Luxury real estate in the French Alps is very popular with both national and international buyers. According to the 2018 Naef Prestige/Knight Frank network study, Northern Europeans contributed to the increase in transactions last year, particularly in Val-d’Isère. Despite the presence of Belgians, the Dutch and Russians, who constitute the majority of the clientele of local real estate agencies, the French remain the leading buyers and landlords of exceptional properties. An update on this high-end alpine market.
Most expensive resorts in the Alps
From one resort to another, prices per square metre vary by as much as double according to Meilleursagents:
- Val d’Isère is the most expensive resort in the Alps with an average price of 11,584 euros/sq. m for apartments and 16,927 euros/sq. m for chalets. High-end real estate is by far the majority. In fact, 62% of the properties are luxury properties.
- Courchevel: located in the Trois-Vallées region and world-renowned for its luxury boutiques, penthouses and prestigious chalets, the prestigious resort had more than 77 properties worth over one million euros at the start of the year.
- Megève: with more than 167 homes worth more than €1 million, or 33% of the real estate stock, it is the most affordable area in the Alps with €8,323/sq. m for an apartment and €11,143/sq. m for a chalet. For a high-end chalet, you need at least 3 million euros.
What about new housing?
Luxury real estate in French ski resorts is a difficult market because supply is scarce. That is why some municipalities such as Megève have modified the conditions of their local urban development plan in order to facilitate the construction of housing. Thus, 300 apartments over the next two years should be built.
In Courchevel, the prices of new buildings can reach up to 50,000 euros/sq. m compared to 20,000 to 25,000 euros/sq. m in Méribel, which is certainly more family-friendly but is only 17 km from the exclusive resort.
In Megève, chalets and apartments are less rare and new prices are lower. They range from 12,000 to 17,000 euros/sq. m.
New property offers significant advantages for buyers of high-end properties: Recoverable VAT, tailor-made fixtures and fittings, and good rental yield.
Source: Les Echos Patrimoine
Investors looking to take advantage of their second home
Although property acquisitions in Alpine resorts are more of a pleasure purchase, in luxury real estate “9 out of 10 projects are for rentals” according to a recent study by Cimalpes, a network of agencies specialising in the rental and sale of properties in the mountains.
“Rental investors can count on an average of 3% return” according to the estimate of this local real estate professional.
Rental prices obviously depend on the season in which the accommodation is rented. A rental during the holiday season in the mountains will be more expensive than the same rental in April. But renting a premium property five months a year is not enough to cover the costs of maintaining a luxury property. This is why resorts that offer activities other than winter sports attract investors. This is particularly the case in Chamonix, which saw its demand increase by 20%, and Courchevel Le Praz.
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