Confidence mounts in French Alps, as savvy buyers look to smaller resorts for deals
Buyer confidence will continue to grow in the Alpine property market during 2016, according to ski property specialist Skiingproperty.com, with France spearheading demand from international investors.
Encouragingly, 2015 saw a rise in releases of new-build apartments in French resorts, particularly in Portes du Soleil favourite, Châtel, and the inter-season skyline is expected to remain dominated by cranes. Similarly, construction is booming in weekend-favourite Chamonix, which is a savvy choice for buy-to-let investors thanks to its year-round popularity and international resident population.
Interest in French skiing property should be especially lively amongst UK investors, put off the UK market by the imminent introduction of extra taxes on buy-to-lets. By comparison, new French leaseback property benefits from being free of VAT.
Foreign buyers also continue to benefit from low euro mortgage rates – investors in French ski property are still able to borrow at low, long term, fixed rates. France is also deemed a more affordable option to Switzerland where the property market is still struggling with a strong Swiss franc.
There is also a growing trend for lesser-known villages that benefit from links into a large ski area and lower property prices are attracting increasing numbers of buyers. Smaller ski resorts, such as La Giettaz, which links into the same skiing as Megève, and St Martin de Belleville in the Three Valleys, will appeal to buyers in 2016 because they allow them to enter the ski market at a lower price point – relative to the big name resorts - while still enjoying extensive skiing.