Property for sale in Méribel | Athena Advisers
Property for sale in Méribel

Méribel’s combination of extensive pistes, sunny orientation and family-friendly vibe make it one of the most popular ski resorts on the planet. Our team of local property experts have been finding the best chalets and apartments in the resort for decades and are well placed to help you find a property for sale in Méribel to suit your lifestyle and investment goals.

When choosing an apartment or chalet for sale in Méribel, you will find that its five villages are just as diverse as the ski domain it sits within as each village offers a unique atmosphere and experience.

A view over the ski lift in Méribel and beautiful mountains beyond

Amazing location in the heart of the Three Valleys

Discover our unique portfolio of handpicked Méribel properties for sale, including the very best ski chalets and the most stylish apartments – each one selected by our team of Méribel property experts with decades of experience in guiding buyers through this competitive property market. Wherever you decide to buy a chalet or apartment in Méribel, you can expect traditional chalet-style architecture which complements the existing buildings as there are strict building codes in place to help the resort maintain its authenticity.

Méribel property for sale.

Get to know Méribel

 
Why buy a property in Méribel

“The resort is mainly south-west facing and the mountain in front doesn’t obstruct the natural light so you can enjoy it until the day’s last ray of sun. Many properties in have unobstructed views over the valley.”

Camille Letuve, Partner & Adviser, French Alps

Read the transcript

Buying a Property in Méribel with Alice Autran Garcia, Athena Advisers.

 

There are plenty of reasons to buy a property for sale in Méribel, not least it’s pretty, chalet-style architecture, wooded surroundings, and friendly village atmosphere. However, its main reason is its central position in France’s huge Les Trois Vallées ski area.

 

Méribel has discrete, bourgeois charm even though it was actually created by a British skier almost a century ago. You can spend all day practicing all kinds of alpine sports as well as snowmobiling, snow-shoeing or mountain hiking as well as ice skating.

 

With a full array of family-friendly facilities and a sporty but calmer atmosphere than neighbouring Courchevel, Méribel is a popular choice for both ski property investors looking to buy a chalet or apartment, and those looking for a base in Les Trois Vallées.

 

The majority of Méribel’s chalets were built in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and the needs and standards of modern-day skiers have changed a lot since then. Today, this means that newer properties finished to a high level are in demand and tend to work better on the rental market.

 

“What people like in Méribel is the sunny aspect because the resort is mainly south-west facing, and in fact, the mountain in front is quite far away, so there is nothing to obstruct the natural light, so you can enjoy the sun until the last sunrays of the day, which is quite nice. Many of the resorts are in the shade at 1pm or 2pm, but thanks to its very nice position, Méribel is very sunny.” (Charles Antoine Sialelli, Destination Adviser, Athena Advisers)

 

At an altitude of 2,000 metres and with an amazing ski domain, it’s easy to see why Méribel remains a truly popular place to both visit and call home.

Local property experts

Our team of local property experts have found the finest ski chalets and apartments for sale in Méribel, only choosing those with the most lifestyle appeal and best investment potential.

Not only does Méribel have a diverse collection of neighbourhoods, but it also has an excellent variety of ski properties for sale. In le Rond Point des Pistes, Méribel’s highest and most prestigious address, piste-side Olympic-era hotels are being transformed into premium ski property developments with exceptional on-site facilities. This means that there is an exciting opportunity window of opportunity for investors who want to own an apartment or chalet right on the slopes.

Types of Properties for Sale in Méribel

Not only does Méribel have a diverse collection of neighbourhoods, but it also has an excellent variety of ski properties for sale. In le Rond Point des Pistes, Méribel’s highest and most prestigious address, piste-side Olympic-era hotels are being transformed into premium ski-in ski-out apartments and chalets with exceptional on-site facilities. This means that there is an exciting opportunity window of opportunity for investors who want to own an apartment or chalet right on the slopes.

Further down, Méribel Centre and Méribel Village offer a good mix of ski apartments and ski chalets for sale ranging from larger hamlet-style developments with amazing services through to intimate boutique projects. 

Wherever you decide to buy a chalet or apartment in Méribel, you can expect traditional chalet-style architecture which complements the existing buildings as there are strict building codes in place to help the resort maintain its authenticity.

