Overseas: Buying abroad? Go green

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Before you buy a second home overseas, look at the eco-friendly options

Owning a second home can be a complex business, not just in terms of the financial commitment but whether it is socially and environmentally responsible to own overseas. However, with green issues high on the agenda, developers are more likely than ever to incorporate sustainability into their projects.

Pierre & Vacances, which sells property in France, for example, is making new properties energy efficient, reducing waste and using materials from certified sources. P&V's most eco-friendly development is currently being sold in the Moselle region of France and offers two- to four-bed wooden, cabin-style homes starting at £168,000. Marie Balmain, who runs P&V's sustainability programme, says the company works with environmental organisations to ensure properties don't damage the local environment.

This greening ethos is spreading slowly into all markets, including Eastern Europe. Seven Lakes, near the resort of Borovets in Bulgaria, is an attractive, carbon-neutral development. The stone-and-timber chalets have been created from local materials and are powered by water and wind. The two- and three-bed homes start at £124,300 through Obelisk International.

Gordon Miller, founder of sustainability portal What Green Home, says there is a small but growing awareness of environmental issues with home buyers. "Only five per cent of buyers will ask environmental questions," he says, "but I'm seeing increased interest."

Miller claims some countries, particularly those in northern Europe, have a history of being more eco-conscious than others. Investors in Property offers quaint chalets in St Martin, an eco-complex near Salzburg, Austria. They were built using local, untreated woods insulated with wool, while energy is provided using vegetable oil with back up from solar, wind and biomass systems. The three-bed properties are currently selling from £268,200.

Those seeking something more contemporary should look at Portugal's Silver Coast where the Peralta resort is currently being built near Lourinha. The villas are being built from reclaimed glass and stone with wood sourced from sustainable plantations. Geothermal heating and cooling systems reduce energy consumption, working alongside solar panels and wind turbines. Prices start from £694,400, through Quintessentially Estates, which is also selling Peralta's stunning sister resort Joia das Dunas, priced from £496,000.

The Domaine Royal Palm development, near Marrakech, is one of the few environmentally aware resorts in Morocco. Villas are made from natural materials and the site is fossil-fuel free, using solar energy and thermal heating and cooling systems. Erna Low is offering properties from £500,500.

It seems as if the second home market is finally moving in the right direction. Gordon Miller points out that legislation will soon force the industry to be greener. "In most Western countries, buyers of new homes won't have a choice about purchasing a green home because [they] will be the only option."



What Green Home: www.whatgreenhome.com; Quintessentially Estates: 0845 224 3658; www.quintessentiallyestates.com; Obelisk International: 0808 160 0670, www.obeliskinternational.com; Erna Low: 020 7590 1624, www.ernalowproperty.co.uk; Romanian Property Connection: 0790 401 0802, www.romanianhomes.com; Investors in Property: 020 8905 5511, www.investorsinproperty.com; Pierre & Vacances: 0800 001 5551, www.pierre-vacances.co.uk

Buyers' guide

*Ask developers about their eco-stance. Check if they use renewable energy, how insulated properties are and where materials and water come from.

*Find out what happens to waste and whether the resort recycles effectively.

*Check whether locals have been displaced by the development works or lost their beach access, water supplies or green areas.

*Be aware of 'greenwash' – or claims that properties are more eco-friendly than they actually are.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Property search
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

E-Commerce Developer

£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice