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September 20, 2016updated 08 Sep 2017 10:57am

Best places to buy a second home for winter

By Codelia Mantsebo

What’s your idea of the perfect winter escape? Do you dream of a snugly chalet, a roaring fire and views of mountain tops from your window? Or do you want to swap the wet and windy for the warm and sunny with a beach house where you can spend your days sweater-free and outdoors?

Codelia Mantsebo identifies the best places for a second home away from the expat hot spots, whether you like your winter getaway served hot, or if you prefer it cold.

Verbier, Switzerland

Source: Sothetbys £11,451,074

Verbier has the largest ski area in Switzerland and has a vast range of slopes to explore, traditional chalet style buildings and beautiful valley views. The affluent ski resort is particularly popular with British and Scandinavian snowbirds; it’s affluent and highly fashionable, offering an array of designer shops, fine dining and luxury accommodation. Prices are high for ski property in Verbier, but the atmosphere makes it worth parting with your cash.

Berlin, Germany

Source: LuxuryEstate, £8,582,100

Berlin doesn’t just make a fashionable choice for a second home, but also it’s also a lucrative one. The city has appeared in Knight Frank’s ranking of the 100 most popular and profitable markets for second homes – debuting at thirteenth spot this year. This also makes an ideal choice for a winter getaway for those seeking a truly festive experience. Spend your Christmases in Germany and absorb the holiday spirit with its famed Christmas markets.
Berlin also leads in the luxury real estate prices, that, in international comparison, it remains notably affordable, whilst also boasting desirable rates of economic growth.

Miami, USA

Source: Ritz Carlton Residences, Prices from £901,060

Although, hours away from London, global investors are buying beachfront luxury high-rise condo blocks in Miami as a second home.  for example, offers luxury homes with access to a private marina and vessel, golf course and a host of other state-of-the-art services. The Ritz-Carlton Residences on Miami Mid-Beach offer luxury homes with access to a private marina and vessel, golf course and a host of other state-of-the-art services while Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano’s US debut, Eighty-Seven park Residences, is expected to be completed in 2018.

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Courchevel, France

Source: Knight Frank

Courchevel is an easy choice for those looking for absolute luxury. Well known for its trendy atmosphere and elegant appeal, the prestigious Courchevel 1850 offers some of the most exclusive and luxury ski chalets in the French Alps. There are no restrictions on foreign ownership, but Capital Gains tax is payable on purchases of second homes owned for under two years.


Source: Soneva Fushi

While distance is a major factor to consider, the Maldvies is a popular winter-home destination. While the property market here is still in its primitive stage, there are villas based within hotel complexes prevailing on these Indian Ocean atolls ringed by reefs and turquoise sea. It’s possible to buy private residences on five-star hotels from £2.5  million to £11 million.


Source: Knight Frank

Barbados welcomes overseas buyers and there is no capital gains tax. For those looking for a mortgage, availability is good even for foreigners. The country preserves its reputation as a safe haven while retaining an aura of prestige. This is because its legal and political systems are similar to Britain’s. There are daily international flights from the UK, so tourism and rental prices are high for holiday homeowners wanting to earn a living from their investment.

Source: Knight Frank

Kenya has seen consistent growth, despite the financial crisis and fears of terrorism. The country has a tourist season that spans over 40 weeks, making this an attractive buy for those wanting rental income. Foreigners can buy resorts, most which have a mix of beachfront and interior wildlife.

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