Why is property for sale in Méribel so sought after?

What people like about Méribel is its sunny aspect. The resort is mainly south-west facing and the mountain in front doesn’t obstruct the natural light so you can enjoy it until the day’s last ray of sun. In addition, as the properties here are staggered out in a stadium-like style, many properties for sale in Méribel have unobstructed views over the valley.

In terms of atmosphere, Méribel is more sporty than its neighbour Courchevel and has a real family-friendly spirit with plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy throughout the year. Due to its exceptional infrastructure and entertainment for families, Méribel has been awarded the prestigious Famille Plus label.

In Méribel, prices vary considerably and the higher you are in the resort, the higher the property prices tend to be. This means that it is possible to find a property to suit most budgets. Le Rond Point des Pistes, Méribel’s highest and sunniest neighbourhood, is the most expensive part of the resort with high-end properties with views fetching as much as €26,000 per sqm. Charles Antoine-Sialelli, Head of Alpine Operations for Athena Advisers, shares his expert advice and recommendations if you are interested in buying a property for sale in Méribel.

Why are apartments and chalets for sale in Méribel a good investment?

Owning a property in Méribel is not only a fantastic lifestyle investment but it can be an interesting financial investment too. One of the most popular resorts in the Three Valleys, Méribel had one of the best occupancy rates in the French Alps in 2019, according to the latest ski property report from UBS. Plus, the resort was named the 11th best ski resort in Europe 2019 in CN Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards. If buying a new-build property, owners can access the VAT rebate programme too which will enable them to recover the 20% VAT from the property purchase price, providing that certain conditions are met. In addition, there is potential for capital appreciation as the individual villages of Méribel continue to grow and improve their facilities.

Best neighbourhoods for buying a property in Méribel

Le Rond Point des Pistes

Méribel’s highest and most premium addresses are le Rond Point de Pistes and the nearby Belvédère area which is slightly higher up. Le Rond Point is delightfully sunny thanks to its dominant location and even benefits from an extra hour of sunshine when compared to the rest of the resort. Le Rond Point des Pistes has a great selection of restaurants and bars, including some of the most famous après-ski spots in the resort.  Properties for sale in Méribel's Rond Point des Pistes area include spacious piste-side chalets and ski-in ski-out apartments with impeccable on-site facilities.

Méribel Centre

Located at the heart of the resort, Méribel Centre has a fantastic range of ski shops, restaurants, cafes and bars along with its famous Route du Centre. Plus, you will find the ESF ski school here.

Méribel Morel

Set at 1,600m Méribel Morel is positioned between Méribel Centre and the Rond Point des Pistes. Méribel Morel has an excellent range of shops, local amenities and restaurants on the doorstep and it is easy to access the amenities of the Rond Point or Méribel Centre either on foot. with its own ski lift and lower prices than the nearby Rond Point des Pistes, chalets and apartments for sale in Méribel Morel can be a smart investment for those who want a larger property for their budget.

Méribel Village

Located lower down than the main part of Méribel, this picturesque mountain village is composed mainly of large chalets and exudes Savoyard charm. Though away from the hustle and bustle of the centre of the resort, Méribel Village has everything on its doorstep: an acclaimed bakery, a convenient supermarket and superb restaurants.

Infrastructure development

Over the past five years, the Rond Point des Pistes area has undergone an exciting period of renovation with Olympic-era hotels being transformed into stunning apartments for sale, injecting a new lease of life into this prestigious part of the resort.

Alongside Courchevel, Méribel has been chosen to host the 2023 World Ski Championships and as a result, the resort is undergoing another wave of revitalisation. Two of the blue pistes in the Roc de Fer area have been upgraded into red pistes for the 2020 ski season. Not only is this good news for those who plan to rent out their Méribel ski property as there will be increased demand during the competition, but the resort is also undergoing another wave of revitalisation ahead of the games. Two of the blue pistes in the Roc de Fer area have been upgraded into red pistes for the 2020 ski season. Plus, the local snowmaking facilities will be improved and there will be a skiable tunnel so that skiers can still enjoy the slopes during the competition.

