Wealthy buyers bringing stability and price rises to Alpine property

Posted on 16 October 2013

After four years of price corrections or, at best, stable prices, the Alps are firmly back on the radar of second home buyers and investors, with evident upward pressure on prices, according to a report by a leading international property consultancy.

According to the report released by Savills Alpine in October, there was a doubling of transaction levels in Austria in the first half of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012 and a corresponding 57 per cent increase in the Swiss Alps.

Out of the 27 resorts surveyed in the report, all resorts have either stable or increasing prices, and 55 per cent of resorts have witnessed price increases of more than five per cent in the last 12 months. This is in contrast to 2012 when 28 per cent of resorts surveyed were still witnessing price falls of more than five per cent. This can be attributed to a returning level of confidence, cash rich buyers, low interest rates and a flight to traditional, mature markets.

An increasing number of buyers of property in the Alps come from overseas. Nearly a quarter of Savills Alpine buyers are British living outside of the UK, typically in Hong Kong, Singapore, Geneva or Dubai. Russian buyers are also particularly active at the top end of the market, spending on average 1.5 times the amount of the UK buyer.

Research also found that different countries attract different buyers to their markets and have seen different price levels and trajectories as a result.

Looking ahead, Savills concluded: “The increasing number of High Net Worth Individuals globally is increasing demand for real estate in many jurisdictions. With average prices up by an average of around five per cent across the Alps since 2012 and a growing diversity of buyers, ski property is again increasing in popularity, particularly among wealthier, cash rich buyers. Limited and exclusive supply, made more so by market regulation, means that buyer appetite will remain robust. Investors in alpine property expect to enjoy, as well as profit, from their assets and these expectations are set to keep demand strong.”

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