Global developments in recent months have changed the perception of what has been known as a second/vacation house. Now it ranks pari passu with the urban residence as withdrawal to nature is becoming not only a vacation lifestyle but a harmonic combination of rest, work and — not least — security. ‘The wilder the safer’, says François Thierry, one of the most affluent people in France today. This maxima is indisputable at the time of the pandemic, but it certainly will have a far-reaching impact long after the pandemic is over. Insular and mountain estates are yet to unfold their potential and become preferred for longer periods during the year, of course without disconnecting their inhabitants from cities and urban life.
What we are looking at is a lasting trend that is now gaining ground and is yet to expand its footprint in the market. The demand for properties that are located beyond the city limits but are at relatively short travelling distances and remain connected to it by adequate communications is getting momentum, shaping up a new trend and a new understanding of luxury. The numbers strongly support this assertion. Between April and September 2020, 15 % of all inquiries to Unique Estates were exactly for this type of properties, which is a notable proportion. (In comparison, before the pandemic these accounted for as little as 3 % of all inquiries to our company.) Meanwhile, places such as Pancharevo, Bankya, Lozen village and Bistritsa are again rising high on the radar of potential buyers. These developments make perfect sense. First, this type of locations provide for the much-needed now social distancing, which is next to infeasible especially in large cities. On the other hand, the contact these places offer with nature revives the perception of freedom, peacefulness, comfort and protection. All this leaves deep traces in peoples’ emotional memory and will certainly continue to have an impact after the pandemic is over.
Going forward, life out of the city and close to nature will be less of a counterpoint to urban life or part of the daily-vacation life opposition, and more of a very different mix and balance between urban-rural lifestyle. Being part of the dynamic city and getting back every day to your countryside island will be one of the facets of luxury. Properties at wonderful wombs of nature will increasingly rival those at perfect urban locations. And the requirements to the landscaping, architectural, and design solutions of these properties will increasingly focus on luxury intrinsic to both urban and rural life. New luxury loves the city and is one hour away from it.
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