UELI SCHNORF AND PHILIPP PETER, OWNERS OF WETAG CONSULTING, EXPLAIN THE CONCEPT OF LUXURY IN THE REAL ESTATE SECTOR AND WHY TICINO CONTINUES TO BE ONE OF THE MOST SOUGHT-AFTER DESTINATIONS IN THE WORLD.
We can begin by analysing in detail how the demand for luxury real estate in Ticino is structured...
"We have to talk about three different types of market. There is a primary market that includes homes located in large cities where people live and work. Think of the world's major cities... Paris, London, New York, where there are residential districts with particularly prestigious flats or villas. The second market, on the other hand, is the so-called resort market and includes homes located in areas typically used for holidays. This is the case in the Caribbean islands, where people buy luxury homes to spend more or less long periods of time there throughout the year. Lastly, there is a Life Style and Jet Set market where we find fashionable destinations (Côte d'Azur, Monaco, Costa Smeralda) where people can live but also spend periods of time on holiday.
How does Ticino fit into this international panorama?
"The absolute strength of Ticino is that it combines all these different markets. There are people who choose to live there permanently throughout the year, others who only spend a few periods of time there, and others who come for their holidays. This diversified situation is an extraordinary opportunity because you can address your real estate proposals to a wider and more heterogeneous public; on the other hand, it implies a greater professionalisation, because you have to elaborate a precise profile of potential buyers, analysing in depth their real needs, availability and expectations".
Alongside luxury and ultra-luxury properties for residents, there is also a demand for second homes in Ticino. What are the characteristics of this market?
"Local buyers, i.e. clients who live and work in Ticino, usually purchase properties worth between CHF 1 and 3 million. As for the sector that includes properties valued at over CHF 3 million, buyers are very often international clients or come from the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Finally, the ultra-luxury real estate market in Ticino includes penthouses and estates valued at over CHF 10 million. These properties are often situated in optimal locations with views of the lake. It should also be considered that the secondary residence market is the one that suffers most from the restrictions and regulations introduced at federal and cantonal level. There are in fact different situations depending on whether a residence is located in a tourist area or not. It is also necessary to take into account restrictions on the surface area that can be purchased, which must not exceed 200 square metres. Secondary residences are mainly chosen by clients who look to Ticino for the excellent opportunities for holidays, relaxation and outdoor sports it offers".
In recent years, buyers have been paying increasing attention to the real value of the property: what are the elements that must contribute to determining the "right price"?
"A specific trend among buyers in the luxury market is the strong focus on the real value of the property. Today's buyers, especially those from abroad, have survived the crisis of recent years. They inquire about real values so that they are not forced to pay more than necessary and run the risk of not being able to resell a property in the future. If a property is overpriced, it will have no chance of being sold to such customers. Properties that have a good ratio of favourable location, quality and realistic price are normally sold within an acceptable time period, but this has lengthened compared to the situation in recent years and is currently around 24 months. In any case, the intervention of specialised intermediaries is decisive for the success of a sale".
When buying or selling a luxury property, it is becoming increasingly important to have the qualified advice of an operator who has an in-depth knowledge of all the problems and dynamics of the market. What is the added value offered by a company like yours in accompanying a client through all the phases of a purchase?
"Our membership of four major international networks, our long-standing roots in Ticino, and the experience we've gained over many years in the luxury real estate market allow us to gain a thorough understanding of the evolution of each market segment, the changes taking place and future prospects. This allows us to have a constantly updated view of the situation, supported by a large amount of statistical data, and a specific expertise that covers all possible legal, fiscal, technical aspects... This is clearly a great competitive advantage directly deriving from belonging to several serious networks that offer villas and luxury residences in all the most prestigious locations around the world".
Finally, how can we summarise the many good reasons why clients from all over the world choose to reside in Ticino?
"Those who come to Ticino choose to take advantage of the traditional benefits offered by this region, which represents an ideal combination of political and economic-financial stability and the Italian style of the "dolce vita". The pleasant Mediterranean climate, the lush green nature, the lakes Ceresio and Maggiore, together with the surrounding mountains, have for decades made this area the main destination for tourists and buyers from Northern Europe. Moreover, if we also consider the low level of crime, the excellent health system, and the high level of educational and public facilities and services, Ticino really is an ideal place to live".
Riva Antonio Caccia 3
Via Antonio Ciseri 13A
Via Monte Verità 1
+41(0)91 601 04 40