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Guide to buying an Alpine Property

Alps area Guide

Knight Frank’s growing Associate Network boasts 12 offices across the French and Swiss Alps with property for sale in Chamonix, Courchevel, Megève, Méribel, Val d’Isère, Crans Montana, Gstaad, Graubunden, Verbier and Villars.

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Areas in the Alps

Chamonix Courchevel Megève Méribel Val d’Isere Gstaad Verbier Villars

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 Ski Property Index assesses the market conditions across key French and Swiss alpine resorts. It finds that record snowfall and strong investment in infrastructure over the last year has boosted demand in the Alps, but property market regulations and the strong franc has weakened activity in some resorts.

Key findings

• Thirteen of the 16 French and Swiss alpine ski recorded static or rising prices in annual terms.

• A surge in investment has boosted tourist numbers, buyer demand and the future outlook for Villars and Verbier.

• This year, Val d’Isère has overtaken Chamonix as the top-performing French resort thanks to its reliable snowfall, quality skiing and a longer season.

The report includes the Ski Property Index, now in its tenth year, our unique Ski Property Index tracks the annual change in the price of a four-bedroom chalet across 16 French and Swiss alpine ski resorts. Last year French resorts occupied the top of our rankings, this year the Swiss resort of Villars leads our Index with prime prices up 6% year-on-year. Villars' relative value has come into focus in recent years. None of the eight French resorts tracked by the index registered a decline in prime prices in the year to June 2018. The strength of the Franc however has deterred some buyers from investing in in Switzerland, with many looking instead for better value in Austria or France.

In addition, the report offers valuable information on where to buy, ski infrastructure investment plans, and the ten trends set to influence the ski market.

Read our full Ski Property Index here.

Publications & Research