As most popular second home destinations in southern Europe, including Spain and Portugal, struggle to inject confidence back into their property markets, ski resorts in the French and Swiss Alps have remained resilient to the depressed conditions in the Eurozone, with many experiencing renewed interest in 2013.
According to a leading international property consultancy, property prices in key ski resorts worldwide have fallen just 9.1 percent from their peak in the third quarter of 2008, and since 2010 prices in most have remained static or even risen marginally. Tight supply and an affluent target market have certainly helped to support prices of ski homes in the Alps, and in France the weakening euro and historic low mortgage rates have also helped to attract new buyers during 2013.
The exchange rate has moved around 4 cents in favor of Sterling since a year low of £1/€1.142 at the start of August. This change in the rate means that a €300,000 ski apartment, for example in Chatel or Les Gets, has become around £9,400 cheaper for a British buyer.
Meanwhile, typical of the mortgage deals currently available in France are a fixed rate of 3.35 per cent for 10 years or a variable-rate mortgage starting from around 2.60 percent. Looking ahead, buyers can expect a surge in properties coming to market after recent changes to the French rules governing capital gains tax (CGT). As from September 2013, vendors of French property get a discount of 25 per cent on both capital gains tax (CGT) and social charges, with expectationsthis will tempt more sellers to market. Also from 1st September, the time over which complete exemption from capital gains tax is granted has been reduced to 22 years from 30 years of ownership, with tapered relief from the sixth year of ownership.
Switzerland remains an attractive place to invest in a ski home. A recent report highlighted the country’s attraction as a safe haven for wealthy investors and showed that property prices in the country rose by 3.9 per cent in 2012, outperforming the Eurozone, where overall prices fell by 2.1 percent.
The same report revealed that property prices in Switzerland have risen by a staggering 30 per cent since 2007, and demand for homes there, in particular from high net worth individuals (HNWIs), is set to continue.
Finally, reasserting its appeal as a place to own a ski home in the Alps, French ski organisation DFS (Domaines Skiables de France) confirmed recently that France is still the world’s most popular skiing destination, beating the US to the accolade for the second year running. Last winter French ski resorts clocked up 57.9 million ‘skier days’ - a rise of 4.9 percent on the previous year, while across the pond, resorts in the US recorded 56.9 million skier days.
For more information and to browse available ski properties in the French and Swiss Alps, visit www.skiingproperty.com.
Tel: +44 20 8150 9502