Autumn is here and the snow is on its way and it’s time for the 2017 alpine property reports! What does that mean? International property giants from around the world give their conclusions on the ski property market over the last 12 months and predictions for the year to come. First up in the Alpine Property Reports this year is UBS analysing the premium property markets in the Alpine region. So, what are the key points they have found?
The luxury resorts of St Moritz and Gstaad are the two most expensive ski resorts in which to buy ski property in the Alps. Prices per square meter begin at 14,000 CHF and go up to 18,000 CHF for more premium properties, and these prices don’t even reflect the ultra-luxury segment which have no top price limit. Verbier remains one of the most expensive ski property markets with prices per square metre ranging from 12,000-17,500 CHF. This is in keeping with the Savills and Knight Frank 2016 reports listing Gstaad, St Moritz and Verbier as the 3 leading ski resorts for ski property prices in the Alps.
The top ski resorts of France, Italy and Austria have shown the greatest property price increase across the Alps, with increasing averages of 2.5%, 3% an 3.5% respectively in the past three years. Although Switzerland is home to the most expensive ski of the Alps, the property prices have increased by just 1% since 2014. The biggest price increase took place in St Anton, Austria which showed an 8% price increase.
The trend towards shorter but more frequent holidays andweekend trips mean that ski resorts which are easy to access via public and private transport are generally favoured. If a ski resort is near a major city, it is easier to rent out to locals and holiday makers looking for a short break. Kitzbuhel, Chamonix, Megève and Engelberg are all located within short drives of major cities with airports making short trips viable. Resorts such as Zermatt or Val d’Isere have significantly longer journeys and are less popular for short breaks. Read more about it here.
Occupancy relates to the number of vacant homes (not individual beds) in a particular area. A home is considered vacant if the home is advertised as being for-sale or long-term rental. Homes in the most expensive resorts such as St Moritz, Verbier, St Anton, Courchevel, Zermatt and Gstaad all have high occupancy rates with the number of empty homes sitting at around 3%. Resorts such as Crans Montana have an increasing number of vacant properties and above average building activity meaning the supply is likely to exceed the demand causing prices to grow at a slower rate.
Although the rate of growth has slowed down, ski property in popular resorts will always increase in value thanks to high demand, limited housing stock and lack of space to build new ski homes. Much like the 2016 Alpine Property Reports, the Swiss ski resorts of Gstaad & St Moritz are the leaders of the pack when it comes to price per square metre. With the most popular resorts around France and Switzerland reaching their peak building capacity, Italy and Austria have seen the biggest growth in property value as people look to smaller, lesser-known resorts to get more value for their money when buying a ski home. The move away from long vacations to short weekend breaks means that accessibility is a key factor when buying your ski home, as you are more likely to attract weekend visitors resulting in higher occupancy rates if you are looking to rent out your ski home too.
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