The mountain real estate market

Cimalpes property valuation ...

The mountain real estate market

The tendencies

The Alps have always been the destination of choice for many European skiers as they successfully juggle the intimacy of the many original villages with the growth of the ‘super’ ski areas linking previously separate valleys and locations. Following the fantastic snow falls of the last few years, an ever-increasing focus on snowmaking and lift improvements and the easy access which their locations provide, the French Alpine resorts have once again reasserted their position as the chosen destination for skiers and property hunters alike.

 

Like an extended family, the Alpine resorts share a common parentage, but have over time cultivated their very own personal characteristics providing a full choice of destinations for purchasers, whatever their requirements may be. Our real estate experts in Courchevel, Méribel, Val d'Isère, Megève and Chamonix further enhances our depth of service in a region where we have been advising clients on the sale and acquisition of luxury chalets and apartments for over a decade.

The french Alps

Sought after destinations...

With resorts that cater for all tastes and skiing abilities, this long-established second home region continues to attract international buyers. And where prices have been adjusted to meet current market sentiment, properties are being sold at, or close to, the guide price. Earlier this year British buyers were constrained by both the weak pound and also a marked increase in the number of other nationalities looking to buy in the Alps, most notably from Italy and other Eurozone countries. Where prices have been adjusted to meet current market sentiment (reflecting global economic factors), properties are being sold at, or close to, the guide price – prices in some areas fell by up to 25% in 2009.

 

The beauty of buying and selling in the French Alps is that there is both an area and a resort to suit all needs. Les Trois Vallées, for example, is the ideal choice for families and skiers of all abilities, as it provides a large area of mixed-ability pistes as well as easy access to a number of villages and lift stations. Its key resorts of Courchevel and Méribel remain as popular as ever. Méribel has long been a favourite with British buyers. Here, a typical six-bedroom chalet can cost anything from €1.5m to €5m, while properties in the more exclusive parts of Méribel, such as Les Brames or the Domaine de Burgin, can occasionally fetch considerably more. Courchevel is made up of five villages, with Courchevel 1850 known as being the most fashionable and desirable. This market appeals in particular to Russian, CIS, Arabic, French and British buyers who can pay anything from €10m to €30m (and even above) for chalets with between five and eight bedrooms, swimming pools and luxurious interior design. A recent trend has seen buyers purchase 1960s and 1970s chalets and redevelop them to create much larger alpine-style properties. At the more affordable end, Courchevel 1550 and 1650 feature more apartments than chalets, with apartments offering between two and four bedrooms being sold for between €400,000 and €1m. A further and triguing component to the Courchevel Valley is the traditional village of Courchevel 1300.

 

An original alpine community, Courchevel 1300 Le Praz not only provides a true village setting with year-round residents but it is also served by ski runs that come straight in to the village and skiing at 1850 is only seven minutes away by gondola. Five-bedroom chalets in the centre of the village can cost up to €3m, while smaller, well-situated apartments can be €1m, providing access to an 1850 experience on a 1300 budget. North of Les Trois Vallées and beyond the lake at popular Annecy is Megève – a traditional alpine village and a particular favourite with those who enjoy a more relaxed and chic alpine experience. Properties range from small chalets – a typical example of which might have four bedrooms and sell for around €1.25m – to larger chalets that can exceed €10m. For those looking for higher, glacier skiing a typical four or five-bedroom chalet in Chamonix can now cost between €1m and €1.5m whilst Val d’Iser continues to hold a place in the hearts of many accomplished skiers. Here, a traditional Savoyard-style chalet with five bedrooms is currently on the market with a guide price of €2.8m.

 

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