Val d'Isère: High altitude with lots of attitude

12 January 2018

It's one of the world's most famous resorts, which attracts just under one million tourists every year, and yet supply of new-build properties in Val d'Isère is incredibly short... so why is this?

It's a contained village at the end of a valley, that's quite a long way from anywhere - the transfer for today's modern skiers is 2.45-3 hours from Lyon or Geneva.

Because it was harder to get to and ski tourism life arrived later, development started later too. Whilst the village dates back 100's of years (the church is 17thC), it didn't start transforming into a ski resort until the early 1930's, and even then, at a much slower rate than the richer resort of Megève. (Megeve's first cable car was finished by '33, but Val d'Isere's didn't even start until '38.)

When the Albertville Olympics came around in '92 Val d'Isère's authorities realised some development wasn't in keeping with Savoyard traditions, but compared to other resorts in the French Alps, property development in Val d'Isère hadn't strayed too far 'off-piste' in the decades prior to this. From this point the local authorities put very strict rules into place around development and this legacy has protected the aesthetics of the village.

Today, even though the village has grown down the valley past La Daille and up the valley into Le Fornet, most has been built using traditional Savoyard architecture. So there is an extreme shortage of developable greenfield plots due to land being protected by avalanche zones coupled with very few redevelopment opportunities. Moreover, anything that does come up come is under very strict rules and often meets protests from locals.

The supply/demand dynamic in Val d'Isère is the most intense of any alpine resort we market and there has been a significant polarisation of available product there. The market is basically split in two, with resale chalets that are often of their time and need significant work to bring up to current standards and new-build or fully renovated projects, which are extremely rare (1-2 a year max) and are sold very quickly as a result.

To view our available properties in this attractive resort, click here.

- Added to shortlist

- Removed from the shortlist

Undo