Worldwide, the 2018/19 ski season was the best overall of this millennium.
Then came the pandemic, but after the first lockdown, demand for property in the Alps started to boom, with interest as far afield as USA, the Middle East and Asia. Pent up demand, a focus on space, lifestyle and wellbeing, and the ability to work remotely or hybrid, all contributed to renewed interest and investment.
There is capital growth in the French Alps, helped by the limited supply of chalets, as many resorts have strict building restrictions in place – some permitted works continued during the pandemic, while resorts were closed to visitors.
As travel opened up again, the choice of new or renovated property in the market grew, some included old hotels which were converted and updated to residential use, offering attractive communal areas and facilities whilst using energy efficient materials.
For an increasing number of investors buying new, or off-plan makes sense. From higher energy efficiency ratings, modern design, materials and comforts, to low maintenance, 10 year warranties, and off-plan options to personalise and spread payments, making them very appealing.
In the French Alps there is the benefit of lower purchase costs (around 2.5%) and the option to claim back 20% VAT (TVA), if the freehold property is commercially managed (leaseback) for an approved time period, and let for an agreed number of weeks a year offering specific services. This initiative aims to increase occupancy in resorts, supporting the local economy and preventing ghost villages out of season.