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  1. Blog
  2. The World’s Most In-Demand Second Home Hotspots
Research & Insights
11 March 2024

The World’s Most In-Demand Second Home Hotspots

GetAgent Team
The World’s Most In-Demand Second Home Hotspots

Table of contents

  1. 1. Most Popular Cities Around The World For Second Homes
  2. 2. Top 20 Most Searched Cities Around The World For Second Homes
  3. 3. Most Popular Countries For Second Homes
  4. 4. Top 20 Most Searched Countries For Second Homes
  5. 5. Most Popular UK Cities For Second Homes
  6. 6. Top 10 Most Searched UK Cities For Second Homes
  7. 7. Most Popular US Cities For Second Homes
  8. 8. Top 10 Most Searched US Cities For Second Homes
  9. 9. Methodology

From coastal destinations offering sun, sea and sand to quaint cities filled with culture and history, there are picturesque destinations all over the world that attract millions of tourists and second home owners each year.

For people who fall in love with a destination and want to revisit it time and time again, owning a second home and renting it out while you're not there could be a fantastic way to make passive income and have somewhere to stay whenever you want to visit.

In order to find out where in the world the most in-demand locations to buy a second property in are, we dived into global search data for terms such as ‘second home in [location]’ and ‘holiday home in [location]’, revealing that countries including Ireland, New Zealand and the UK are some of the trending second home hotspots for 2024.

So if you're looking for inspiration on where to purchase a second property, then one of these popular in-demand destinations could be the one for you…

The most in-demand city for second homes is the Gold Coast, Australia. The city, which is located on the east coast and just south of Brisbane, is famed for its waves and beautiful long sandy beaches while also being home to some impressive theme parks - ideal for families and surfers alike. Average house prices hit a record $1.03 million in December 2023.

Australian cities dominate much of the top twenty, with Melbourne - the coastal hotspot which is often hailed as one of the world’s most liveable cities - ranking in second with almost 45,000 searches over the past year for both second and holiday homes in the city. Adelaide (24,800 searches) and Perth (22,800 searches) also feature in the top ten. The nation’s capital Sydney ranks in 13th spot, while sunny Brisbane ranks in 15th.

York, located in the United Kingdom, ranks in third. The historic Northern city is home to some eye-catching architecture, with its Gothic cathedral being one of the city’s main stand-out tourist attractions and drawing in hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. Our property data for York suggests that the average asking price for properties in the walled city is around £408,000. With the average rental price in York exceeding £1,000 a month (placing it in the top 20 most expensive cities in the UK), buying a property in the area could certainly make for a savvy investment.

In fourth place is Cape Town in South Africa. This port city attracts tourists from all around the world as they look to enjoy the delicious local food and wines on offer, and even take on beautiful hikes on the impressive mountains that surround the city. Rounding out the top five is the southern Spanish city of Malaga; a city that is well-known for its museums and galleries, is perfect for art lovers and home to some beautiful beaches - making it a great escape for homeowners and travellers alike.

Scottish cities Edinburgh (19,800 searches) and Inverness (19,200 searches) also feature in the top ten second home hotspots, with homeowners regularly searching for second and holiday homes in both areas.

Measures were taken recently in Edinburgh to curb short-term holiday letting in the city, when Edinburgh faced a housing crisis in the latter half of 2023. Though property prices remain expensive by Scottish standards, the city attracts many renters from more expensive locations in the UK who are able to pay higher property prices than locals can afford. The city’s global reputation as a tourist must-visit destination has encouraged many to invest in holiday letting properties, and so in order to protect those seeking residential properties in the city, the Scottish government last year took measures to curb the issues residents were experiencing. A countrywide policy was put in place that now requires all operators of self-catering residences to apply for planning permission before hosting short-term guests.

Even with these measures in place though, it seems that people are still keen to invest in second properties in Edinburgh - whether as a holiday home or rental property, suggesting that the demand is still there.

Top 20 Most Searched Cities Around The World For Second Homes

RankCityCountryAnnual global searches for second homes
1Gold CoastAustralia49,200
3YorkUnited Kingdom33,800
4Cape TownSouth Africa32,900
8AucklandNew Zealand21,500
9EdinburghUnited Kingdom19,800
10InvernessUnited Kingdom19,200
12St DavidsUnited Kingdom18,200
14Los AngelesUSA17,380
16BathUnited Kingdom15,900
19ChesterUnited Kingdom13,700
20PlymouthUnited Kingdom13,620

According to our research, Ireland tops the list as the country people are most frequently searching for a holiday home in, with almost 100,000 annual searches. Whether you’re seeking a fun-filled weekend in the lively city of Dublin or a week-long trip taking in beautiful scenic drives like the Wild Atlantic Way, the country has so much to offer. With easy access to the UK and rest of Europe, many people around the world view Ireland as a desirable location to buy a property in and use as a base to travel back and forth. Average property prices in the country also sit at around €365,000, meaning many homeowners may find their property budgets stretching further in this charming country, when compared to prices in their home nation.

In second place is New Zealand, which is the perfect destination for those who love thrilling activities, with a plethora of activities all over the country to thrill any adrenaline junkie. With its breathtaking natural landscapes, high quality of life and outdoors lifestyle, the country has a lot to offer for those looking to buy a second home.

