We compare the main French ski resorts.
France has no fewer than three major mountain ranges to choose from when deciding on the location for ski accommodation, as well as less well known destinations. The Alps are the obvious choice, but there are also the up-and-coming Pyrenees and the virtually undiscovered (by tourists) Massif Central. Here is the lowdown on each main area:
For decades, the apline resorts have drawn skiers and property developers to their stunning slopes. Some of the more glamorous resorts, such as Courchevel, are expensive to buy property and holiday in, but property prices are almost guaranteed not to go down. High quality accommodation can also command high prices for a packed season of holiday rentals, so investing in buy-to-let is still a wise investment.
The excellent skiing, with high resorts and vast ‘domaines’ of slopes and lifts, will continue to attract increasing numbers of skiers and snowboarders from all over the world.
Andorra is often seen as a cheap alternative to the Alps, but there are also French resorts in this mountain range. These resorts are cheaper than those in the French Alps, but still boast all the French charm and lifestyle which Andorra cannot claim. Brits are slowly becoming aware of these resorts, which are not too crowded, high up, and have good facilities. The recent series of ‘No Going Back’ highlighted these assets, and will certainly provoke some interest in property there – see our article by No Going Back’s Benn Coley, in which he compares his local resorts.
Apartments and chalets in the Pyrenees are not cheap compared to the rest of France, but they are definitely cheaper than those in alpine resorts, with far more potential to increase rapidly in value. The holiday rentals market is strong, but mainly limited to French holiday makers…for now.
THE MASSIF CENTRAL
As with the French Pyrenees, no tour operators have set up camp in the Massif Central, which means that many foreigners are simply unaware of its existance. The thriving resorts, such as Super Besse, are soley reliant on the French, who come from far and wide to experience the high, uncrowded slopes and good snow.
The Massif Central’s buy-to-let market is saturated, but it does have the advantage of a year-round rental season, due to all the walkers and sight-seeing holiday makers. Peak season here is the end of December to mid-February, as well as July and August, and Easter week. Rental prices are relatively low, but, once again, high-quality accommodation is sought-after and has a high value.
It could prove worthwhile investing in property here, incase the resorts do start to become better known by foreigners. The current low prices could increse massively if that happened.
The Massif Central is perfect for those who are just looking for a reasonably-priced ski apartment for their own use, with the possibility of making a bit back on renting it out when possible.