History

The brainchild of Peter Lindsay, a keen skier and Scottish colonel, who saw the potential of this beautiful resort after visiting Les Allues, Méribel was founded in 1938. Lindsay’s vision was to create a ski resort which was in harmony with its environment so strict building codes were introduced and they are still honoured today which is why all of the buildings here are constructed in a Savoyard style with sloping roofs and made from local materials.

By the mid-1950s there were around 17 hotels and 40 chalets in Méribel. Brigette Bardot and the Duchess of Bedford were two notable people who owned a property in Méribel during this period. The resort continued to expand upwards and outwards over the decades with new ski lifts and pistes being added. Méribel’s place on the map was consolidated in 1992 when Méribel hosted the ice hockey competitions and the women’s alpine events for the Winter Olympic Games.

The village today

Part of the Three Valleys ski domain, the largest connected ski area in the world, sunny Méribel has 600km of groomed pistes on the doorstep, catering to all abilities. As well as a diverse ski offering, the resort is broken up into five distinct areas, each with a different atmosphere and appeal. One of the liveliest resorts in the Three Valleys, Méribel has a fantastic après-ski scene with an excellent array of restaurants, including the Michelin-starred L’Ekrin, and bars to choose from. One après-ski spot not to miss is Rond-Point which is located on the slopes and plays live music every day.

Should you ever fancy a break from skiing, there are plenty of activities to enjoy off the slopes too such as ice skating and swimming at the Olympic Sports Centre or treating yourself to some well-deserved relaxation at one of the resort’s spas.

Whilst skiing is the main draw, Méribel is perfect for summer holidays too with an excellent range of outdoor activities including hiking through the Vanoise National Park and playing a round of golf at the 18-hole course in the Altiport area. Last year the resort was named the 11th best ski resort in Europe 2019 in CN Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards.

It is also a great destination for cycling enthusiasts. Last year, the Tour de France passed through Méribel along the new Col de la Loze path. Reaching 2,304m in altitude, Col de la Loze was the highest point of the 2020 tour and it is expected that Méribel will make a regular appearance in future events.

With so much to do year-round, it is easy to see why property for sale in Méribel is so sought after.

Insights

Buying a Ski Property in Méribel.

Take a deeper dive into the Méribel property market and take a look at our article covers the unique property cycle in this sought-after resort and key trends.

A skier in a bright yellow jacket pauses to take in the panoramic mountain views

FAQ

What is the price per sqm in each of the Méribel ski resorts?

The price per sqm in Méribel for prime new-build properties ranges from around €18,000 to €35,000. In most resorts, properties in the centre tend to have the highest price tag but in Méribel it’s a little bit different. Generally speaking, the higher up you go in the resort, the higher the price per sqm will be as these neighbourhoods have more open views and even more sunlight. In the Rond Point des Pistes area, it’s not uncommon for properties to command as much as €32,000 per sqm.

The Morel area, positioned between the centre and the Rond Point des Pistes, is a particularly interesting neighbourhood as it has its own ski lift yet prices are not as high as those in the Rond Point or Belvédère areas. In this neighbourhood, new ski apartments are generally priced at around €18,000 per sqm. However, true ski-in ski-out properties in this location will be priced significantly higher.

Should I buy a ski property in Méribel or Courchevel?

Both Méribel and Courchevel have access to the same vast ski domain, the Three Valleys, and are just a short drive from one another but there are several factors you will need to take into account if you cannot decide whether you want to buy a ski property in Méribel or Courchevel.

As Méribel is set right in the heart of the Three Valleys, Méribel is quite a tactical location if you want to explore each of the valleys. Though the ski domain is very well-connected and you can get from Courchevel to Val Thorens using the lift system, the journey is quicker from Méribel, allowing you to spend more time on the slopes.

When it comes to property prices, properties for sale in Courchevel, particularly Courchevel 1850 which is famed for its designer shopping and glamorous dining scene, tend to be slightly higher than Méribel.

What can non-skiers do in Méribel?

If you have non-skiers in the family, Méribel doesn’t disappoint as there are plenty of activities to enjoy on and off the snow. Non-skiers can get a pedestrian pass for the ski lifts and explore the wonderful winter hiking trails that weave through the valley before meeting up with the rest of the group for lunch at one of Méribel’s mountain restaurants. The routes range from easy walks around the picturesque frozen Tuéda lake to more challenging hikes.

