World’s most expensive ski resorts to buy property, in Savills report

Climate change and political uncertainty have raised concerns among those weighing up buying a ski property in the Alps.

But that is not deterring the world’s wealthy from paying high prices to secure their own Alpine home, with the cost of Europe’s most expensive ski resort for property, Val d’Isère, on a par with prime central London.

The celebrated resort of Val d’Isère remains the most expensive place in the Alps with an average property price of €20,600 per square metre, the equivalent of £18,400.  

With new infrastructure projects – including more than 100 new lifts being opened this season – and a new focus on wellbeing to attract millennials, resorts are finding ways to stay relevant to property investors, a new report suggests.

The Savills ski report 2018-2019 claimed that the investment made into ski resorts in the Alps is helping to maintain property prices.

Val d’Isère remains the most expensive place in the Alps to buy a luxury chalet, with values showing price per square metre

Val d’Isère remains the most expensive place in the Alps to buy a luxury chalet, with values showing price per square metre

Val d’Isère remains the most expensive place in the Alps to buy a luxury chalet, with values showing price per square metre

This luxury six-bed house for sale in the French Alps ski resort of Val d’Isère is on the market for €13million, the equivalent of £11.6million

This luxury six-bed house for sale in the French Alps ski resort of Val d’Isère is on the market for €13million, the equivalent of £11.6million

This luxury six-bed house for sale in the French Alps ski resort of Val d’Isère is on the market for €13million, the equivalent of £11.6million

The only ski location to top Val d’Isère is the US resort of Aspen, in Colorado, where values have reached an average of €21,500 per square metre – the equivalent of £19,183.

The Swiss Alps resorts of Verbier and Gstaad, along with the French Alps resort of Courchevel also feature in the top 10 of most expensive resorts in the world, according to Savills.

The rankings move around a little for ultra-prime properties with Val d’Isère dropping to fourth place in the Savills price index.

It means that a luxury detached chalet in the area that has been newly furnished, and covers 400 sq m with seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms and a spa would cost €12million, the equivalent of £10,705,500.

Aspen is top of the ultra-prime rankings, followed by St Moritz and Courchevel 1850.

In its research, Savills defined ‘prime’ as those properties valued at more than  €700,000 – the equivalent of £624,015 – while ultra-prime are the top 20 to 30 per cent of prime properties in each resort.

The £11.6million chalet in Val d’Isère  comes with an indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi

The £11.6million chalet in Val d’Isère  comes with an indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi

The £11.6million chalet in Val d’Isère  comes with an indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi

The luxury Val d’Isère chalet also has a spacious and well-equipped gym

The luxury Val d’Isère chalet also has a spacious and well-equipped gym

The luxury Val d’Isère chalet also has a spacious and well-equipped gym

Are you a skier or a snowboarder? There is a boot room with plenty of space for equipment

Are you a skier or a snowboarder? There is a boot room with plenty of space for equipment

Are you a skier or a snowboarder? There is a boot room with plenty of space for equipment

Sophie Chick, director of Savills World Research, said: ‘Although overall visitor numbers ticked marginally upwards last year, ski resorts must continue to adapt to attract more tourists and investors.’

She explained that luxury hotels and developments with apartments for sale are incorporating five-star wellness facilities along with vegan eating options to help boost visitor numbers.

‘Food is playing an important part with hotels and ski operators offering ‘clean’ or vegan menus as visitors look for more than the traditional cheese heavy Savoie-style dishes,’ she said.

St Moritz in Switzerland continues to be popular among those looking to buy a luxury chalet

St Moritz in Switzerland continues to be popular among those looking to buy a luxury chalet

St Moritz in Switzerland continues to be popular among those looking to buy a luxury chalet

At the same time, infrastructure is being improved, with reduced transfer times created by the likes of a new train station at Le Chable that directly connects Verbier to Geneva.

And more than 100 new ski lifts are set to open in the Alps in the 2018 to 2019 season. This includes La Rosière in France, which is opening two new chairlifts and six kilometres of new pistes for this season.

Savills has revealed the average prices of luxury properties in ski resorts around the world

Savills has revealed the average prices of luxury properties in ski resorts around the world

Savills has revealed the average prices of luxury properties in ski resorts around the world

This four-bed apartment in the French ski resort of Courchevel 1850 is for sale for £3,485,274 

This four-bed apartment in the French ski resort of Courchevel 1850 is for sale for £3,485,274 

This four-bed apartment in the French ski resort of Courchevel 1850 is for sale for £3,485,274 

The four-bed apartment in Courchevel 1850 is on the top floor and has a modern fireplace

The four-bed apartment in Courchevel 1850 is on the top floor and has a modern fireplace

The four-bed apartment in Courchevel 1850 is on the top floor and has a modern fireplace

Last season saw some of the heaviest snow fall for years in the Alps, but weather patterns are changing and snowfall is becoming increasingly unpredictable.

Ms Chick added: ‘The unpredictable weather continues to add to the challenges faced by the winter-sports industry.

‘But with challenges comes innovation, resorts are finding ways to stay relevant in the face of a changing global landscape.

‘There are new lifts, hotels, festivals, sporting events and more to broaden the appeal of ski resorts to a wider demographic and to create year-round destination.’

Those looking for a luxury chalet int he Alps will hope for plenty of entertaining space 

Those looking for a luxury chalet int he Alps will hope for plenty of entertaining space 

Those looking for a luxury chalet int he Alps will hope for plenty of entertaining space 

Perhaps the most immediate concern for British buyers is the ability to buy in Austria following Brexit.

Only an EU citizen can buy residential property in Austria without setting a commercial structure.

It comes on the back of regulation already in place in Switzerland, which includes restrictions on the number of second homes that may be bought by foreigners – no more than 1,500 a year.

Switzerland also has a restriction on the number of second homes that can be built – no more than 20 per cent of the stock in a district. 

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