2 chalet with panoramic views of the Alps, six bedrooms and a private spa was sold for 32 million francs to a Swiss.
In this context, for the first time two Swiss cities appear in the BARNES Index, measuring the attractiveness of cities for UHNWIs, Zurich in first place and Geneva in 8th place.
In other words, prestige real estate is not about to slow down!