The increasing number of ultra-rich people is expected to drive the ski property market.
Although prime property prices in major ski resorts worldwide have fallen 9.1% since their peak in the third quarter of 2008, this sector is expected to experience a rebound over the next few years. This is due to the fact that the number of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI), those who worth US$100 million or more, will increase from 63,000 to 86,000 between 2011 and 2016.
According to a Knight Frank survey, 38% of American or Canadian UHNWIs either own or would be interested in owning a ski home. In addition, 11% of Latin American and Asian UHNWIs also expressed interest in ski property.
According to Matthew Hodder-Williams, Knight Frank’s French Alps expert, demand for prime property in France’s top ski resorts held firm in the 2011– 2012 season, despite the weakening euro.
Market specialist Erna Low Property also noted an increase in transactions of 30% year-on-year to the third quarter of 2012. The firm said the average property price purchase is around €350,000 (US$455,000) for a two-bedroom house, which is the most popular with British and other foreign buyers.
Unsurprisingly, lifestyle factors rank highly when it comes to motives behind owning a ski property, with investment cited as another primary driver as individuals search for homes that can be easily let.
Best buys, according to Erna Low Property, include either leaseback or classic freehold properties. Les Portes du Soleil, Grand Massif and the Chamonix ski areas seem to be the favourite destinations for many, with properties in Chatel, Flaine and Chamonix offering a range of possibilities.
By Rodel Ambas Jr
11 December 2012