The latest figures on the ski property market are out, and, according to Knight Frank’s Prime Ski Property Report, France is performing particularly well, with price growth shrugging off economic and Brexit-related concerns.
How is the ski property market performing in France?
While normal residential property in many rural areas has typically shown a small decline in recent years, the ski property sector is in rude health. Price rises are steady and sustainable, and, with the consequences of a potentially disorderly Brexit priced in since 2016, seem set to continue.
France has very few barriers to non-resident buyers, unlike some Alpine countries, which can only help its popularity. And, with the taxe d’habitation being phased out from this year onwards, owner-occupiers will find themselves paying less, too.
If you’re thinking of buying a ski property, then, now could be a perfect time, with the potential for strong returns should you sell further down the line. But where are the best-performing areas in France?
1. Val d’Isère
Val d’Isère, perhaps unsurprisingly, tops the list of French ski resorts for capital growth, at 2.9%. Linked to next-door Tignes, owning a property here gives you access to a fantastic ski area of 300km. Not only that, but you also have the possibility of summer skiing, at Pisaillas Glacier from around early June to mid-July.
The resort itself is undergoing an ambitious facelift, costing over £170 million and billed as the ‘most ambitious project in the Alps in a generation’. New buildings will be built in a traditional, Haute-Tarentaise style, and include hotels, apartment complexes and better access to the main lifts and gondolas. On top of that is a new piste to the new apartment developments, making them truly ski-in/ski-out.
The host of the first-ever Winter Olypmics, Chamonix has a long history as one of the world’s leading ski resorts. It offers 157km of on-piste slopes, but it’s perhaps just as well known for its challenging off-piste runs, especially the famous Vallée Blanche.
Property prices here are rising steadily at 2.6%, and you can buy a one-bedroom apartment from the low €300,000s up. Plus, as you’re within only an hour of Geneva Airport, it’s the perfect location for a property that you’d use for short weekend breaks – or for one you want to let out to tourists.
In the Belleville Valley, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville is part of the wider Trois-Vallées, giving you access to world-class resorts suitable for all levels of skier. For anyone considering the investment potential of buying here, property prices are rising at 2.4%. There are a number of fantastic new developments of luxury chalets in the area, but you can also find smaller resale apartments from around €390,000.
Saint-Martin itself has only recently been developed, and was still largely a farming village right up to the 1980s. Its centre still retains its old charm, with the old stone church in pride of position opposite the mairie. It’s not a party town – the après-ski is quite sedate – so it’s perfect for anyone looking for a bit of peace and quiet, but also wanting all the advantages of the Trois-Vallées area.
How can you get the best value for your money?
The ski property market might be holding up well in France, but we’re still in volatile times, politically and economically. If you’re buying from overseas, make sure to budget for the fact that you’re buying in a different currency.
You’ll make your offer in the currency of the seller, so that means that if the markets drop after offering, the actual price you pay in your currency could change by the thousands. There’s no reason to take this chance if you don’t need to – and the solutions are simple. Find out what your options are with the guidance from industry in experts in your free Property Buyer’s Guide to Currency. To find out more about the buying process in France, don’t miss your France Buying Guide, and have a read of the France Brexit Guide to learn about buying here before and after the UK leaves the EU.