Ski property outperforms major cities on price growth

New figures suggest that ski property is outperforming major cities in the same regions on price growth.

Could ski property be a better investment than its city equivalent? The figures for the upper end of the market certainly make a strong case, with Knight Frank’s 2020 Prime Ski Index showing that, over the last decade, prices grew by 19%, outperforming most major cities in the regions concerned. 

A 19% price growth

The figures show a 19% average price growth across the last ten years for prime ski property in the French and Swiss Alps. Despite declines in some years, such as 2015, overall, the numbers paint a very positive figure for anyone looking to invest in a ski property.

Six-bedroom apartment in Verbier. Click on the image to view the property.

The only major regional city to match this is Geneva, and other luxury hotspots in Europe, like Monaco and St Tropez, have actually posted significant declines of 10% to 20%. Likewise, among other luxury assets, property remains a high performer, with cars showing a 5% decrease over the last year, and, jewellery, 7%.

More and more ski home owners are cottoning onto the investment potential of their property, too. In 2008, reports Knight Frank, around 50% were choosing to rent out their home. Now, the figure has almost reached the 100% mark. It’s small wonder; beyond the monetary returns, the managing and marketing of a ski let is now much easier than ever before, with so many online portals and automation tools, and there’s new demand from renters, too.

Property owners make the most of new demand

Ten years ago, you might have read of doom and gloom predicting that younger people were skiing less, and then the market would become tougher. On the contrary, it has proven remarkably resilient – and we may be on the cusp of an enormous level of demand from one particular market: China.

Two-bedroom apartment in Val d’Isère. Click on the image to view the property.

Skiing is relatively new in China, but, with official government support behind winter sports and the Winter Olympics upcoming in 2022, the number of skiers has already hit 13.2 million. That’s a lot of demand for both buyers and renters. Courchevel, for instance, has gone from zero Chinese demand two years ago, to almost all of its pre-Christmas demand coming from the country. Likewise, more than one-third of overseas visitors to Austria in winter 2018 was Chinese, according to China Daily.

SnowOnly is the exclusive platform with for ski property, if you are interested in offering your property to the Chinese market, then sign up to our service or contact us for more details.

Where are the best performers in the market?

Looking at the most recent stats in the French and Swiss Alps, there are still some strong and steady indicators of price growth – without reaching unsustainable highs. Some of the top performers over the past year in France include:

  • Val-d’Isère: 9%
  • Chamonix: 6%
  • Saint-Martin-de-Belleville: 2.4%

Two-bedroom apartment in Les Houches. Click on the images to view the property.

Switzerland has seen slightly lower price increases, with stricter regulations on foreign buyers perhaps impacting demand a little. However, it’s also important to remember the starting point is higher in terms of prices per m2 than in parts of the French Alps.

  • Verbier: 1.5%
  • St Moritz: 1.0%
  • Klosters: 0.8%

How can you buy an investment ski property?

With the ski season getting in full swing, now is the perfect time to start viewing properties. Make sure to read our blog on choosing the right area for more advice, and don’t miss the Property Buyer’s Guide to Currency to find out how to safely transfer your money overseas. We’re in a volatile time, and a sudden move in the exchange rates could mean your purchasing power drops by thousands – so it pays to be prepared.

Finally, find out how to buy in the top ski countries with our guides to the purchase process.