Winter wonderland


Soon ski slopes around Europe will be packed with winter playground holidaymakers looking to make the most of the season. Luke Thomas speaks to Joanna Leggett of Leggett Immobilier about property investment in France’s booming ski market.

“We’re coming into peak buying season in the ski resorts, in fact 52 million skiers from all around the world visited France in 2015/2016, with 8.5 million of those being French nationals,” confirms Joanna Leggett of Leggett Immobilier. “They flock to enjoy the pristine mountains, fresh air and superb winter sports facilities.”

The ski property market in France is buoyant and fairly balanced at the moment; Emmanuel Macron continues to spread confidence, promoting France as a safe investment location, and interestingly enough, Brexit is having a positive effect on the market.

The fundamental reason for this ski property ‘high’ is simple; it’s a great investment, in good established resorts, where property holds close to its value, or recovers quicker than most locations after a crisis. Most importantly for the vast majority of buyers, of whatever nationality, it’s a lifestyle investment; buy in one of the most beautiful places on the planet and enjoy it with friends and family. You can also get good rental returns in most resorts, so with bank interest rates still unattractive for most investors, property is filling that gap.

“Many savvy buyers purchase ‘leaseback’, which is a long term, hands-off investment and needs to be considered as a 20 year investment plan,” explains Joanna, “or for more flexibility they run their own self-catered rentals with a local agent and make a better return on their money than they would leaving it in a bank.”

While most of France expects a small increase in property prices, perhaps 2 - 3%, prime locations such as ski resorts, major cities and coastal areas are looking at a potential increase of over 5%.

Explains Joanna: “New build and off-plan projects are very popular in the mountains and it’s hard to keep up with sales of these in this region - that market is booming.

“We have over 100 new projects on offer, and the French are snapping them up, closely followed by the British and Belgians, with increasing interest from the Scandinavian countries,” she adds.

Winter is here; many of the resorts will be opening from early December, and following Christmas, it’s full on for the rest of the season, so the time is ripe for searching for a perfect ski home.

Leggett have been established in the Alps for over 10 years. There they have a 40 strong team of bilingual agents specialising in all things ski, living and working in the prime spots. The team is dedicated to understanding customer requirements and investment ideas and is eager to provide unprecedented levels of support as clients search for their dream property.

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