Portes du Soleil Property and Investing in the French Alps

Posted on 07 October 2019

To invest in Portes du Soleil property is to tap into one of France’s prime real estate areas. Portes du Soleil, a sizeable ski area in the Swiss and French Alps, comprises 12 villages between Mont Blanc and the southern shores of Lake Geneva in the Haute Savoie region. Four hundred miles of ski trails sit between Les Gets, Chatel, and Morzine villages and Avoriaz is at the heart of it.

Most village resorts sit low down in the mountains, but plenty of lifts give access to skiing at over 7,874 feet. Portes du Soleil is also easy to access from Geneva airport, but a significant reason to buy is that prices are less than other more well-known resorts like Val d’Isère and Meribel.

The payoff for having cheaper property is that most aren’t ski in ski out, and most villages are spread out. However, the area is attracting more buyers, amongst the British, Swiss and French who find it much better value than Swiss resorts. Most are purchasing real estate for cash as a long-term investment, with the advantage of year-round resorts and activities.

Best Place to Buy Portes du Soleil Property

Popular locations include Les Gets and Morzine but one area driving on full steam ahead is Chatel. Marketing itself as a year-round destination thanks to remarkable skiing and summer activities, its well-priced real estate portfolio when compared to other more expensive resorts like Courchevel also lures in buyers. Sitting on the border with Switzerland, it is also keeping up with modern trends by upgrading resort infrastructure.

Skiing in Chatel got a lot better when new lifts opened, giving the French resort access to the world’s largest international linked ski area, and making it attractive to homeowners. Now, two ski lifts link the massifs of Super-Chatel and Linga to provide skiers with easy access to 650 kilometres of slopes on 285 pistes in 12 French and Swiss ski resorts. The upgrade included a new blue run, going from Super Chatel down to Vonnes in the valley, and makes doing a circular tour of Portes du Soleil much easier.

Portes du Soleil

Chatel’s off-piste activities also got better with the opening of its new aqua centre in the town centre. It has connected indoor and outdoor heated pools, a separate 25-metre lapping pool, plus contraflow lane, kids’ area and pool, Jacuzzis, saunas, hammams, solarium, massage and beauty treatment rooms and a gym.

People who love the outdoor life visit Chatel all year round. In summer activities like hiking, biking, and riding are on the doorstep. Nearby rafting, fishing, and para-gliding are available. Chatel, in the French Alps Haute Savoie region is one of the most popular Portes du Soleil resorts and being just 90 minutes from Geneva Airport makes it accessible.

New Ski Property Versus Resale

It’s not just outdoor activities that make Portes du Soleil a prime real estate area. Its modernised portfolio of off-plan and new build apartments and chalets put it ahead of other regions who neglect their real estate market.

When you buy a ski property, you can opt to purchase a resale home from a private vendor or buy something brand new from a developer – either off-plan or something built. However, we believe the latter option comes with several advantages.

First off, when you buy a brand-new apartment or chalet, it is a blank canvas, for you to put your stamp on, which you won’t get with a resale. The developer should also fix niggling problems that arise otherwise known as snagging.

Chatel France

A new property should also come with a constructor’s guarantee, including the obligation to cover the cost of any significant structural problem linked to the actual construction. Then consider that new property is built using safer, more energy-efficient materials, so are cheaper to run and friendlier to the environment.

Buying costs in France are lower with a new-build than with a resale, and they also come with a two-year exemption of one of two French council taxes. Most developers will also offer you an attractive finance option, or staged payment package if your property isn’t built.

Buying into a new development early means tapping into a sizeable discount, so have a good chance of enjoying capital appreciation. New projects appreciate once completed and established. (See a selection of new-build and off-plan Portes du Soleil property here.)

Is Portes du Soleil Ideal for Rental Income?

Yes. French Alp homeowners are enjoying a bumper year for rentals, thanks to the fantastic snow conditions, however future buyers hoping to cash in from winter holiday lets should choose their property by the slopes.

Not all homes carry the same appeal to holidaying skiers, who look for the three Cs – convenience, comfort, and conditions. Convenience refers to short and comfortable transfers from the airport. In addition to being within walking distance of amenities, including bars, restaurants, and shops.  Being close to a lift – ski-in ski-out is also always preferred.

Comfort refers to accommodation and facilities. Coming back to a comfortable and well-equipped apartment or chalet, with convenient lockers, makes a huge difference to skiers exhausted after a day on the slopes, and access to on-site facilities, such as a spa or pool, gives a property the edge too.

Conditions refer to snow cover and slopes. Resorts with access to a large and varied ski area, a reliable snow record and the long season will always have strong rental appeal. High altitude resorts, meaning most of its slopes are over 2,000 metres, have better snow, but buyers could also look for resorts with north-facing slopes. Also, as more resorts cater to year-round tourism, facilities for summer visitors could be considered. We have a range of ski properties that have excellent rental appeal, one example being apartments in Les Gets resort of Portes du Soleil.

Also of Interest

Market Guide to French Alp Property: This article gives tips and advice for first time buyers in the French Alps. As well as answering most often asked question, we also list favourable places and discuss market trends.