Buying an Alpine Property in the Chamonix Valley
Visitors have flocked to Chamonix Mont Blanc, the infamous mountain town at the foot of Mont Blanc, in search of adventure before skiing was invented. Because of this, the ski industry has adapted to the town rather than the other way around making it unlike any other ski resort you might choose to buy in. Refreshingly laid back, Chamonix is the ideal resort for mountain lovers and its international year-round community make it ideal for those looking to relocate to the mountains permanently.
A Quick Overview of Chamonix and its Property Market
- A year-round population of 10,000 with seasonal workers doubling the population in summer and winter
- Between €8,000 and €15,000+ (at the prime property end of the market) per square metre
- The largest increase in property value of any resort in the European Alps with a 4.8% growth in 2017
- A mecca for all mountain sports thanks to its rich mountaineering history, being the location of the first winter Olympics in 1924 and the variety of mountain activities within the valley
- One of the true year-round resorts in the Alps attracting over 5 million visitors per year
Where to Buy in the Chamonix Valley?
Chamonix is made up of several different villages and hamlets each with their own unique identities. The main villages in the valley include:
The heart of the valley, Chamonix Centre is where the action is. The pedestrianised centre is filled with cosy cafes, boutiques and a choice of fantastic bars and restaurants. The Brevent ski area is a short (uphill) stroll from the village centre. At the height of summer and winter, there is always something happening in the town square to keep locals and visitors entertained when they aren’t occupied in the mountains.
Les Praz, Les Bois & Les Tines
A 15-minute walk along the river from central Chamonix, brings you to Les Praz, the first of these picturesque villages, which offer a more quiet, laid life than the centre of town. Home to the Flegere ski area (which is lift-linked to Brevent), it is also incredibly popular in the summer thanks to the golf course underneath the gondola.
Perfectly placed at the foot of the world-famous ski area, Grands Montets, this is where the most die-hard skiers and climbers call home. The charming central village is small but with a fantastic atmosphere thanks to the lively bars, shops & restaurants which line the streets.
Lavancher & La Joux
These charming hamlets are ideal if you are looking for a peaceful mountain experience. Small, quiet and surrounded by farmland it is not unusual to see chamois and deer walking calmly down the narrow streets.
The sleepy little village at the end of the valley, there isn’t much in the way of nightlife, but there are 2 lovely restaurants at the foot of the ski lift providing the warmest of welcomes to whomever walks through their doors. Incredibly peaceful, with beautiful views the ski area is perfect for those with young families.
Les Houches is a ski resort in its own right, located at the entrance of the Chamonix Valley ski area. It is a perfect base for ski-loving families thanks to its gently rolling hills. The traditional starting point for those looking to climb Mont Blanc, the views are phenomenal and it is also an excellent choice for those who commute to Geneva for work. Rumours circulate about a future lift link to St Gervais Les Bains. Watch this space!
Servoz & Vaudagne
These quiet farming villages are on the outskirts of the valley. Being a 15-minute drive from the centre of Chamonix, ski property prices are lower. They have become popular with families looking for bigger homes on large plots of land.
Vallorcine & Le Buet
A 20 minute drive from the centre of Chamonix, brings you into the valley home to Vallorcine & Le Buet. Located on the other side of the Col des Montets, Vallorcine and Le Buet are made up of a few tiny hamlets not far from the Swiss border. Vallorcine is lift-linked to the ski area of Le Tour and has a small parade of shops.
Things to Consider When Buying a Ski Property in The Chamonix Valley
How will you use your Chamonix Ski Property?
Will it be a strictly personal home, or will you be renting it out to help cover ownership costs? If so, you are likely to earn more rent if you buy within walking distance of Chamonix centre or close to one of the ski lifts.
Which Chamonix ski area is the best for you?
The different ski areas of Chamonix vary greatly and although they are all accessible by car or bus, choosing a ski property in an area which suits you and your family or friends will help you get the most out of it. For example, the gentle rolling hills of Les Houches are a fantastic base for those with young families whilst the steep glacier skiing of Grands Montets might be a better choice for people looking for a more extreme type of ski day.
