With the opening of ski resorts now just a few short weeks away, all indications are this is going to be a bumper season for property purchase, throughout the Alps.
Conditions, not only on the slopes are key to prospective buyers of ski property, but also financial conditions which have never been so favourable. Low mortgage rates in France and Switzerland, the strength of the pound and the upgrade of infrastructure in many resorts, are leading buyers to feel that the time is right to purchase a property in the Alps.
12 months ago, sterling was worth between €1.17 and €1.18 and just a year later we have seen this figure up at €1.26 and even slightly higher, which in real terms means a saving of around £24,000 for a British buyer, based purely on the more advantageous exchange rates, based on a property worth €400,000. This figure improves further when the reduced fixed mortgage rates in France are taken into account, with rates now being of 3.1%, compared to 3.75%, this time last year. This gives an additional savings of nearly €30,000, over the 20 year term of the mortgage.
What is also drawing many more buyers to the Alps, is the growing awareness that summer in the Alps can be as warm, and often warmer, than the Cote d’Azur, thus offering a dual season investment, which can be enjoyed both in the Winter and summer months.
In addition, many of the French Resorts have seen major infrastructure upgrades ahead of this coming season, with new lifts and other facilities being added. Chatel for example will see the opening of two new lifts this season, and an additional piste opening for the following season. Also a brand new Aqua Centre opened during this summer, providing superb facilities, which include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, children’s facilities, a gym and Spa Facilities.
Courchevel has replaced some of its lifts for the coming season, with the old Foret bubble lift at Le Praz replaced by a new faster 6 season chair lift. A faster chair lift between Moriond and the rest of the ski domain is also ready to open this coming season. A new ungroomed, avalanche controlled area has also been created in this sector, can ‘Liberty Ride du Tetras’, which will allow red run and above skiers to enjoy the experience of ‘off-piste’ skiing in safety.
Meribel have also made improvements to their infrastructure ahead of the new season, with the opening of a new high-speed chairlift, called the Loze Express, which replaces the old Loze lift. The blue Roc de Fer piste, has also enjoyed an upgrade, ahead of the Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals in March 2015, with a re-shape and addition of snow cannons, allowing skiers to enjoy the same runs as some of the World’s best racers. An easier route down into Meribel-Mottaret has also been introduced, allowing skiers to avoid the steep bottom part of the blue Martre piste. Something this blogger knows she will definitely appreciate !
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