Property co-ownership: the next big thing
On the back of huge success in the US, a new way of investing in property is starting to gain ground in Europe: co-ownership. Unlike the timeshare model that was all the rage in Spain a few years back, co-ownership means buying part of the property itself, not just the right to use it.
Co-ownership is becoming an increasingly popular way to invest in luxury homes, as it allows buyers to access dream properties to use as holiday homes all year round. Under this model, buyers who choose to invest in a property do so by incorporating a limited company, which buys a share of the property and is liable for the corresponding proportion of the related taxes.
These properties tend to be furnished, and any maintenance, repairs and administration is undertaken by a management company, which charges the owners a monthly fee for its services. All the owners have to do is decide when they would like to use the property, and the management company usually provides an app to ensure the process is quick and simple. They are also guaranteed access to the property for one or more peak-season stays.
This fractional ownership format could not be further from the much-maligned timeshare model that peaked back in the 1990s and has now fallen largely by the wayside.
CO-OWNERSHIP: "A model which affords the investor real ownership of part of the property, not just the right to use it."
Sustainability and support for local businesses
It's not just the property owners that stand to benefit from co-ownership, either. It is also great news for local restaurants, beach clubs and other leisure facilities, which have the chance to do good business all year round. The format is also more environmentally sustainable, as it allows demand for holiday homes to be met by existing properties.
In Spain, co-ownership has caught on thanks to companies like the US startup Pacaso, which has chalked up a wealth of experience in California and Florida and is now rolling out its luxury second home co-ownership business model to Ibiza and the Costa del Sol. Madrid-based Spanish startups Abriqot and Second Prop have also launched operations in this niche market in recent months. Abriqot, for example, offers properties for co-ownership not only in Spain but also in France and Italy.
Co-ownership is particularly popular among seniors looking to buy a holiday home internationally, but it is also a great opportunity for families who want to spend their holidays relaxing in a luxury home that they actually own.