How will you get to the Chamonix slopes?
The separate ski areas of Chamonix mean that if you want to ski in more than one area you will drive or use public transport to move around. If you won’t have a car, a home near a ski lift with good transport links – as well as supermarkets and shops in easy walking distance - are important things to consider when buying.
Are you looking for a bustling cosmopolitan vibe, or a quiet ski village experience?
Once you have finished skiing, you might be more interested in après and dinner out than relaxing by the fire. If that is what you are looking for, then living in (or close to the centre) of Chamonix is your best bet. For a more traditional mountain village, somewhere like Les Bois or La Tour could better suit your needs. Try to visit each village to make sure you are getting exactly what you want, as each area is so distinct and different despite being so close together.
Agents in the Valley
The sheer size and layout of the Chamonix valley means that there are different agents on hand to help you find your dream ski property.
Mountain Base Knight Frank, Chamonix
Mountain Base is the only British estate agency based in Chamonix, they make the link between English-speaking buyers and the local property market. They specialise in identifying suitable properties, advising on the French buying process, advise on investment opportunities and carrying out valuations.
La Floria Immobilier
La Floria’s bilingual team offers a discreet, efficient and trustworthy service. Using their local knowledge, they assist clients in finding their perfect ski property and with a background in finance they are well placed to advise on financing as well as the purchasing process, valuations and finding the right local architects or builders if necessary.
Chamonix Real Estate
With one of the most varied portfolios in the valley – including property for sale in nearby St Gervais Les Bains - the multilingual team at Chamonix Real Estate are ready to discuss your property project, whether it be a main residence, holiday home or commercial investment.
Mr & Mrs Thomas Private Office
With a specialised interest in high-end ski properties within the valley, Mr & Mrs Thomas Private Office are the ideal estate agents for buyers looking for a luxury investment to add to their property portfolio.
Although they have properties all over the valley, Agence Montagne specialise in the Argentiere area, having been based there for over 20 years. Experts in ski property sales & rentals, their multi-lingual team are always on hand to help you find the perfect ski home and guide you through the entire purchasing process.
Based in Chamonix and providing services across the Mont Blanc Evasion, Agence Limo are dedicated to finding the best properties for their clients whilst providing the highest level of service. The local knowledge and professional insight of their multi-lingual team means clients are offered the best opportunities and advice regards to property investments in and around the Chamonix Valley.
My Dream Home Alps
Chamonix is the second estate agency office for My Dream Home Alps – their first is located in the ski resort of Flumet in the Arly valley. Another Anglo French real estate agency, their 2 sales portfolio across their 2 offices includes property in the Chamonix valley, as well as St Gervais Les Bains, Praz Sur Arly, Combloux and Notre Dame de Bellecombe.
Search all Alpine Properties for sale with My Dream Home Alps
Formed in 1999 to address the needs of international ski property buyers in the Alps, Alpine Property has become one of the most prominent ski real estate agents in the Haute Savoie. Centred around the principle that the complex process of buying property in France is best served by professional, local advice in your own language you can rest assured that Alpine Property will make every step of the buying process smooth and easy to understand.
Working directly with the leading Alpine property developers, Athena Advisers offer property investors the best in new-build and renovation development projects in Chamonix. Acting as advisors and concierges for their international clients, they draw from their local market insights to simplify the buying process and offer access to properties with excellent rental potential or strong capital appreciation prospects.
Property Prices in Chamonix: What You Can Buy For…
Try Before You Buy
It's always worth getting to know any ski resort well before you commit to buying a ski property. Frequent visits at different times of the year gives you good insight; another option is to rent a property for the season. Some options for a seasonal let in the 2019 ski season include this beautifully renovated Farmhouse in Taconnaz, between Chamonix and Les Houches, a spacious base for a large family or a group of friends. Another chalet available for the 2019 ski season is this 4-bedroom chalet offering ski-in/ski-out convenience, on the edge of the Kandahar ski run above Les Houches.
If You Would Like to Buy a Ski Home in Chamonix…
 Based on data from Alpine Estate Agents and French Notaries