Good value and year round amenities are more highly appreciated than reputation and opulence when property buyers select a ski resort, according to Knight Frank’s latest Alpine Property Index.
The overall index was up 1.8 per cent, evening out and adding a slight increase on the 1 per cent decline of 2015. However, despite prices being on the rise, buyers are still seeking value for their investments.
Despite the Index being dominated by French resorts last year, Gstaad in Switzerland was found to be the strongest performer in the 2016 edition, recording a 13.3 per cent annual price growth. A severe lack of stock has caused costs to rocket, an effect mirrored in popular French resort Val d’Isere, which saw an annual 5.9 per cent increase.
The report explains: ‘This year there is no clear division between the two countries. In some Swiss markets the lack of product for foreign buyers – who are usually only permitted to purchase a property up to 250 square metres in size – has supported prices.’
However, the report also found that the Alpine area beginning to diversify its tourist offerings, with many businesses remaining open throughout the year, long after the snows retreat. Many ski lifts now remain active throughout the summer months to facilitate activities such as hiking.
Chamonix is pioneering this trend, and now sees the majority of its tourists during the summer months. The resort is investing 4.7 million euros into infrastructure and lift system upgrades. Courchevel and Verbier have followed suit, with the former installing a new lift system as well as renovating seven hotels, and the latter introducing new snow cannons and an 85 metre tunnel at Le Carrefour.
The Knight Frank Index found a clear correlation between the resorts that expanded their out of season offerings and their price performance, with Chamonix noting a rise of 5 per cent.
US destinations, although not receiving quite the same widespread demand of Alpine resorts, are increasingly growing in popularity. The report explained: ‘Although small in number, high net worth individuals from Australia, the UK, Eastern Europe and Asia are increasingly adding Aspen and Vail to their global property portfolios.’