Lake Homes Are Increasingly in Demand

Rick Moeser, the executive director of Christie’s International Real Estate, added that oceanfront properties were also more susceptible to saltwater damage. “Your furniture, roof and even landscaping quickly deteriorates,” he said.

It’s much easier to have a dock on a lake than on the ocean, Mr. Moeser added, and owners can enjoy watersports right from their homes, including boating, paddle-boarding, kayaking and water-skiing. “You have so much entertainment in your own backyard,” Mr. Moeser said. “It’s like you’re always on vacation.”

Here are four up-and-coming destinations to consider for lake homes.

About a 60-minute drive north of Milan, Lake Maggiore is the second largest lake in Italy. The region has an international community of home buyers who are becoming more diverse each year, according to Patrizia Canale, a real estate consultant with Barnes International Realty in Lake Como, which specializes in selling Lake Maggiore properties. Russians, Americans, Swiss and Germans are all part of the mix, she said.

Buying a property in Lake Maggiore is appealing for several reasons. For starters, it is less crowded and more affordable than nearby Lake Como, Ms. Canale said, and easy to access. “Geneva, Milan and Turin are all close by and have international airports with flights from all over the world,” she said.

Also, diversions abound. The main towns of Stresa, Verbania, Arona and Baveno have attractive downtowns with boutiques, restaurants and markets. Three islands reachable by public or private boat — Bella, Madre and Dei Pescatori — are popular attractions, along with golf courses, parks and gardens.