Living in the Alps
Whether you are considering buying another home or looking to relocate, the Alps offer more than enough to delight, challenge and amuse throughout the year. Mountains, not beaches, it would seem are en vogue as families embrace healthy lifestyles and take advantage of the long summer break to learn new skills and pastimes from glacier skiing to bouldering or paragliding. A decade ago, restaurants and shops in the Alps closed at Easter and reopened in November but most are now open all year round adding greater vibrancy to the village resorts in the summer. Ski lifts in some resorts run all day providing access to the summits and several operate for free during the summer months. Passenger numbers to Geneva and Lyon Airports are now higher in summer than in winter in cumulative terms, whilst Chamonix is credited with more than 2 million overnight tourist stays each summer. A boom for second home owners, we expect this trend to strengthen as transport links and the range of activities and amenities are set to improve further.
Whether you are looking to enjoy the Winter or Summer seasons, Knight Frank has the established network, experience and range of property for sale to suit the most complex of needs. Search for property for sale in the Alps or contact us for a more in depth discussion.
Please view our buying guides for more information on buying in either the French or Swiss Alps.
France property buying guide
Switzerland property buying guide
Types of Property in the Alps
• Luxury chalet
• Ski-in/ski-out apartments
• Traditional farmhouse
• Town house
• Village property
The Alpine property market
Through our market leading research and publications, we are able to share our insights on property trends. Our latest edition of the Ski Property Report, assesses the market conditions across key alpine and US resorts. It finds that ski homes remain a staple of global property portfolios but their discretionary status sets them apart from other housing markets.
• Buyers are hunting for value, the appetite for better value resorts such as Chamonix and St Gervais is strengthening
• Continual investment in a resort’s infrastructure is critical; Val d’Isere, Verbier and Chamonix stand out as best in class
• Aparthotels will become more prevalent as developers in Switzerland look to find ways to accommodate Lex Weber’s second home cap
The report includes the Alpine Property Index, now in its sixth year, and tracks the performance of luxury ski homes across 15 major resorts in the French and Swiss Alps. It highlights that unlike in 2015 when the French resorts dominated the top half of the rankings, and with Swiss options dominating the lower half, this year there is no clear division between the two countries. Given the strength of the Swiss Franc and tight restrictions on foreign buyers, the report finds that Gstaad proved the strongest performer in the year to June 2016 with prices rising by 13% over the 12-month period.
In addition, the report offers valuable information on where to buy, ski infrastructure investment plans, an explanation of France’s no VAT rule and identifies up-and-coming ski markets.
Read our full Alpine View publication here.