As economic conditions improve, buyers looking for Alpine investments are favouring five particular destinations this winter.
The Alpine property market is back. As prices start to climb, but mortgage and interest rates remain at historic lows, British and foreign investors looking for second home properties are steadily returning to the French Alps.
France is the constant favourite ski destination for visitors from the UK, as it is easily accessed by air, rail and road and offers high altitudes, vast ski domains and fantastic snow.
“This season, Home Hunts is experiencing increasing demand for properties in year-round destinations,” says Chris Leder, Manager for The Alps at Home Hunts. “Skiing in winter, hiking and cycling in summer and year-round clean air and limitless open views makes the idea of a home in the mountains appealing.”
In terms of what properties are popular, Chris says that buyers are not very interested in big renovation projects, or even properties that are four to five years old. “Our purchasers have increasingly exacting standards and our average transaction is around the €1.6 million mark,” he says. “They are particularly interested in new chalets that marry glass, steel, wood and stone with modern interior design.”
Five areas are proving to be in demand with buyers at the moment, including some old favourites and an up-and-coming destination in the Portes du Soleil area. Here is the list, and some details of what to expect from each.
- Les Gets (Portes du Soleil)
Arguably the most picturesque of the resorts in the vast Portes du Soleil ski range, the village sits atop the mountain between Morzine and Taninges. It enjoys more sunshine than its sisters, has good snow cover and has pistes converging on the centre of the village from both sides of the valley – a welcome rarity.
For year-round activities, Les Gets boasts phenomenal mountain biking, a lake and an 18-hole high altitude golf course. It is also just 30 minutes from Lac Leman for sailing and water sports. “Prices per metre squared are slightly higher than other Portes du Soleil resorts due to its proximity to Geneva,” says Chris. “Demand also seems to be increasing at a faster rate here than other areas, making it a very safe investment for the future.”
Property pick in Les Gets
This stunning five-bedroom chalet (HH-8487859), with its unique spaces and exceptional quality, is a must-see property. Spread over three floors, highlights include a beautiful indoor swimming pool – which can be viewed through the glass floor in the master bedroom – a steam room and hammam. It is priced at €2,590,000.
- Samoens (Grand Massif)
While it can’t be considered a ski resort, Samoens is a highly picturesque traditional Savoyard village with a high-speed lift leading to the Grand Massif ski range. Popular summer activities here are white water rafting, paragliding and hydrospeeding. There are also some stunning woodland walks along the river, an outdoor pool and a driving range.
“Like Les Gets, the village benefits from excellent sunshine due to the valley being so wide open,” says Chris. “Prices per metre squared here are some of the best in the Alps and Geneva is just one hour away.”
Property pick in Samoens
Positioned in one of the most breath-taking locations in the Giffre Valley, this exquisite new chalet (HH-5808174) is just a five-minute drive from Samoens and offers five en-suite bedrooms. It is surrounded by impeccably landscaped gardens and has enough space for a Jacuzzi or further terraces to be installed. An impressive, spacious property with a gym, it is on the market for €1,320,000.
The capital of the Alps and also for extreme sports, this town is one of the most popular year-round destinations offering excellent restaurants, shops, bars and night life. While having the best off-piste area at Grands Montets, Chamonix also has some very good family-orientated areas, such as Les Houches or Brévent for the intermediates.
“It is the first choice for serious off-piste skiers, the only choice for lovers of Mont Blanc, and a good choice for anyone who wants to spend time in the mountains,” says Chris.
Property pick in Chamonix
A traditional chalet on the outside, this sleek, modern, new build with sharp contemporary interiors (HH-5588236) is located in one of the most prestigious addresses in Moussoux. Just minutes on foot from the Brévent lift and pistes, this light-filled, five-bedroom chalet offers phenomenal views of Mont Blanc and the town of Chamonix below. Undoubtedly one of the most buyable turnkey properties in Chamonix, it offers excellent rental value, and, at €2,950,000, is a must-see.
- Châtel (Portes du Soleil)
An up-and-coming ski property destination located at the back of the Portes du Soleil area, this is one to watch out for. The resort enjoys 130km of pistes (over 600km when you include Portes du Soleil) and provides easy access to the Swiss resorts of the Valais.
“Properties here are reasonably priced with some attractive developments emerging,” says Chris. “There has been a lot of recent investment, including a new water sports centre and the Linga-Super Châtel lift, which is operational for the first time this winter.”
Property pick in Châtel
With a panoramic view over the Vallée d’Abondance, the village of Châtel and the neighbouring Swiss countryside, this authentic farm chalet conversion has been completely renovated to an extremely high standard. It offers seven en-suite bedrooms, spectacular terraces and comes with a mazot, which is currently equipped as a children’s playhouse. This picture-perfect property is priced at €1,440,000.
- The Lakes – Annecy, Leman (Geneva) and Bourget (Aix-les-Bains)
The Lakes are fast becoming a destination for those looking more for summer, but with the added proximity of the resorts for the winter.
“These three world famous lakes are within an hour of each other and in very easy reach of the resorts,” says Chris. “Each have breath-taking views and a plethora of summer activity.”
Property pick in Chindrieux
This late 18th century manor house (HH-8489690) is located in a lush landscaped park and overlooks the glorious Lac du Bourget. Having been completely renovated and re-decorated just two years ago, it is now a perfect mix of modern design and 18th century character. A unique property, offering seven bedrooms, at €1,450,000 it won’t be on the market for long.
For more information about these Alpine hotspots and properties, visit www.home-hunts.com or speak to a consultant directly on +33 (0)970 44 66 43.