Buying Ski Property in the French Alps : Your Alpine Home Investment

Posted on 01 August 2022

With an extensive list of places to choose from, anyone buying ski property in France should know it is an attractive market with a good deal of new build, modern homes for sale, but the location of your new home is just as important as the actual home itself. Usually, people look for easy access to resort from nearby airports and train stations, a range of bars, restaurants and shops and guaranteed alpine snowfall. However, the French property market is revolutionising itself.

More resorts are turning into year-round tourism destinations, so second home purchasers and savvy investors should locally research which destinations offer the most months’ use. Another aspect to consider is which resorts invest in infrastructure and urban planning. We’ve all seen mistakes from the past when mass interest in a destination but a lack of planning turned towns and villages into concrete jungles with nothing to offer residents and holidaymakers. So, we put together a list of ski resorts with potential that should be on every property buyer’s radar and listed some excellent advice for making a wise investment.

Buying Ski Property in the French Alps

Where to buy ski property in France

1: Property Mortgages and Finances

Typically, mortgage investment providers require between 20 to 30% deposit on chalets and apartments. In addition, ski property purchasers should calculate monthly repayments and non-occupancy buffer zones. As well as property values, remember, additional purchasing costs and factor in property maintenance costs of either the chalet or apartment you plan to buy.

2: When is the Best Time to Buy in the Alps?

There is no ideal time to buy a ski property. These days, many towns offer activities all year round, including summer. Instead of focusing on when to purchase property, focus on research and investor knowledge. Other aspects to remember include looking for a future mountain place for retirement, family holidays, and for investors, a luxurious travel niche so higher property rental rate.

3: Your Rental Investment Income from the Alps

If you are not in the same Alps Mountain resort, you will need a key holding company to lease your new ski property to manage cleans and deposits. Remember to research expected rental income and average occupancy rates for that popular destination you will buy in. Finally, how will you advertise your ski property, apartment or chalet for summer and winter rentals? Did you know 90% of ski property owners rent their homes? Stronger competition means lower rentals, but buying in a remote unheard ski village to avoid competition does not work

4: The French Alps Research and Infrastructure

Higher mountain altitudes mean more snow but check the ski resort’s other facilities before looking at a ski investment property. Consider après ski, family activities or amenities for working professionals? How does the ski resort perform for lifts, gondolas, and ski slopes? Research regional investment projects. Ski resorts offer better capital growth potential when they invest in infrastructure and social facilities over many years.

With more resorts operating all year round, check what they offer besides skiing. Mostly, mountain biking is popular, while some resorts promote golf. If a ski resort is out of your price range for ski property, look at what is known as backdoor resorts. These neighbouring resorts use the same ski area but offer lower property prices.

Check transfer times from the airport. Lower altitude resorts offer short transfer times but also shorter seasons. Also, look at local transport. Some resorts are car-free, with free shuttle bus services to others.

5: Where to Buy Ski Property in the French Alps

Val D’Isère: A French Alps Ski Resort to Watch

In 2018, Forbes listed this French Alps ski resort as one of the world’s best resorts. Daily Telegraph newspaper also rated it as their favourite resort. This glowing testament reflects the skiing opportunities, but there is much more to the resort. A project called Le Coin De Val introduced new public amenities like underground parking. Along with the latest Euro Solaise gondola, the 200-million-euro project boosted the alpine reputation.

Combloux for Budget Buyers in France

Sitting 4 kilometres from Megeve, buyers looking for a year-round destination in the French Alps love Combloux. Attractive prices per square meter and the massive range of outdoor activities like mountain biking prove its summer potential. In southeast France, 2000 residents also tap into the famous Mont Blanc area offering suburb skiing opportunities.

Les Carroz in the French Alps

Belonging to the Grand Massif area, family-friendly Les Carroz offers bundles of traditional Alpine ambience. The family-friendly status received an official award from the French tourism board. Les Carroz is for families who want easy access to everything local. Apartments in Les Carroz also have rental management agencies to manage buy-to-let incomes.

Purchase in Dual Season Alpe D’Heuz

Called France’s Best Ski resort, this French Alps ski destination undertook many urban projects, including the Les Deux Alpes link, to increase skiing opportunities. As a summer destination in France, it also caters to beginner and experienced skiers, but other activities include dog sleighing; and the alpine coaster ride. This resort is an ideal place to look at property for sale and to purchase a ski investment property in France.

The Five Villages of Tignes

Sitting below Val D’Isère resort, Tignes has easy access to the Espace Killy area. As a favoured summer destination for activities like golfing, the ski resort is easy to get to, and the global green certification benefits the local environment. In addition, five small villages, including family-friendly Les Brévières, prove Tignes is an all-rounder.

Beautiful Les Arcs – The Pride of France

The excellent ski resort of Les Arcs is located in Bourg-Saint-Maurice in France. It is part of the Paradiski ski area with 106 runs, 54 lifts and 200 kilometres of descent. The highest place in this beautiful ski resort, the Aiguille Rouge, means the “Red Needle”, and Les Arcs is the original French “mega resort.”

Morzine in the Porte Du Soleil

Morzine, in the Portes du Soleil ski region, is about much more than skiing and views. The resort is one of France’s dual spots, a mountain biking spot, with a popular bike park at Avoriaz and gentler trails covering the Les Gets side of the resort. For skiing, families often speed down to Les Gets for terrace lunches. The resort is more significant than other Alpine favourites, and you could live here throughout the year. Unlike neighbouring Les Gets and Avoriaz, Morzine never closes for the inter-season.

6: If I buy a property in the French Alps, will I Pay Capital Gains Tax if I sell?

Yes, you will, regardless of whether you live in France. The calculation used is the property value difference from purchase to sale. The amount is 16% for Europeans or a 33% flat rate for non-Europeans. New French rules say completed renovation processes on properties must have an invoice for work. Deductions happen for more than five years of property ownership, and every year after, deduct 10%. If you have owned the property for 15 years, there is no Capital Gains Tax but check in your home country for property tax laws.

See our Apartments and Chalet Portfolio

Our portfolio of ski chalets and apartments covers the French alps. Each property for sale listing contains everything to know, including bedrooms, residence location, and nearby amenities. So, start your property search today, and then use the contact details to take advantage of our investment service. Alternatively, to find out more or for help and advice about buying ski property in the French alps, call us today or read our all-encompassing ski blog.

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