According to Francois Marchand, director of Erna Low Property, one of the key reasons for the increased demand stems from buyers looking to diversify their portfolios and invest outside the UK.
“The move is made all the more attractive by ultra-low French mortgage rates, and flexible ownership schemes,” he explained.
“Buyers put their properties into a rental pool, and claim back the VAT on their purchase, but they can also enjoy up to six months of private use.”
Investors are buying bigger properties
Over the last five years, the average property sold by Erna Low Property has doubled in price – from €400,000 to €800,000.
This highlights the fact that Erna Low’s client base has changed since Brexit. The estate agents has also seen a sharp reduction in the number of less affluent investors.
Terrésens is reinventing the ski apartment
Recently, French developer Terrésens launched the ‘Daddy Pool’ apart-hotel concept. Public spaces in its residences will include bar-tapas restaurants, co-working spaces, play rooms and child-friendly spas and pools.
Meanwhile, 10-20% of all apartments upstairs will be flexible spaces that can be split and rented separately for any length of stay. There will also be ‘mini-dorms’ for larger groups.
Erna Low said the aim is to create accommodation that fits the new kind of ski holiday – which is often a long weekend rather than a week – and involve smaller or larger groups than the traditional family unit.
Resorts close to Geneva are more popular
With the rise of flexible ownership schemes, buyers are enjoying more time in their properties, and quick access from the airport is becoming a growing priority.
As a result, Erna Low Property is seeing a rising interest in resorts such as Combloux (near Megève), Les Gets and Les Carroz d’Araches. All are less than 70 minutes from Geneva airport.
Buyers can furnish their properties from a single source
A new breed of furnishing services, Chalet Shop, will equip a mountain home in one go.
With the premium service, they will unpack and dress the property, ensuring the beds are made and pictures hung when clients arrive for their first holiday.
The service is particularly popular with expats working thousands of miles from the Alps.
Skiers love beaches too – and they’re going to Portugal to find them
Erna Low Property has helped skiers invest in summer properties on the Côte d’Azur in the past, but they are increasingly buying in Portugal instead – enticed by a booming market and an investor-friendly tax regime. The country’s Golden Visa scheme is also attractive.
Despite rising prices, Erna Low said high-quality developments are still half the price of prime-location properties in southern France.
La Réserve at Comporta, south of Lisbon, is a great example of how far your money will go. Three to five-bedroom prestige villas are close to a 40-mile beach here, each set in private planted gardens of 1,000-2,000m2 and coming with private pools and an ocean of shaded decking.
Each villa offers 158-256m2 of space, with prices from €712,000 – about half what you’d pay for a similar property in the south of France, with smaller properties from just €246,000.
You can view the full French Alps Property Report here.