The phenomenon of second home buying in the European Union’s peripheral regions

Events / 06.9.17


Second homes, such as vacation homes used for summer or weekend getaways, as well as retirement, have a huge impact on Europe’s peripheries. They foster financial speculation, seasonal economies, environmental degradation, rising land/property prices, shortage in quality housing and loss of cultural identity in Europe’s distant, underdeveloped, but picturesque and culturally-rich regions.

In territories like Corsica, Mallorca, Brittany and Wales, the thorny issue of second homes is a constant concern for the local population, politicians and environmental protection associations.

So, is a responsible and sustainable policy possible? What would it look like?
A recent study by Coppieters, Arritti and Le Peuple Breton explores these questions by looking at the origins and consequences of the phenomenon from a political, economic, urban, architectural, environmental, and cultural perspective. While each of the territories presented in this research has its own specificities and context, there are nevertheless similarities.

Europe’s peripheries are infamous for their tranquility and are characterised by lower levels of economic development, which lure buyers looking for an escape from the fast city and corporate life.

This brings urbanisation, sometimes on a massive and rapid scale, and an increasingly forceful tourist policy. When second homes are built in large concentrations, more often than not, they also destabilise the local economy, environment and culture. The question remains, how to move from mass tourism to quality tourism?

The future of these landscapes lies in finding concrete, political and specialized solutions that respect the environmental and cultural balances of these territories. Some local authorities have turned to taxation, others have opted for a residential status policy, while places like Brittany have adopted initiatives to discourage young people from leaving and moving to big cities, but the burden of mitigating negative impacts of second homes is still carried by territories with fewer resources or governance competences.

The presentation of the study will bring together authors and experts to present their findings and views on the causes and consequences of the second home buying in Europe with a view to the future and possible solutions.


18:00 Panel: The phenomenon of second home buying in the European Union’s peripheral regions

  • Jean-Christophe Angelini, President of the Land Office (Corsica)
  • Prof Yves Lebahy, geographer and President of Géographes de Bretagne (Brittany)
  • Gaël Briand, co-author of the study, Le Peuple Breton (Brittany)
  • Antonia Luciani, co-author of the study, Arritti (Corsica)


When: Wednesday 6th September 2017, 18:00
Where: Amphi Ettori, Università di Corsica, Crosica


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This conference is financially supported by the European Parliament. The European Parliament is not liable for the content of the conference or the opinions of the speakers.

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This conference is a joint initiative of Arritti, Le Peuple Breton and Centre Maurits Coppieters.