Avalanche Of Buyers For Ski Property

Hopes are high that after bumper snow falls across Europe investors in ski properties are returning to buy.

That’s the view in a report published by Alpine Homes which says visitors and hotel bookings have soared compared to last year because record snowfalls have been recorded.

Increasing numbers of visitors, says the report, mean increasing numbers of buyers.

France in particular has seen a rise, as finance remains affordable and plenty of properties are for sale in ski resorts.

The report also says the price of new builds has increased and good deals are waiting for investors looking for older properties.

Asking prices fall

However, the firm’s managing director Jeremy Rollason warns prospective sellers of older homes in many resorts that they will have to face up to the reality of accepting up to 20% less than the price of a comparative new home.

He said: “That’s because anything older than 10 years can become tired or outdated, especially if it has been a rental property and maybe need of refurbishment.

“Many buyers of second homes rarely want the hassle of having to oversee a renovation project in a foreign country.”

He also said that his firm had seen sales increase by 30% in 2012 over the year previously and that of 26 resorts in Switzerland, Austria and France asking prices had risen in three-quarters.

Mr Rollason added: “New Year brings fresh snow and fresh buyers and sales activity has increased significantly particularly in the higher price brackets of between £3.5 million and £10 million.”

Sales up a third

Property dealings are also up by 33% on last year though many sellers are overpricing their properties.

Mr Rollason explained: “Many vendors remain firmly implanted in a pre-crisis vacuum of market denial. Some still need to realise that alpine property prices took a dip in the period 2008 to 2010, stabilised in 2011, and only in certain cases, have they started rising again.”

The report also notes that Swiss legislation limiting the number of second homes allowed in the country to 20% has had a mixed reaction.

The law came into force in January and saw prices rise in many parts the country, particularly in those cantons which allowed Swiss nationals to sell their second homes to foreigners following ownership of five years.

Another issue for prospective buyers of ski properties is currency exchange rates. While the weakening pound is good for boosting exports and helping the UK economy, the effect is detrimental on British buyers looking to purchase property abroad who are facing dearer prices.