Posted on 22 January 2015
Dramatic exchange rate movement in January means property in the French Alps is around eight per cent cheaper for UK buyers compared to the same month last year, while Swiss homes have increased in price by around 13 per cent, said ski property specialist Skiingproperty.com in January.
Volatile currency markets have also caused the price of homes in French or Swiss ski resorts to swing heavily up or down for other nationalities. For Russians, rouble’s devaluation against the euro since January 2014 has pushed up the price of a French ski pad by more than 60 per cent. Meanwhile, Americans have seen their buying power in France surge, thanks to the dollar gaining around 15 per cent against the euro in the past 12 months.
By contrast, in January the cost of a home in Switzerland soared overnight for any foreigner not purchasing with Swiss francs, when the currency was unpegged against the euro and its value escalated against all major currencies. The euro weakened further this week when the European Central Bank announced the introduction of quantitative easing.
“The arrival of QE in the Eurozone combined with the Swiss Central Bank’s decision to unfix its currency against the euro could change the dynamics of the European ski property market in Europe this year,” said Julian Walker, director at Skiingproperty.com. “France, a truly international market, immediately becomes more attractive to foreign buyers – and it’s not only property that has become more expensive in Switzerland, but so have all the associated costs of ownership, including mortgage repayments. There could also be repercussions for the rentals market.”
“The number of Swiss popping over border to purchase in the French Alps should also increase this year, given the injection to their buying power. Buyers should note that there could be further falls in the euro, with the European Central Bank hinting at introducing quantitative easing for the single currency zone this month.”
Ski homes for sale through Skiingproperty.com include apartments at a new development in the centre of Meribel, a resort in the Three Valleys ski area that is especially popular with British people. Prices there for a luxury two-bedroom apartment, bought as a classic freehold, start from €750,000. Today’s (20th January) exchange rate gives this a Sterling value of around £572,000, while a year ago it would have been £620,000 – a difference of nearly £50,000. For a Swiss buyer, the apartment in Swiss francs has fallen to around CHF757,500 from CHF925,000 and for an American buyer to around $869,000 from around $1,017,000.
Skiingproperty.com has a selection of properties in the French Alps, including apartments from less than €200,000 to €12million chalets.