Intervista con Duncan Voormolen

The new Second Homes Act came into effect on 1 January 2016. How has the market reacted to it?

The second home initiative saw an acceleration in the speed with which many new construction projects in the planning stage actually came onto the market, so as not to lose their second home permits. This resulted in an excess of supply and a marked imbalance between supply and demand. In addition, the market was influenced by geopolitical changes and high volatility in the financial markets.

Could we say that the situation is gradually getting back to normal?

The situation has not yet eased greatly. But since in the meantime no more new second homes can be built, over the coming months some of the excess of supply will reduce as properties are sold. However, this consolidation period will continue to influence the market for some time yet. We are currently witnessing a distinct buyer’s market in which prices are anything but set in stone. An agent’s personal commitment, tact and instinct have an important role to play here. In this special situation, agents have to build a bridge between vendor and purchaser. That can only happen where there is mutual trust.

How would you assess average price levels at the higher end of the market?

In the luxury market too, poor location and a need for renovation will markedly depress the price that can be obtained. The market has become very selective in this respect. A real pearl of a property will always find someone to fall in love with it, someone ready to pay the appropriate price. And structural and ecological features are becoming increasingly important. In general, buyers are becoming more demanding.

What are the advantages of purchasing a property in Ascona?

Ascona is a luxury destination, on a par with St Moritz or Saint Tropez. The beauty of Lake Maggiore, the Mediterranean climate, the lifestyle, the excellent quality of life and the high degree of safety are what make Ascona unique. So there are good reasons to invest in a beautiful apartment or a villa in Ascona. And in the medium term, this sort of real estate could have interesting appreciation potential.