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French Alps Property Market Witnesses a Surge in Interest From International Buyers

Demand for property in the Alps is on the increase with a growing number of foreigners looking to invest in resorts such as Chamonix, according to new figures.
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    SAINT-TROPEZ, FRANCE, March 19, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Demand for property in the Alps is on the increase with a growing number of foreigners looking to invest in resorts such as Chamonix, according to new figures.

Property agents in Chamonix, a resort in France's Savoie region and one of the key Alpine winter destinations, are reporting soaring property demand, much of which is being driven by the international buyers. The real estate agents also revealed an increase in property prices of more than eight per cent during 2013. This surge in interest can be attributed to the infrastructure upgrades in Chamonix and also to the value added benefits that come with the property in the French Alps.

Many international property buyers are opting to invest their capital in the ski property in the Alps rather than into more traditional ventures. Real estate in the Alps is a good rental earner. Chamonix, Courchevel, Megeve and other prime ski resorts in the French Alps, attract numerous visitors each winter, large proportion of which are high net worth individuals.

"Investors like super prime locations as they provide the best returns," said Nicholas Leach at Athena Advisors.

Apart from being a steady rental earner, Chamonix is also viewed by prospective buyers as a place to go on holiday in winter and summer. Chamonix is a picture perfect ski resort and the birthplace of the Winter Games in 1924. Situated 20 minutes from Geneva airport by helicopter, Chamonix is at the heart of the Mont Blanc ski area with hundreds of kilometers of pistes. It is known as the European capital of extreme adventure sports with a multitude of activities to tempt visitors in the summer as well. Emanuela Gillberg of the Chamonix Tourist Office said recently: "Last summer we had 4,000 visitors to our tourist office in just one day - we haven't seen numbers like that for 10 years."

She added: "Asia is a growing market and we're seeing more and more Chinese, Koreans and Indians passing through, especially in the summer, which in Chamonix is as busy as the winter."

Demand for property in the French Alps is still, however, predominantly from northern European and British buyers. An exception is found at the higher end of the market where more and more buyers are from Russian and the Commonwealth of Independent States, according to a recent report by Knight Frank.

Though located in the mountains, Chamonix and other Alpine resorts are easily reachable by helicopter from the neighbouring French Riviera, Switzerland and Italy. Chamonix property owners and visitors rely on helicopter charter for getting to the resort throughout the year. Heli Securite is the leading helicopter charter company in France with a team of more than 40 professional pilots, engineers and ground personnel.

Flights are focused on the French and Italian Riviera and Monaco in the summer and the French Alps in the winter, although Heli Securite can arrange exclusive charter flights from airports or any other land spots to accommodate personal needs.

With strategic helicopter bases at Grimaud, Saint Tropez, Cannes, Monaco and at Annecy, Courchevel in the French Alps Heli Securite provides quality charter flight and maintenance services to all its clients.


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