A Buyers’ Market in France Brings Increased Demand for Year-Round New Mountain Homes
Chris Leder, Home Hunts’ Alps / Geneva Manager, discusses the current market trends for mountain homes, why bargains can currently be found, and the hotspots in the Alps:
- A perfect time to enter the French ski property market with falling house prices, low interest rates and beneficial currency fluctuations
- Move quickly to negotiate a bargain before Christmas
- France is a constant favourite ski destination and easily accessed
- Demand growing for year-round mountain homes with discerning purchasers
- New chalets are in demand over expensive renovations
- Hot property destinations include Les Gets, Samoens, Chamonix, Châtel and The Lakes
- Properties currently on the market are attached
The second home ski property market is coming back steadily following the crisis; when holiday homes were one of the first luxuries to be culled! Now, we are seeing investors steadily returning to the French Alps to purchase second homes as conditions are currently favourable for British and foreign buyers. Mortgage rates in France are still at historic lows and the euro is showing no signs of strengthening against the pound. Coupled with a buoyant ski property market where prices are on the up again, the buyer is in a winning position and it is a perfect time to enter the market.
For those on the cusp of purchasing, now is the time to move quickly. Some great bargains for cash buyers can be negotiated with owners that are keen to sell before Christmas.
France is the constant favourite ski destination for visitors from the UK as the ski experience offers high altitudes, vast ski domains and fantastic snow. Importantly, Franceis also easily accessed by air, rail and road; making it ideal for long week-end stays and good for driving rentals.
This season, Home Hunts is experiencing increasing demand for properties in year-round destinations. 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.
Home Hunts helps buyers find their dream ski property starting from approximately 800,000 euros upwards and our average transaction is around the 1.6M Euro mark in The Alps. Our purchasers haveexactingstandards and particularly interested in new chalets that marry glass, steel, wood and stone with modern interior design rather than properties as little a 4-5 years old, which can already look tired. They are also not swayed by big renovation projects that might end-up costing the same as a home built from scratch.
Home Hunts’ hottest ski property destinations in 2014 include:
Les Gets is arguably the most picturesque of the resorts in the vast Portes Du Soleil ski range, thanks to a relatively responsible town planning policy over the past years. The village sits atop the mountain between Morzine and Taninges in a wide open valley not dissimilar to Megeve. As such, Les Gets (pronounced “ley jey”) enjoys more sunshine than its sisters, good snow cover due to its altitude, and pistesconverging on the centre of the village from both sides of the valley – which is rare for many resorts. It boasts phenomenal mountain biking, a lake and an 18 hole high altitude golf course for summer sport, and is just 30 minutes from Lac Leman for sailing and watersports. Prices per m2 are slightly higher than other Portes Du Soleil resorts due to it’s proximity to Geneva (the closest of all the Portes Du Soleil) and the fact that it is, well, just the most pleasant of them all! Prices seem to be on the up at a faster rate than other areas, due to the lack of space and very high demand; a very safe investment for the future.
Samoens cannot be considered a ski resort (but please read on!)…. It is more of a VERY picturesque traditional Savoyard village that just happens to have a very modern, high speed lift going up to the Grand Massif ski range. Grand Massif benefits from 260km of pristine, high altitude pistes, made famous by (the not so pretty) resort of Flaine. The village is famous for its stone masons, and is the only national heritage village in the Alps with a ski lift. It is genuinely year round, with a handful of good restaurants and a strong but integrated year round English community. The best summer activity here is white water rafting or ‘hydro-speeding’ (head-first down the river in a wet-suit with a small float in hand) in the Giffre River from the village of Sixt-Fer-à Cheval to Samoens. There are some stunning woodland walks along the river, and an excellent outdoor pool, lake, driving range and parascending in the summer. Like Les Gets, the village benefits for excellent sunshine, due to the valley being so wide open. Prices per m2 here are some of the best in the Alps and Geneva is only one hour away.
Chamonix is the capital of the Alps, and the worldwide capital of extreme sports. The town is fully year round, and has dozens of excellent restaurants, shops, bars and a couple of nightclubs for those that are not going up the mountain the next day. It is the first choice for serious off-piste skiers, the only choice for lovers of Mont Blanc, and a very good choice for anyone that enjoys the mountains at all. While having the best off-piste (GrandsMontets) it also has some very good family orientated areas such as Les Houches, or Brevent for the intermediates. The ski ranges are not linked, which means making a morning of it and then moving on, but passing through such a great town on your way to another range cannot really be considered a negative.
Châtelis an up and coming ski property destination located at the back of thePortes du Soleil area and one to watch-out for. Properties here are reasonably priced with some attractive developments emerging and importantly, there has been a lot of recent investment, including a new watersport centre and more importantly the Linga-Super Châtel lift – operational for the first time this winter. The resort enjoys 130km of pistes, and over 600km when you include the Portes Du Soleil, and has very easy access to the Swiss resorts of the Valais.
THE LAKES(Lake Geneva, Lac De Bourget, Lac d’Annecy)
The lakes are fast becoming a destination for our clients looking more for a summer destination, but with the added proximity of the ski resorts for the winter. These three world famous lakes are within an hour of each other and each has breath taking views and a plethora of summer activity.
- See attached mountain and lake homes currently on the market
- See also: www.home-hunts.com
- Chris Leder of Home Hunts is available for interview on request.
About Home Hunts:Home Hunts specialise in finding luxury homes and investment properties throughout France, Monaco, Geneva, London and New York. Home Hunts is a leading buyers’ agent, whose role is to find the hidden gems that the property market has to offer. The team collaborates with all of the best estate agents, notaires, developers and private sellers to provide the ultimate selection of properties in a desired area. Home Huntswork closely with their clients, offering unbiased advice and support throughout the entire buying process and beyond.
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