Posted on 22 September 2020
When deciding where to buy in the French Alps, there are three factors to consider. Firstly, stick to your budget and also factor in legal fees and additional purchasing costs—secondly, lifestyle preferences. For example, more experienced skiers often choose resorts with off-piste playgrounds, while beginners opt for places with easy ski runs, a ski school, and private tutors—lastly, reasons for buying play a large part.
Real estate investors looking for a buy-to-let luxury chalet should look at towns offering winter and summer activities. People looking at mid to long term for maximum capital appreciation would do well in places investing in their town and infrastructure. Meanwhile, if you want purely to ski, look for high altitude resorts with maximum snowfall and a variety of graded ski slopes. With this in mind, let’s look at the most popular French ski resorts and the reasons why they attract buyers.
Where to Buy in the French Alps
1: Courchevel for Luxury
Known for its high-profile visitors, Courchevel in the Three Valleys area highlights the more finer side of living. The region is compromised of four different villages, 1300, 1550, 1650 and 1850 of which the last is the most famous. Often called the Saint Tropez of the Alps, its luxury aspect is evident everywhere from boutique shops with brand names like Cartier and Dior to five Michelin star restaurants serving exquisite cuisine that palettes die for. If Après ski is a primary criterion on your checklist, then Courchevel also delivers the best social scene.
Property Highlight: This stunning two-bedroom apartment priced at 625,000 euros sits in Courchevel Moriond (1650) which connects to 1850 via a ski lift. For those who want a property investment, this prices out at €13,800 per square meter and can recap an average of 4% rental yield. Contact us quoting reference number SKI295 for more details.
2: Buy in Val d’Isère
Val d’Isère, the Alps golden child, is rising to record fame heights thanks to the investment by the local council into the towns infrastructure and upgrading amenities. As a firm favourite of British skiers, it is an all-round ski-resort offering both the traditional ski season but also summer activities like biking and trekking.
There is a variety of off-slope activities, and the family-friendly resort also go far out to keep kids entertained as seen in the Village Des Enfants and Aquasportif Sports World. The jewel in the crown though is the 200 million-euro, five year Le Coin project to upgrade and modernise the town centre including the bus station, shops, tourism office and additional beds for tourists. (Contact us to receive a portfolio of property for sale in Val d’Isère.)
3: Megeve and French Alp Charm
This traditional Savoyard town was once the favoured holiday destination for the Rothschilds. Since then, Courchevel has overtaken it as the exclusive Alpine destination, but it still offers charm in abundance and for house hunters, some surprisingly affordable apartments and chalets.
One feather in its cap is the summertime golfing making this an ideal year-round destination in the great outdoors. Hardcore skiing enthusiasts enjoy night time pistes, but when you are off the slopes, dog sledging, snowshoeing and ice skating are just a snippet of off-slope activities to indulge in. Megeve is another resort delivering on the dining scene through Michelin Starr restaurants.
Showcase Apartments: This new development of new build one to six-bedroom apartments start at a price from 365,000 Euros, and those who rent their home out, can reclaim up to 20% VAT. To receive more information via email, contact us quoting reference number 318.)
4: Traditional Property in Chatel
This scenic town sitting on the Haute Savoie area of south-eastern France has a strategic position on the border with Switzerland hence delivers excellent skiing opportunities. Despite massive growth, its stays true to its alpine roots as seen in architectural styles of chalets and apartments, and ski in ski out chalets offer the best opportunities to tap into the Portes Du Soleil area it belongs to.
Holidaymakers in Chatel, another thriving summer resort, enjoy activities like horseback riding, and trekking. Towards the end of summer, the lifts also open for bikers who want to hit the mountain trails. Meanwhile, if you want a different scene to skiing, within an hour’s drive is Lake Geneva, which is all about water sports, and a beautiful collection of medieval villages to explore. Please email us to receive real estate listings for Chatel via email.
Besides deciding where to buy in the French Alps, any first-time buyer in France will do well to understand the property market and buying process. Call us to speak with an estate agent, who can answer any questions you have, outline the process, and arrange viewing trips to suit your budget and see properties for sale.
Buying a French Ski Chalet: We discuss why chalets stand in a league of their own on the international real estate market. Discussing architectural styles, what to look for when viewing one, we also list ideal resorts in France to start your viewing.
Rental Ski Property Advice: Some buyers look to enter the rental market, and why not, because there is a massive market to tap into. However, to make sure you buy the right property to maximum yields, we list hints and tips as well as advice to find a ski home matching what skiers and snowboarders want.