Give in to lure of a white win­ter

Michelle Funke finds out more about prop­erty pur­chases in French ski re­sorts

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

TRA­DI­TION­ALLY, South Africans tend to be drawn to warm climes when it comes to ac­quir­ing leisure prop­erty. How­ever, a grow­ing num­ber of South African tourists are spend­ing their hol­i­days ski­ing in des­ti­na­tions such as France, Switzer­land and Aus­tria.

“While spe­cific sta­tis­tics are not avail­able, it seems that out­bound tour op­er­a­tors have no­ticed this trend,” says Fabrice Orengo de La­maz­ière, con­sul­tant for Pam Gold­ing Prop­er­ties’ In­ter­na­tional & Projects Division. “Recog­nis­ing this, and in cater­ing for those plan­ning to take reg­u­lar or an­nual trips to such des­ti­na­tions, we see an op­por­tu­nity to bring to the lo­cal mar­ket prod­ucts that of­fer the op­por­tu­nity for South Africans to ac­quire a stake in lux­ury ski re­sorts in sought-af­ter lo­ca­tions.

“In so do­ing, we have part­nered with Athena Ad­vi­sors, a com­pany spe­cial­is­ing for the past 10 years in mar­ket­ing French ski re­sort prop­er­ties to the UK mar­ket as well as other Euro­pean coun­tries. In­ter­est­ingly, in ad­di­tion to the prime (north­ern) win­ter sea­son be­tween De­cem­ber and April, these re­sorts are also be­com­ing pop­u­lar for ad­ven­ture sports ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing the (north­ern) sum­mer be­tween June and Septem­ber. We have hand­picked some of the best prop­er­ties in prime lo­ca­tions, and these brand new developments are sold on a sec­tional ti­tle own­er­ship ba­sis,” he says. There are no re­stric­tions on for­eign­ers ac­quir­ing res­i­den­tial prop­erty in France.

Through its mort­gage orig­i­na­tion com­pany, French Pri­vate Fi­nance, Athena also pro­vides fi­nance so­lu­tions for up to 70% of the value of the prop­erty de­pend­ing on lend­ing cri­te­ria. Orengo de La­maz­ière says the de­vel­op­ers of these re­sorts have es­tab­lished agree­ments with man­age­ment com­pa­nies that of­fer rental in­come through rent­ing the apart­ments to tourists.

“De­pend­ing on the num­ber of weeks’ per­sonal us­age re­quired by the owner (which varies per de­vel­op­ment, but is usu­ally up to four weeks), these re­turns can be up to 4% per an­num, par­tic­u­larly as grow­ing in­ter­est in ad­ven­ture sports, such as mount­ing biking, climb­ing and raft­ing, is ex­tend­ing the rental sea­son into the sum­mer months,” he says.

In Flaine in the “Grand Mas­sif” area — and within sight of the Mont-Blanc peak, which is the fourth largest win­ter sports re­gion of the French Alps — Les Neiges d’Orion is one of the best val­ue­for-money ski developments in France. Here prices start from €158,000 for a one bed­room apart­ment with rental re­turns of 4.1%. This new de­vel­op­ment, which will blend tra­di­tional ar­chi­tec­ture with mod­ern, high qual­ity fix­tures and fit­tings, also in­cludes an in­door swim­ming pool and a spa. The de­vel­op­ment is sched­uled for com­ple­tion in 2014.

In Cha­tel, along­side Avo­riaz 1800 in the “Porte du Soleil” area — the world’s largest in­ter­na­tion­ally con­nected ski­ing re­gion (with 650km of slopes) which con­nects the ski­ing re­gions of France and Switzer­land — Grand Her­mitage of­fers 33 lux­ury one-, two- and three-bed­room apart­ments. This de­vel­op­ment is lo­cated only one hour’s drive from Geneva and 600m from the heart of the vil­lage. Priced from €220,000, the de­vel­op­ment of­fers rental in­come re­turns of 3.7%. This de­vel­op­ment will also be com­pleted in 2014.

In Tignes, one of the ski re­sorts of Es­pace Killy, with 300km of pistes (ski runs) shared with Val d’Isère, Vil­lage Kalinga of­fers sound value with prices start­ing from €208,000. Com­pris­ing a to­tal of 250 one- to five-bed­room units, to date 78 units have been put on the mar­ket. The units are priced at up to €631,000 and phase one of the de­vel­op­ment, in­clud­ing the swim­ming pool, re­cep­tion and other com­mon fa­cil­i­ties, is due for com­ple­tion at the end of the year.

Orengo de La­maz­ière says: “Vil­lage Kalinga is an en­tire new su­per vil­lage which is rapidly tak­ing shape, and which will con­sist of lux­ury res­i­dences, restau­rants and shops. In re­gard to the res­i­den­tial units, the de­vel­oper of­fers a guar­an­teed rental yield for 11 years in this ap­peal­ing four-star re­sort, which has ex­tended ski lifts and pistes.”

In Méri­bel, ac­knowl­edged by the Daily Tele­graph as one of the best ski re­sorts in France, which forms part of the renowned Three Val­leys with 600km of pistes and pop­u­lar af­ter-ski en­ter­tain­ment ac­tiv­i­ties, Bal­cons de la Chapelle is the only new de­vel­op­ment in the heart of this year-round re­sort. Here six apart­ments (with two, three or four bed­rooms) and two chalets (three and four bed­rooms) are mar­keted with be­spoke in­te­rior de­sign and fit­tings to the high­est stan­dards. Priced from to €594,000, this de­vel­op­ment is sit­u­ated close to a 5,000m² wa­ter sports arena, 18-hole golf course, en­durance trail and nu­mer­ous other leisure ac­tiv­i­ties. Bal­cons de la Chapelle will be com­pleted by the end of this year.

Orengo de La­maz­ière says that Pam Gold­ing Prop­er­ties has ac­cess to other ski prop­er­ties han­dled by Athena Ad­vi­sors, rang­ing from apart­ments in developments to lux­ury free­hold chalets. Contact: Pam Gold­ing Prop­er­ties Fabrice Orengo de La­maz­ière 082 492 9756

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the in­te­rior of a chalet in Bal­cons de la Chapelle in Méri­bel, France.

Scenic view of Meri­bel, one of the best ski re­sorts in France.

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