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29th March 2017

Annual Notaires Report Overview for French Ski Property

The 2016/17 winter season is coming to its end, with the snow melting and the green shoots of spring making it the ideal time to reflect on the performance of the alpine property market. We’ve already had a review of the ski property market in 2016 from international estate agents Savills and Knight Frank; now it’s the turn of the Notaires de France. Their report focuses specifically on the Savoie and Haute Savoie regions of the French Alps, drawing their conclusions from sales with the two French regions.

  1. The Notaires report concludes Megeve, an ultra-luxe resort known for catering to wealthy skiers and non-skiers, showed the highest overall property value increase with a growth of 16.4%. This follows the trend Savills reported on in their annual alpine report, showing that ski property in the more exclusive, established winter resorts is increasing in value at the fastest rates.

  2. Mid-range resorts such as Chamonix Mont-Blanc have shown value increases of around 5-6% on average, in keeping with the Knight Frank Alpine Property Report which states that there has been a growing trend of people snapping up property in better value resorts where they can get more for their money in comparison to the traditionally luxury ski resorts of Courchevel 1850 (Trois Vallees) and Val d’Isere (Espace Killy).

  3. Ski resorts with established year-round towns also recorded an increase in property values in 2016. The Notaires show ski property in the beautiful village of Samoëns, a medieval town famous for its masonry roots, and linked to the Grand Massif ski area, has gone up by a massive 12.6%. This is supported by the Knight Frank report which indicates that one of the biggest indicators of tourist visits - and by extension property value - is the importance of non-skiing related activities and investment in the urban infrastructure.

  4. Most significantly the Notaires report concludes that there is a clear divide in the alpine property market – with 50% of the resorts showing an increase in price and 50% showing a decrease. The market for older homes was not as strong and smaller resorts such as La Clusaz and Grand Bornand – ski villages primarily attracting French visitors and with little recent investment in infrastructure - showed decreases of 2.4% and 5.6% respectively. Property prices in the high altitude ski resort of Tignes is an excellent example of the two tier ski market. Property values in Tignes are strong thanks to its snow-sure altitude, though sales prices in the oldest area of the Tignes valley, Tignes-le-Lac, decreased by 5.8%.

notaires france ski property sales overview




The price difference between new-builds (or recently renovated property) shows that many resorts are hitting a critical aging point, and investment in infrastructure is the only way to change this. Whilst the dream of buying an old farmhouse and renovating it is still very much alive, the reality and cost of an alpine property project is less appealing for second home buyers when they can buy a brand new or recently renovated ski properties for a similar price. Although the exclusive resorts of Megeve and Courchevel will always have buyers, the general trend is moving away from super-luxury towards better value resorts such as Morzine and Chamonix

With more visitors now coming to the Alps in the summer as well as the winter, the importance of dual-season resorts and those with established villages offering more than just skiing are proving popular with buyers – particularly those destinations within easy driving distance to well-served international airports such as Geneva and Lyon.

Despite decreasing values in 50% of the resorts, the exclusive nature of owning your own ski home is not set to change any time soon. Even with Brexit and the impending trigger of Article 50, the market hasn’t generally suffered.  A strong market for the purchase of ski homes is guaranteed thanks to limited housing stock and very little available land left for new chalets and other ski developments. 

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