There are plenty of other ways to enjoy the snow in Méribel too. You can hire a skidoo, have a go at snowshoeing, go husky sledging or even take a scenic sleigh ride around the Tuéda lake.

For a sporty afternoon, why not head to the Olympic Park sports complex? Here you’ll find a rock-climbing wall, a pool, a fitness area and an ice skating rink. If you are looking for something more relaxing, Méribel also has a number of spas scattered throughout its hamlets, where you can go for a swim, unwind in a hammam or treat yourself to a beauty treatment or a hot rock massage.

How do I get a VAT rebate if I buy a ski apartment or chalet in Méribel?

Many of our clients who buy a new chalet or ski apartment in Méribel choose to take advantage of the VAT rebate programme which allows you to reclaim the 20% VAT from the property purchase price. In order to qualify you will need to ensure the property is furnished, provide three hotel-like services and rent it out on a short-term basis.

There are four hotel-like services to choose from: linen change, cleaning, check-in and breakfast. Breakfast can be ordered in for guests, it does not need to be prepared on-site.

If this sounds a bit daunting, our experienced Athena Clients Relations team, who have helped reclaim more than €20m in VAT, offer a service that can assist you with this process and we can also introduce you to a trusted rental management agency in Méribel who can manage your property and provide the necessary hotel-like services. Please see our 'Complete Guide to Renting out your Ski Property in the French Alps' and 'French Property VAT' guide for more information.

Can I buy a Méribel property for sale under a French company name?

Yes, it is possible to acquire a property for sale in Méribel through a French company, such as a SARL. Buying a property in France through a SARL has some advantages over a traditional real estate purchase. Firstly, capital gains on real estate are taxed in accordance with the professional tax regime in France which means that after five years the amount of capital gains tax drops by 10% a year. Plus, buying through a SARL can also reduce inheritance tax as you can transfer bare ownership of the Méribel property to your children whilst keeping the usufruct, allowing you to continue to generate rental income from the property.


Unlike a Civil Society for Real Estate, abbreviated as 'SCI', if you buy a new-build property in Méribel through a SARL you can take advantage of France’s LMNP programme which has some tax benefits.

Méribel Ski Property Market In 2022 - Webinar

 
Read the transcript

Welcome to Athena Advisers latest webinar on the French Alps. This is the 60th in our webinar series since March 2020. Covid made us reach out to our investors in different ways and this webinar series has been very well received, so we are continuing the trend. 

Today, we're going to focus on Méribel in the sought-after Three Valleys where Athena Advisers is privileged to be the only company with access to all the new-build properties for sale, and we do of course have other ski properties for sale in Courchevel and Saint-Martin-de-Belleville as well, although for the purposes of this webinar, we are keeping it nice and snappy and just focus on Méribel.

Charlie Williams: I am Charlie Williams based in our London office. I've been working at Athena Advisers for 15 years in the Alps. With me today is Camille Letuve, one of the Partners in the business.

Camille Letuve: So, an update on the Méribel ski property market. First of all, it's important to mention that in the French Alps, there is a rarity of property supply and development plots. It is becoming more and more complicated to find new opportunities. Also, it is a market that is driven by multiple nationalities. The French are very active and there is much international demand, such as from the British, Dutch, Swedish and ex-pats living in Asia.

In this post-Covid world, and a trend we noticed a few years ago, people don't want to go to the Alps and spend a lot of time in hotels anymore. They prefer to rent a bigger space, so apartments and chalets, but with services like in a hotel - they want to be with their family or friends in a larger space, so we have seen this shift in the demand for rental and the same trend has happened for ski property purchases. 

We have seen as well over the past few years, and especially since Covid, there has been an increase in demand, not only in the winter, but also during the summer, so it is important to mention that even during the Covid period when France was shutdown last year, in the winter, we have seen 40% - 50% occupancy rates throughout the ski season even though the ski lifts were closed - people wanted to stay in chalets and do a lot of cross-country skiing and we have seen an amazing boost of demand during the summer. In some of the resorts, we have seen occupancy rates from July to September up to 90%.

