Earlier this year in the spring, it was reported that the Alps had enjoyed its best ski season for 50 years. As a late flurry of snow fell, resorts like Val Thorens (the highest ski resort in Europe at 1,300 metres), Val d’Isère, Les Deux Alpes and Chamonix had received more than three metres of snow.
Located in the Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions, the French Alps include the highest mountain in the Alps, Mont Blanc (which shares the French-Italian border), as well as the largest ski area in the world: Les Trois Vallées. This ski region has more than 600km of slopes as it is made up of a series of connected resorts that include Courcheval, Méribel, Val Thorens and St-Martin-de-Belleville.
However, this area also offers some of the most interesting cycling climbs in the Alps, such as that in Courcheval and the climb to Val Thorens. This year’s British success at the Tour de France from Chris Froome has only served to increase UK interest in the French Alps and act as a reminder that it is highly successful as a year-round destination, making property investment even more attractive.
While the snow-laden mountains offer world class skiing and snowboarding (Avoriaz in the north is popular with boarders) during the winter, once the season ends and summer begins the same areas also offer perfect opportunities for cycling, hiking, climbing and mountain biking. Swimming and sailing are popular too, and as so much of the Alps are national parks and protected areas they are always home to awe-inspiring panoramas and a vast amount of flora and fauna.
The Alps can also offer fulfilling sightseeing experiences. Grenoble, the capital of the Alps, and France’s flattest city, has a history that spans more than 2,000 years. Highlights include the ruins of the first wall to surround the city built around 293AD and the Museum of Grenoble, the oldest modern art museum in France.
As France’s property market starts to gain momentum again, following the change in the capital gains tax threshold this month to 22 years from 30 years, new eco-resorts such as Le Roc des Tours in Le Grand Bornand – stage 19 at this year’s Tour De France – are drawing attention, as are off-plan opportunities.
Having been built by MGM – the largest construction company in the region – these spacious, luxurious and light-filled chalets come in a range of sizes and offer access to a swimming pool, steam rooms and fitness suites. A traditional area, which is the region’s largest producer of Reblochon, it maintains its authenticity despite being popular with tourists.
Home Hunts has a wide selection of properties available in the Alps, including around Lake Annecy (about 40km west from Le Grand Bornand), one of the most prestigious places to live in the world.
This six-bedroom Annecy lakeside property (HH-6750514) is located on the west side in Duingt. It has a private pontoon, and offers beautiful views and an attractive interior that requires some renovation work. An excellent investment opportunity, the price is available on request.
Planned to be delivered in December 2013, this off-plan five-bedroom chalet (HH-6237075i) is located close to Méribel’s town centre and forms part of a high-spec development by an experienced Alpine developer. Luxurious and ultra-modern, yet oozing with traditional charm, at €3,250,000 this HHInvest property will not be available for long.
To find out more about properties available in the French Alps visit the Home Hunts website at www.home-hunts.com. For more details on the properties mentioned, or other investment opportunities through HHInvest, contact the French office on +33 (0)970 44 66 43