Snow busi­ness

Living France - - Les Pratiques -

Last sea­son, France over­took the USA be­com­ing the world’s top ski des­ti­na­tion, record­ing 53.9 mil­lion ski days com­pared to 53.6 mil­lion for the USA, ac­cord­ing to the Do­maine Ski­ables de France or­gan­i­sa­tion. The coun­try’s pop­u­lar­ity with skiers is con­tin­u­ing to at­tract property buy­ers to its Alpine re­sorts, who are look­ing for a mix­ture of per­sonal use and rental re­turn with their pur­chases.

Property agents Knight Frank and Sav­ills have both re­cently re­leased re­ports into the Alpine property mar­ket, which re­veal that the ma­jor­ity of buy­ers sur­veyed are look­ing to rent out their prop­er­ties while they are not us­ing them, in or­der to at least cover their costs, if not make a profit. As a re­sult, buy­ers are con­cen­trat­ing on pop­u­lar ski re­sorts within two hours of a ma­jor air­port, but they are also look­ing for ar­eas that are pop­u­lar with sum­mer visi­tors too.

Ac­cord­ing to Knight Frank’s Prime Ski Property In­dex, the air­ports of Geneva and Lyon saw a mil­lion more pas­sen­gers ar­rive dur­ing the sum­mer months com­pared to the win­ter ski months, a re­sult of a big push by tourism and property pro­fes­sion­als to mar­ket the Alps as a year-round des­ti­na­tion for hol­i­day­mak­ers.

The lead­ing prime re­sorts in the Knight Frank In­dex were Val-d’Isère and Méri­bel, which saw a 5.8% and 4.5% an­nual price growth, re­spec­tively, in the year to June 2015. Courchevel 1850 con­tin­ues to be the most ex­pen­sive prime re­sort with an av­er­age price of €25,000/m2. How­ever, Bri­tish buy­ers are in a much stronger po­si­tion thanks to favourable ex­change rates, with a €1 mil­lion property work­ing out at 11% cheaper in July 2015 com­pared to a year pre­vi­ously.

There has been a no­tice­able in­crease in the num­ber of trans­ac­tions of Alpine property with Knight Frank record­ing more than dou­ble the num­ber of sales in Megève in 2014 in just the first six months of 2015. www.knight­frank.co.uk www.sav­ills.co.uk

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