Apr 16, 2020 / BUYING PROCESS

Why now is the time for ski property buyers to get ahead of the curve

As lockdowns ease, now is the time for buyers to get ahead of the curve.

For many people planning to buy ski property in 2020, coronavirus has meant plans have had to be put on hold – but could there now be light at the end of the tunnel as some European countries begin the early phases of easing lockdown?

Parts of Europe begin to ease lockdown

It’s early days, but this weekend saw some good news, as a number of European countries began to ease lockdown measures, including Spain and Italy. Some ‘non-essential’ workers who cannot work from home will be returning to work in Spain, with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez noting that the country has now entered the ‘second phase’, with a further easing expected to begin in around two weeks.

Three-bedroom apartment in Bolzano.

In Italy, lockdown has been extended until 3rd May, but some public-facing businesses can open from the 14th April, including children’s clothes stores and bookstores.

Austria is also following the same procedure, opening small shops, DIY centres and garden centres. The country’s Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, has also confirmed that from 1st May larger shops, shopping centres and hairdressers will reopen. If the easing seems to be working without a recurrence, restaurants and hotels will be allowed to reopen in around mid-May.

What does this mean for anyone looking to buy ski property?

It’s very early days yet, and whether these first tentative steps to removing lockdown will be extended sooner rather than later is not yet certain.

However, what is certain is that there is a large number of buyers who have had to put their plans temporarily on hold – and they will want to resume those plans as soon as possible. We would reasonably expect, therefore, that there will be quite a spike in activity once lockdowns begin to lift further.

Four-bedroom apartment in Ötztal.

If you are one of those buyers, then, it makes sense to get ahead of that spike and make the most of estate agents and other property professionals having more free time to help you with your search now. That way, when lockdowns are lifted, you can act immediately, rather than joining the queue of people just restarting their hunt.

What can you do to get ahead?

Start by searching through our property portal on SnowOnly and drawing up a list of properties that appeal. Then, make contact with estate agents today. Most, if not all, are still working remotely and this lull is the perfect time to have a detailed conversation with them about what you’re looking for without any time pressure. The more they know about your requirements, the more they can help you, both in finding properties that fit that perfectly and perhaps also in suggesting other areas or aspects you might not have considered. Make the most of their market knowledge!

As we have previously discussed, this is a volatile time for the currency markets. The exchange rates are constantly chopping and changing, reacting to all sorts of rumours on future government actions, predicted economic disruption and the like as much as concrete figures. None of us can predict where the euro or the dollar or pound will be tomorrow, let alone in a few months’ time.

Three-bedroom duplex in Nin de Beret.

Use this time, then, to arrange how you’re going to transfer the money for your purchase. For many property buyers, this means locking in an advance rate for up to twelve months – in essence, taking the path of caution rather than gambling your savings on the luck of the day, ensuring that you know exactly how much you’re going to get for your pounds to euros, or dollars to francs. Find out more about how this works in the Property Buyer’s Guide to Currency.

With these conversations already begun, a good list of properties you’re interested in to hand and the security of knowing you’re not going to be paying thousands more than you’d expected, you will be ready to buy once lockdowns are lifted. Start planning now to be at the front of the queue!