Alpine properties boosted by the Sochi-factor

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Alpine properties boosted by the Sochi-factor

The Winter Olympics may have come to a close, but the Sochi-effect continues to boost Alpine property sales.

MGM French properties, who recently announced a new development in Chamonix (the home of the first Winter Olympics) reported their property sales as being on track for an all time high.

Richard Deans, who heads the UK office of MGM French Properties in London's West End, explained that the group's sale of 80 ski properties in the first two months of this year have almost matched those for the whole of 2013.

He believes the trend is set to continue and acknowledged Sochi as having a positive effect.

"Media coverage of the Sochi Olympics has helped to put winter sports in everybody's minds and the sustained improvement in the exchange rate, with more than €1.2 to the pound, has combined with the UK's brighter economic outlook to give would-be buyers the confidence to act now.

"Lettings in our leaseback properties are at exceptionally high levels this season and inevitably there are a number of skiing families who want to stay in a place of their own next year, rather than pay rent."

Deans explains that the majority of buyers are currently paying in the region of €450,000 to €500,000 to secure a property.

Around half typically spend cash, while the remaining buyers opt for low-interest French mortgages - 3.7 per cent for 20 years is typical.

Erna Low Property, who also specialise in developments in the French Alps, also report a very busy ski season.

According to the company, the demand for leaseback properties continues as a means of owning a property whilst benefitting from rental return.

Two and three bedroom apartments are the most popular requests from clients with a budget of around €350,000 - €500,000.

General Manager Francois Marchand also cited the influence of an improved exchange rate on property sales.

"We have found that confidence is returning with the improvement in the economy and the strengthening of the pound. With interest rates continuing to be low and keen pricing in the Alps, British buyers are realising that there has never been a better time to buy their Alpine bolthole."

Clients are looking for established resorts with a reasonable commute from the ski lockers to the slopes.

Erna Low added that clients tend to be more flexible with the resort if they can find a property which ticks these boxes.

Meanwhile, CEO Joanna Yellowlees-Bound notes that Arc 1950 continues to be a perennial favourite:

"Celebrating its 10th anniversary, families like it being a completely pedestrian resort, offering a relaxed atmosphere and ski-in ski-out access."

She cherry picks a spacious two-bed apartment in the area for €280,000. It sleeps six comfortably and offers spectacular mountain views.

Read our guide to ski homes in France >>>

View our list of properties in Alpine France >>>


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