Posted on 27 February 2017
An irresistible combination of first-class skiing, world-class resorts and accessibility ensures that year after year France remains the most popular destination for British skiers. Its diverse alpine offering ticks all the boxes, from the vast ski areas of Portes du Soleil and Three Valleys, to smaller snow-sure resorts such as La Rosière where skiers swoop across to Italy.
For those of us who want a permanent base in the Alps that allows us to get our powdery fix whenever we choose, there’s no shortage of options throughout the region, whatever your budget. House hunters can snap up affordable apartments in purpose-built resorts of great convenience such as Flaine and Les Arcs, or splash out on multi-million pound chalets in famous luxurious locations such as Val d’Isère and Courchevel.
But it’s the growth of new-build apartments and the implementation of associated infrastructure projects, rather than the archetypal chalets that are leading the surge in sales volumes on the slopes. A prime example of one such project is the Mille8 in Les Arcs, which has re-invented the après-ski experience.
In some cases this modern take on alpine living even allows owners who choose to rent to benefit from attractive VAT rebates, saving 20% of the purchase price. Throw in the fact that French interest rates are at a 100 year low, providing mortgage rates from 1.85% fixed for 20 years, and owning an apartment in one of these contemporary developments seems like a savvy investment. Let’s take a look at some new-build highlights in the Alps.
Home to Europe’s longest black slope and just 90 minutes from Grenoble airport, Alpe d’Huez is currently revelling in largescale investment that will link the resort with Les Deux Alpes, creating the third-largest ski domain by 2020. A total of £129 million is being plumbed into lift improvements that will double the ski area to 280 miles, and a staggering £172 million is being used to fund the development of accommodation in the area.
For a little over £275,000 you can pick up a new one-bedroom apartment near the restaurants, shops and bars on Avenue des Jeux, while benefiting from unbeatable ski-in ski-out access.
If you’re considering buying a new-build alpine retreat, click here to download the FREE guide to buying a home in France
Les Arcs is made up of four modern, purpose-built, traffic-free, apartment-dominated resorts: Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000, each offering doorstep access to the fantastic Paradiski area. One of the most extensive and varied ski domains in the world, which combines the ski areas of both Les Arcs & neighbouring La Plagne, joined together by the Vanoise Express cable car – the biggest, longest and fastest cable car in the world.
For just £180,000 you can call Les Arcs home. This will buy you a one-bedroom new-build apartment near the Arc 1600 funicular station, which provides convenient access to the charming town of Bourg-Saint-Maurice in just 7 minutes, where you can find many shops and restaurants.
The attractive 13th-century village of Samoëns is a breath of fresh mountain air compared to pricey big French resorts like Chamonix and Val d’Isère. An hour by car from Geneva, this ancient village, famed for its stonemasons, is part of the Grand Massif ski domain and is connected to high-altitude, snow-sure Flaine.
Peppered with beautiful period Savoyard chalets, Samoëns also offers a range of very popular new-build developments that have been built in keeping with the towns historical charms. For just over £200,000 you can buy a one-bedroom apartment, located 400m outside the heart of the village.
For a step-by-step guide to buying a property in France, download the France Buying Guide by clicking here.