Need to know: re­sort up­dates

Country Life Every Week - - Property News -

Arl­berg, Aus­tria Four new gon­do­las make it the largest ski area in Aus­tria

Val d’isère, France New So­laise télé­cab­ine and begin­ner area

Vil­lars, Switzer­land to Les Di­ablerets

New link

Zell am See, Aus­tria New lift in­cludes free wi-fi and heated seats

Courchevel, France New lift sys­tem and new ho­tels

Cha­monix, France €477 mil­lion to be in­vested in new lifts over the next 27 years

a prop­erty, but he agrees that to­day’s buy­ers differ from those of yes­ter­year. ‘The boomers bought to ski and only to ski and they rarely rented their prop­erty out. Nowa­days, ev­ery­one wants to rent out to cover run­ning costs and they also want an ac­tive year­round sea­son. The two go hand in hand.’

One of the main con­cerns of to­day’s ski-prop­erty buy­ers is liq­uid­ity—that is, the abil­ity to sell the chalet or apart­ment on once their in­ter­est in the sport has faded—as well as the abil­ity to max­imise rental op­por­tu­ni­ties through both length of ski sea­son and an es­tab­lished sum­mer sea­son.

Knight Frank’s lat­est re­search shows a no­tice­able cor­re­la­tion be­tween re­sorts in which prop­erty val­ues are grow­ing and those that are re­new­ing their ski in­fra­struc­ture and in­vest­ing heav­ily in the wider pro­vi­sion of non-ski ac­tiv­i­ties. The French re­sorts of Val d’isère and Cha­monix have been par­tic­u­larly ac­tive and both reg­is­ter price rises by an av­er­age of 6% and 5% re­spec­tively. Val d’isère’s de­ci­sion to make the ca­ble car free dur­ing the sum­mer months is a ma­jor draw for walk­ers and moun­tain bik­ers. Fur­ther­more, the re­sort has in­vested €16m to de­velop the Tête de So­laise area of the moun­tain, in­clud­ing re­plac­ing an old chair­lift with a 10-per­son télé­cab­ine, with heated seats and on­board wi-fi, due to open this sea­son.

‘How­ever, the bench­mark re­sort has to be Cha­monix,’ be­lieves Roddy. A truly year-round re­sort—with more vis­i­tors in sum­mer than win­ter and mil­lions of Eu­ros go­ing into new lifts, buses and pedes­tri­an­is­ing parts of the town—it now has a Chanel bou­tique on the high street. ‘It used to be about beers and pick­axes, but now, there are a few more furs,’ adds Roddy. ‘Cha­monix caters for ev­ery­one from tod­dlers to grand­moth­ers and die-hard fit­ness freaks. We have buy­ers from all back­grounds and pro­fes­sions, in­clud­ing hedge fun­ders, aris­to­crats and those from the Mid­dle East look­ing for some­where cooler to spend the sum­mer.’ Com­pared to its ‘pretty sis­ter’, Megève, prices are rea­son­able, too, with an av­er­age of €7,000 per sq m com­pared with €18,000 per sq m.

An­other area with good rental in­come year round are the vil­lages around Les Deux Alpes and Alpe d’huez, rec­om­mends Heather Byrne of Leggett Im­mo­bilier (00 33 622 70 89 77). The project to up­grade fa­cil­i­ties in Alpe d’huez

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