If you’re an avid skier, hitting the slopes once or twice a season isn’t always enough. The thought of owning a luxury chalet and a piece of the mountain is an attractive prospect, particularly when the French Alps offers world-class resorts in almost every valley. This high-end market poses a unique opportunity for ski property investors.
But, what are the benefits of investing in a ski development for avid skiers and properties developers? We cover the advantages of investment, the best time to invest, how to find the right resort and the best property types available for prospective buyers.
Advantages of Ski Development Investments
Despite ski season only covering a few months of the year, there are many benefits of investing in a ski property or development, including;
Bespoke, Ready-Made Market
Ski developments have a built-in market, meaning investing in a popular resort with tailor-made amenities is advantageous.
Ski resort property markets are more easily predictable than average housing markets (unless there’s a pandemic!). Snow is seasonal, which means so is skiing and the subsequent time spent in a chalet or apartment.
Financial experts all agree that real estate is the best long-term investment to make. Property has appealing appreciation value over the years and ski properties hold their value. Skiing will never go out of fashion! A ski property has the potential to be a successful long-term investment, but it's all down to location.
When is the Best Time to Invest in a Ski Property?
Contrary to popular belief, investing in a ski property at the beginning or during ski season is too late as there will be a lot more competition.
A qualified buyer comes in summer or early autumn as there is more opportunity to access properties. It is also the perfect time to buy as the peak winter season is only a few months away and there will be the potential for lower prices.
Prospective property buyers also have the opportunity to see a resort out of season, to get to grips with off-peak rental prices.
Finding the Right Resort
Finding the right resort to invest in can be daunting. There are hundreds in the French Alps alone! A more popular resort lends itself to a potentially higher transaction value and less time on the market, but a higher return on investment. Here are a few considerations when deciding on the right resort for you;
- Local and visitor demographics
- Property price variations in the area
- Investment in local infrastructure
- Local economy
Ski resorts in the Alps range from low-lying, traditional villages to high-altitude, purpose-built resorts. Altitude should be a factor when deciding on a ski property. It’s recommended to look for ski properties in resorts above 1,500 metres such as the popular resort of La Plagne. Although properties in higher altitude regions with better snowfall are a lot more expensive, they tend to hold their value and desirability.
Size of the Ski Area
A bigger ski area with a wider terrain will ensure there's something for everyone and your development will hold more appeal for all levels of skier and snowboarder, from families to experts.
Ski resorts with shorter commute times are more appealing for potential visitors. Geneva airport has a huge number of ski resorts within an hours drive, such as Flaine and Les Carroz and there are regular flights from the UK year-round. The Megeve resort is one of the biggest resorts in the Alps and even has its airport that can be reached on a connecting flight from Geneva!
To get the most out of ski property, consider resorts that have plenty of activities throughout the year. There is a higher demand for resorts such as Morzine, Combloux, Chamonix and Serre Chevalier. There is so much to do in the Alps in the summer months, including hiking, biking, canoeing, climbing, fishing and golfing.
Facilities and Infrastructure Upgrades
If you're going to invest in an Alpine home, then it’s best to look for an area that will be in demand for years to come. The demand for skiers and snowboarders are changing and many resorts have upgraded their ski infrastructure, with faster ski lifts and transport buses to satisfy the tech-savvy generations. These include wifi on the slopes, modern ski lifts and a move away from traditional rustic ski hotels to more contemporary apartments and chalets.
What Type of Ski Property?
Purpose-built resorts have lots of facilities and amenities and are hugely important to anyone buying a ski property.
If the resort is still being developed or expanded, it means that demand is high. If you are renting out to holidaymakers, then you will be able to charge a higher rental fee for a ski-in/ski-out property, cutting out travel and transport expenses to and from the resort during the stay.
Different options are depending on your budget. If you are looking for convenience good value and high-end facilities, then purpose-built apartments in the resort are a good option to consider. In-resort apartment developments and ski-in/ski-out chalets are the best bet for rental properties. The proximity to the ski resort and altitude are the determining factors in the cost of land per square metre.
It’s also important to consider the effect that Brexit and COVID-19 have on properties in Europe and do your research with local and industry sources as to the likely impact.
For more information, see our blog on purchasing advice for ski properties in France.
Browse our online portfolio of ski property for sale in the French Alps, or contact our team of property experts with any requirements and we will be happy to help you find your ideal home.