Top Tips for buying a ski property

Top Tips for buying a ski property

Has this year's ski season convinced you it's time to buy your own property on the slopes?

Branson Atterbury, Marketing Director at Kristall Spaces, offers his top tips on how to buy a place in the snow.

As revealed in Savills' 2015/16 'Alpine Property Market' spotlight report, 92% of investors buying a ski property will use it for personal holidays as well as an investment. Capital growth and rental returns can vary depending on the country and resort and owning in the biggest ski resorts, doesn't always offer the best value or returns.    

Before you buy, it's important to do your research. Here are a few points to consider:

1. Altitude

There are conflicting views on global warming and the long-term viability of lower ski resorts and their ability to attract winter tourists throughout the season. One way to safeguard against any speculation is to buy high or in resorts with access to glaciers or pistes above 2,000 metres. If anything, there will be increasing demand from paying rental customers in higher resorts and future resale values will be enhanced.

2. Location and access

Aim to buy within a 90-minute drive of major airports.  If you are going to earn rental income from tourists, then it helps to be close to an airport. Find out which major cities fly regularly into these locations. Some established ski resorts even have their own train station – a great way to arrive for a holiday. Although letting your property during ski season is the obvious thing to do, don't forget the growing appeal the Alps hold during the summer months. Maximise your rental income and research dual-seasonal resorts to widen your audience.

3. Expected capital appreciation

To maximise capital appreciation on your property, consider buying in one of the less established or smaller resorts that still hold growth potential. Austria, for example, has seen property prices increase by 41% since 2008, compared to falls of 0.9% in France over the same period.


4. Investment in infrastructure

A good indication on whether a resort could be a rising star are planned infrastructure investments, such as new ski lifts and après-ski facilities. The more the local authority is investing into the local area, the more likely it is that tourism figures and property values will increase.

5. Pricing dynamics

All alpine regions have varying development restrictions and foreign ownership rules. Some have encouraged overseas buyers for years whilst some have been more protective. Compare the average price per m² in different countries and resorts as they can vary by as much as 400%. Currency is also a factor:  take a view on how the Sterling will perform. The Swiss Franc has been used as a safe haven and is likely to fall in value over the next few years when markets stabilise. The Euro is good value and should rise over the long term against Sterling and the Dollar.

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Latest Comments

Tony Gimple
Tony Gimple 09 Dec 2017

Linking professionalism to limited company borrowing is a flawed concept. Despite S24 etc., limited companies are the most tax inefficient way of running a property business and leave borrowers seriously...

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Evelyn Attwood
Evelyn Attwood 01 Dec 2017

It's normal. If you plan to buy a house in one of the most beautiful spots in the country you should pay a high price.

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Evelyn Attwood
Evelyn Attwood 01 Dec 2017

I think that the situation will be the same at December.

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Scott Garnet
Scott Garnet 06 Nov 2017

If you have a patio or a porch it is important to make sure that any connecting doors are secured. Good advice for sliding glass doors is replacing the panels with storm resistant glass and getting heavier...

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richardrawlings
richardrawlings 01 Nov 2017

What has not been mentioned here is the effect of not only higher interest payments, but also that these payments are less likely to be offsettable as a business cost due to the scaling back of mortgage...

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Kelvin Lloyd
Kelvin Lloyd 09 Oct 2017

IT is up, to the Planners. If they will only give permission for bungalows on certain (suitable) sites, they will be built.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

It's just the beginning of the shocking rise.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

I have recently read that the bungalows can provide social housing for elderly residents in London.

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zoe glover
zoe glover 05 Oct 2017

Update! Worst company I have ever dealt with. Undervalued a Cambridge property by over 100k, wont take on any evidence of valuation including a RICS valuation done 3 years ago for the very same value...

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Paul Edwards
Paul Edwards 27 Sep 2017

Its nonsense articles such as this that make it harder to get clients to realise just how difficult the market is out there. When you see Rightmove and there are more 'price reduced' then 'new' most days...

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Tom Allen
Tom Allen 20 Sep 2017

Absolutely agree with you!

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RyanGeo
RyanGeo 18 Sep 2017

A sharp correction would be a less dramatic expression to use. That is already underway in certain sectors in Reading where I practice as Chartered Surveyor

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