Finding that perfect property for sale in the French Alps is no small task. Whether it’s about owning a chalet in Val d’Isère for Christmas breaks or extended summer escapes, or an apartment in Méribel for that weekend ski getaway, there are dozens of alpine ski resorts, each with their own characters and fortés. At Athena Advisers, we have scoured the entire alpine market to select only the best ski chalets and most desirable apartments across the French Alps most popular ski resorts. Our property experts, who all have an intimate understanding of the properties and ski resorts, will guide you through the entire buying process, from securing a mortgage to organising a VAT rebate and purchase completion.
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The traditional alpine ski chalet or an apartment within a chalet-style building are the most common types of properties for sale in the French Alps. However, over the last few years, new-build properties have become highly sought after due to the lower buying costs (2%-2.5% vs 7-8% for resale ski properties) and the ability to recuperate 20% VAT from the purchase price. This has led to trends of larger family-sized new-build apartments and even semi-chalets becoming in-demand.
Then, as most resorts have grown, some considerably, since the European skiing boom of the 1980s, the local councils are becoming increasingly stringent with the number of new ski properties that can be developed. This has put new-build properties of all types, be it a chalet, apartment or penthouse, even higher in demand.
France’s ultra-low mortgages rates are one of the important things to consider when buying a property in the French Alps. Mortgage rates in France are amongst the lowest in Europe and, due to the long-term fixed-rate nature of the products in the market, it enables buyers of alpine property to carefully plan out the finances of their ski property investment.
Non-residents buying ski properties for sale in the French Alps can currently access long-term mortgages of as little as 1.85% fixed over 20 years, with LTVs up to 85% possible, depending on the profile of the buyer.
If the owner of a new alpine ski chalet or apartment in the French Alps intends to rent it on an ongoing basis when they are not using the property, it is possible to recuperate 20% VAT from the purchase price. More than 80% of our clients purchasing a ski property in the French Alps opt to apply for this VAT reclamation and our experienced in-house team helps them along the way with every step of the process.
To apply for this, the ski property will need to be rented furnished, on a short-term basis, with 3 hotel-type services in place e.g. cleaning, laundry, key holding. Athena Advisers can provide the full reclamation service subject to conditions and a fee.
It wasn’t long ago that the alpine summer season used to be a cursory add-on for a ski resorts tourism economy. However, particularly over the last 10 years, the summer seasons in the French Alps’ most popular ski resorts have grown, way beyond the normal 6-8 weeks school holiday seasons, attracting a diverse tourism base from around the world. Between 2014 and 2018, the number of visitors to the French Alps in the summer within the Savoie region grew by 1.2 million people.
For those already owning or looking to buy a ski property for sale in the French Alps, this means that the summer months now not only provide a constantly growing variety of activities and events but also provide those renting their properties with additional weeks of potential rental revenue. View our Summer in the French Alps guide here.