Portuguese Investing in the French Alps

Lisbon Becomes a Launch Pad for French Ski Property Investment

30th April 2021

Lisbon is now becoming a destination for outbound investment to other tourist-centric and tax-efficient markets like the French Alps. Find out how.

For almost 10 years, Portugal has seen an influx of international relocators heading to the country due to its heady mix of high quality of life, tax-friendly resident programmes and enviable property prices. Lisbon, particularly, has seen a large proportion of this cosmopolitan influx, with thousands of European and US families making the move.

Such is Lisbon’s current mix of nationalities, that, just like London, it is now becoming a launchpad for property investment back outside of Portugal into other destinations that share a similar balance of positive lifestyle benefits, tax-efficient incentives and value via property investment.

Ski property in the French Alps is now on the target list of Lisbonites.

Earlier this week, we invited clients and partners from in and around Lisbon to Ritz Four Seasons hotel to deep dive into some of the reasons why the French Alps is becoming a target for property investors based in Portugal.

“From a coastal capital on the Atlantic to the highest mountains in Europe, on paper, it seems like a bit of a jump,” said David Moura-George, Managing Director of our Portugal operations. “But the French Alps has a lot of common values for both expat investors here in Lisbon and also Portuguese investors too.”

“Where Portugal has its NHR programme which is good for optimising global and domestic income tax, the French Alps has its VAT programme where ski property investors can recuperate 20% on a new ski property. Lisbon has become a hotspot for tourism, which is quickly returning after the pandemic and the French Alps have been attracting millions of people for almost 50 years. This fact means the two share similar real estate economics around rental income generation, often seasonal, where a savvy ski property investment can almost pay for itself. And finally, here in Lisbon we have sun, surf and a love of the outdoors and the French Alps is all about the outdoors and the sport of skiing.”


Mortgage rates are a big pull too. France has some of the lowest mortgages rates in Europe and they are always fixed for long terms of 15 to 25 years and with rates as low as 1.5% for EU nationals.

“In a market where property prices can reach €30,000 per square metre and beyond, people can be forgiven for dismissing the opportunity too quickly,” adds Moura-George. “The reality though is that these high prices are for the most well-known resorts, like Val d’Isère or Courchevel. There are much more affordable areas too. Combloux near Megeve in the Evasion Mont Blanc domain has brand new ski properties from around €8,000 per square metre. Les Gets, a resort whose summer season is as activity-packed as the winter, has properties from €12,000 to €16,000 per square metre.”

The capital appreciation of French ski property was a topic that brought much discussion at the event. French ski property generally appreciates consistently, mainly due to the fact that “in the Alps, there is not much space to build due to the pistes, protected forests and the shape of the land: valleys in between mountains,” adds Moura-George.

The average annual price increase of ski properties in the French Alps is around 3%, but it all depends on the location, housing and resort. “For example, an apartment purchased by one of our customers in 2019 for 1.6 million euros is already worth 2.6 million euros, an increase of 62% in 3 years” adds Moura-George.

If you would like to speak to one of our French ski property advisers, please get in touch.


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