Middle East buyers help push up price of ski chalets

Cost of Alpine home rose by 4.4 per cent on average in the 12 months to June

Limited supply has kept a floor under prices in most markets, one industry source said. Getty Images
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A rise in buyers from the Middle East helped push up the average price of ski chalet in the Alps in the year to June, a new report has found.

Knight Frank’s Ski Property Index showed the cost of an Alpine home rose by 4.4 per cent in the period, representing the strongest rate of growth since 2014 outside of the pandemic years, the report said.

A limited supply is also fuelling the growth in prices, said Kate Everett-Allen, head of global residential research at Knight Frank.

“The pandemic-induced Alpine mini boom is ending with a fizzle rather than a bang, as limited supply keeps a floor under prices in most markets,” she said.

“Across three key French resorts, listings are down 56 per cent on average compared to before the pandemic and this is set against a backdrop of robust demand.

“There are clear challenges ahead for ski resorts, not least climate change, the need to upgrade infrastructure and strict planning rules. But the market is evolving, attracting buyers from further afield [Asia and the Middle East] and from southern Europe, as recent heatwaves prompt some second homeowners to pivot northwards.”

The company’s Ski Property Index revealed three German-speaking resorts – Klosters (16 per cent), Davos (13 per cent), and Andermatt (9 per cent) lead the ranking for the second year running, with the highest growth in prices.

Knight Frank said “a severe lack of stock” and infrastructure improvements in the resorts were pushing prices higher.

In France, Chamonix remains the top-performing resort, attracting a “broad demographic” of skiers to mountain bikers.

But high-altitude resorts, including St Moritz, Val d’Isere and Courchevel 1850, outperformed, as did year-round resorts such as Verbier.

Knight Frank said buyers either prioritised snow-sure resorts with longer ski seasons or locations offering a broader mix of activities and a livelier resort during the summer months.

Chamonix and Megève, which both have year-round appeal, are likely to outperform other French Alpine resorts in the coming years, while Val d’Isere’s recent strong performance is set to continue due to its excellent snow record, tight pool of properties and strong public and private investment, said Roddy Aris, head of French Alps sales at Knight Frank.

More than two thirds of respondents, 72 per cent, said the resilience of a ski resort influenced their decision on where to buy.

And more than half, 52 per cent, said they were seeking a second home that they plan to rent out, up from 48 per cent last year.

In total, 39 per cent of prospective buyers said the cost-of-living crisis affected how much they would allocate to an Alpine home.

And 60 per cent of respondents said they expected the price of ski chalets to rise in the next year.

Updated: November 06, 2023, 12:55 PM