Making up the top three is the United Kingdom, where over 55,000 people around the world were found to be searching for second homes in the country over the past year. As per official statistics from the year 2021 - 2022, 2.1 million households in the UK reported owning at least one additional property. Slightly more than one-third of these households utilised the property as a secondary residence, while the majority chose to lease out their secondary property in the private rental sector.

European countries dominated the top countries for a second home, with destinations including Italy, Portugal, Spain, Lithuania and Greece all featuring as the most in-demand spots for purchasing a holiday home in.

Top 20 Most Searched Countries For Second Homes

RankCountryAnnual global searches for second homes
2New Zealand92,800
3United Kingdom55,900
4Equatorial Guinea52,800

York tops the list as the UK’s most popular city for holiday homes, with an impressive 33,000 searches a year for second homes in the beautiful city. Known for its breathtaking Gothic cathedral and the famous shopping street known as the Shambles, the city has plenty to offer visitors.

In second place is Edinburgh, the Scottish city that attracts millions of visitors each year, with the comedy Fringe Festival taking over the city every summer bringing in scores of tourists from all over the world.

In third place, with over 19,000 searches each year, is another Scottish city. Inverness, found in the Scottish Highlands, is the perfect place for those looking to lose themselves in the remarkable Scottish landscape - either on a holiday or as part of a longer-term escape.

The smallest city in the UK, St Davids in Wales, ranks in fourth place with over 18,000 Google searches. This Welsh city is home to a beautiful cathedral, as well as some impressive coastal walks, including a stretch of the Pembrokeshire coastal path.

Bath completes the top five. This city, located in Somerset and often said to be one of the most romantic cities in the UK, is well-known for its ancient Roman baths and stunning architecture - with visitors often heading straight to see the Royal Crescent, a row of 30 impressive Georgian houses laid out in a crescent shape.

The nation’s capital London, ranks in 8th spot, which is perhaps no surprise, considering our previous research revealed that areas of London dominated the locations with the most second houses.

Top 10 Most Searched UK Cities For Second Homes

4St Davids

When it comes to the most popular destinations in the US for second homes, Los Angeles takes the lead, with the bright lights of Hollywood attracting visitors from all over the world.

Las Vegas ranks in second spot, with plenty to keep visitors entertained, from its vibrant nightlife to its shopping, fine dining and casinos. Miami, found in the Sunshine State of Florida, ranks third overall, with travellers looking to enjoy some time away in the sun; and with an eye-catching Art Deco district, buzzing nightlife and lots of fantastic outdoor activities, there are plenty of reasons why someone might want to buy a second property in the area.

The West Coast, especially California, is a popular area of the US, with both San Francisco and San Diego ranking within the top ten. With lots of sightseeing, beautiful beaches and fantastic fine dining, the areas continue to attract travellers and homeowners alike in 2024.

Top 10 Most Searched US Cities For Second Homes

1Los AngelesCalifornia
2Las VegasNevada
4AlbanyNew York
7San FranciscoCalifornia
8San DiegoCalifornia

Our CEO and cofounder Colby Short, added: “Our study has revealed some of the most desirable locations for a second home, with lots of them not only being great investments as part of a portfolio, but also making great holiday homes for homeowners themselves. Many of the in-demand destinations revealed in our research are located in areas of natural beauty and provide easy access to other desirable travel locations.

“However, whether you're making your first foray into rentals, or eying up a holiday home on the coast, second house purchases aren't known for being cheap. The additional three per cent Stamp Duty fee (on top of the Stamp Duty Land Tax you already pay) can make the punch to your purse all the more noticeable.

“For this reason, many people will need to take out a new mortgage package to finance the second property. If you’re planning to live in both your residences (either as a summer home, or splitting time between the two properties), you'll need a residential home mortgage; but if you want to boost your income by renting your new house to someone else, you'll need a buy to let mortgage. And if you’re specifically purchasing a property with the intention of renting it out as a holiday home - and intend on renting out your let for more than 210 days a year - you’ll need a holiday let mortgage.

“The deposits required to successfully obtain these mortgages can range from 15% up to a whopping 40% - meaning you should carefully consider your financial status before investing in a second home.

“While the process of purchasing a second property often presents more hoops to jump through (and quite often significantly higher costs too) it’s clear that in desirable locations there is also money to be made - either by putting the house onto the rental market, or by transforming the property into a holiday home that can be rented out.

“However, it’s completely understandable that second homeownership is a contentious subject in areas from Edinburgh and Cornwall to Sydney, where local residents are getting priced out of the market by holiday homes which are rarely inhabited. Measures will likely need to be taken in the future if the second property market continues to grow, in order to keep house prices as affordable and accessible as possible.”

If our research has inspired you to buy a second property, why not compare estate agents to get your journey started today, or head to our blog for tips on how to secure a second mortgage.


Google search data was collected for search terms including ‘holiday home’ + [location] ‘second home’ + [location] for over 350 destinations around the world. Search volumes for each term were totalled for each country to provide an overall search volume. The countries with the highest search volume were ranked as the destinations most in-demand for second homes. Cities with shared names were excluded from the analysis. All data is correct as of February 2024.

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