Demand for French Alpine property is rising, spurred on by a more resilient Eurozone, greater clarity over tax and the second home cap in Switzerland, as well as a weaker euro, according to Knight Frank’s 2015 Ski Property Report.
French resorts occupied the top five rankings in 2015 as uncertainty surrounding Lex Weber in Switzerland dampened sales, and as a result price growth.
Home to the world’s oldest ski resorts, the French and Swiss Alps attract in excess of 80m ski visits per annum and account for a third of the total number of ski resorts worldwide.
In the past year ski homes in Europe’s top resorts have continued on the same trajectory that they have been following since 2008; no radical acceleration or deceleration just small single digit shifts year-on-year.
Val d’Isere and Meribel lead the 2015 rankings with the price of a typical 4-5 bedroom chalet in each resort rising by 5.8% and 4.5% respectively in the year to June.
The length of Val d’Isere’s ski season explains its long-standing appeal, particularly with British buyers. Few other Alpine resorts can guarantee sufficient snow to ski during both the Christmas and Easter holiday periods.
In Meribel’s case, a combination of its location (in the heart of The Three Valleys) and its pricing explains its 4.5% increase year-on-year. Meribel provides better value than Courchevel 1850, but can compete with 1550 and 1650 in terms of facilities. Investment in the form of new residential developments has also helped to build confidence amongst buyers.
In the French Alps, the focus of sales activity in the last 12 months has been within the €1.5m and €2.5m price bracket.
British buyers looking to purchase in the French Alps are now in a stronger position than two years ago, the GBP/ EUR exchange rate has moved from approximately 1.17 to 1.43 during this period.
Taking account of currency movements only and focussing on the year to July 2015, a British buyer who bought a French property in July 2015 instead of a year earlier will have saved approximately 11%.