Price increase in the French Alps for ski properties

The 2021 UBS Alpine Property Focus report is out and once again this year’s results are heartening. Despite the global crisis, Alpine ski resorts continue to show stability and resilience during difficult circumstances. All countries included, property prices rose by 3% in the Alps when compared to last year.

This is very important given the various travel restrictions throughout 2020. On average, the French Alps saw prices increase by 2.5% and ski properties in Courchevel, Val d’Isère, Méribel, Megève and Chamonix are amongst the most expensive second homes in the French Alps.

There are several circumstances contributing to the ever-increasing rise of ski property prices in the Alps. Firstly, there is a shortage of supply in many of the ski resorts as villages often have stringent building laws in place and there is a limited amount of physical space for new constructions. Secondly, the pandemic has highlighted the significance of domestic tourism and fuelled the demand for second homes, especially now that so many people are working remotely.

Even though the report is mostly Swiss-focused, there are a couple of interesting points that can be taken out:

  • Prime properties tend to increase in value.
  • Chamonix has been recognised for its easy access from the airport.
  • Chamonix and Courchevel have been recognised for their exceptional tourist facilities.
  • Val d’Isère has been recognised for its impressive occupancy rate with almost no vacant homes.

The mountains are calling
With foreign travel more difficult last year, more French citizens took their vacations at home than in previous years. In the first three quarters of 2020, the number of overnight stays in holiday homes increased by more than 20% over the previous year. People planning vacations became better acquainted with local ski resorts, while more families recognised the potential attractions of owning a holiday home.

Working from home also raised the awareness of the advantages of having one’s own ski home in the French or Swiss Alps. Regularly working from home lowers the dependency of the place of residence on the workplace, thus encouraging the demand for owner-occupied homes in less central regions. The option to relocate the home office to the mountains was a particular advantage of purchasing a holiday home.

Read the full UBS report here

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