There are over 300 ski resorts in France, of which dozens are major resorts. Where do I start?
Narrowing down your ski property search criteria
This can be approached in several ways. To start with, where do you most like to ski? Other key factors that we at Alpine Property intelligence urge all prospective buyers to consider from the outset are:
- A large ski area. If you are looking at a smaller ski area with, say, up to 100km of pistes, a competent skier could complete all the runs in 2-3 days. And since you are probably always going to ski there, however good the runs are, the novelty will wear off. Top tip: go for a large well joined-up ski area.
- A snow-sure resort. Climate change as it is, in the French Alps, that means going for altitude and good snow-making cover. Even in the snowiest resorts, this is an insurance policy for a below-average snowfall year. It also means a longer ski season.
- Proximity to the pistes. Ski-in/ski-out is optimal, but if you’re happy to jump on the ski bus and there is a stop nearby, that’s fine too. You won’t regret for one moment having easy access to the pistes. Also, the location is a key criteria for its rental prospects.
If all this sounds rather expensive, it doesn’t have to be; the price range is huge – from €7,000/m² to over €30,000/m². Many factors influence prices: snow quality, the ski area, transport links, infrastructure and facilities. Resorts that host top sporting and cultural events tend to be more popular. The amount of development space is always part of it.
For example, Val d’Isère has certain avalanche zones; Megève is now limiting new developments; most resorts have strictly enforced zones for agriculture, and many are in National Park areas. Resorts with a scene that attracts the well-heeled visitor may or may not be your cup of tea. In contrast, some resorts are simply less well-known internationally but still have terrific skiing. Certain villages within the large ski areas can offer excellent value compared with their more illustrious neighbours; they may be more family-friendly and still offer easy access to the same slopes.
Some of the top ski resort recommendations for property investors
Best resorts, regardless of price
Courchevel (1850), Méribel, Val d’Isère.
A balance of great ski area and value for money
Chamonix, Châtel, Courchevel Montriond, Courchevel Le Praz, Courchevel Village, Les Gets, Saint Martin de Belleville, Megève, Méribel Village, Méribel Mottaret, Morzine, Tignes, Val Thorens.
Good skiing, excellent value for money
Alpe d’Huez, Les Arcs, La Clusaz/Grand Bornand, Les Deux Alpes, La Plagne, La Rosière.
Find properties in all these resorts and more on www.alpinepropintel.com
Should I rent out my ski property?
It is certainly worthwhile. The majority of owners rent their ski property in the French Alps. The ‘para hôtelier’ system allows you to recover the 20% VAT on a new build while retaining flexible usage options; renting out an older property also has tax advantages.
A final thought for your shortlist is the summer
While, in our opinion, the best place for your ski property investment is unequivocally defined by its ski credentials, we know how fabulous the Alps can be in the summer. Is there plenty going on there in the summer months?
Ready to start searching for your ski property in France?
We always like talking about ski property and are happy to help – contact us at Alpine Property intelligence.
Lead photo credit : Alpe d'Huez
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