As well as specialising in selling new-build or refurbished ski properties, there are two main advantages when you buy property in France. The first is that when you buy a new-build property you benefit from lower stamp duty that is around 2% of the purchase price, as opposed to 7% for existing property. And for those who want to rent out their property when they are not occupying it, they are eligible for a VAT rebate on the purchase price, so all the prices that we are quoting on our price list are including VAT, but bear in mind that you can get this VAT back should you decide to rent your property out. 

Just to finish on the overall trends at the moment, I think it's a very good time to buy. The mortgage rates are still very low and there is general inflation in the market, so if you buy a property for sale now and fix the price, even if it's off-plan, you will benefit from this inflation and you can fix your rates on the mortgage in France right now. So, by the time the property gets delivered, you will have had an amazing capital appreciation just linked to the inflation and also an increased rental yield because inflation will be applied to the rental as well.

Now, let's look at Méribel and The Three Valleys, in general which includes Saint-Martin-de-Belleville and Val Thorens (which is the highest ski resort in Europe). Then, you have Méribel and Courchevel. Méribel has the advantage of being in the centre of The Three Valleys and it lies in the largest ski domain in the world with the best infrastructure, so more than 650km of pistes. It's a ski domain that goes up to 3,230 metres in altitude, so very snow-sure. There is a glacier in Val Thorens on which you can ski very late on in the season. There are also a lot of snow cannons (over 2,100).

The architecture of Méribel properties for sale is very cute and the ski resort has very strict urbanism planning (it is stricter than any other resort in the French Alps), so there are no ugly, 1970s style buildings in Méribel. Developers and architects have to respect the chalet-shape of the building. Even though there are some big buildings, they still have to be built in a chalet-style with a chalet roof, wood cladding and a stone base, giving a lot of charm.

The careful management of Méribel's ski property architecture and aesthetics  means that it is a ski resort that is also very enjoyable in the summer, not like some resorts you may have seen in the French Alps that have been purpose-built in the 1970s and where you have some high-rise buildings - this is not the case in Méribel.

Charlie Williams: As we just touched on, Méribel is a very charming village. The main part of the resort is actually west-facing, so there are lovely sunsets in the afternoon and there are also incredible valley views.

It's very centrally located in the middle of The Three Valleys, so you have instant access to all areas on skis very quickly, even quicker now with some recent lift improvements.

Courchevel is only a 15 minute drive away, and on the other side of the valley you have Val Thorens for the highest skiing, and Saint-Martin-de-Belleville too, which is another very pretty resort. 

Méribel is one of the few resorts with, what we would class, as absolutely everything in Europe - it has a huge ski area, some of the highest altitude and varied skiing for all levels of skier, great shops and restaurants both in the village and on the pistes - Clos Bernard is great for open-fire cooking and and there's also Refuge de la Traye as well which is an amazingly beautiful spot.

Méribel does the après-ski part very well. You have the Telebar which has become a bit of an institution and La Fruitière at La Folie Douce which I am sure many of you have heard of! 

In terms of price per square metre for properties for sale in Méribel, there is quite wide spread. Capital preservation and capital gains has always been very strong which is becoming even more important with inflation. There haven't been very many people selling, yet plenty of people buying. Certainly, right now, everyone in the industry is incredibly busy.

The rental occupation levels, rental values and general number of people who come to  Méribel is also at an all time high which continues to back up property prices.

Méribel is very different to many resorts because as you come out of the centre of the village through Morel, up towards Le Rond Point and Belvedere, the property prices actually increase as the views become wider and more open. 

Camille Letuve: Méribel is also one of the few resorts in the French Alps with a world-class golf course for those who love to play golf in the summer. There is an Altiport as well for those who want to arrive by helicopter or small private jet.

So, what's new?

The Three Valleys, being the biggest ski domain in the world, they always keep reinventing and refurbishing their infrastructure. So, the Plattières 3 gondola has been replaced with a new 6-seater high-speed chairlift which means quicker access (3 minutes) to Les Menuires and Saint-Martin-de-Belleville (€15m). The Roc de Far ski tunnel has been renovated, so no more bumped heads and there is a new restaurant called Maya Altitude. There is also another new ski lift that is being built to join skiers from the centre of Méribel up to Le Rond Point and Belvedere areas which will run through the day and into the evening and have a marked affect on the desirability of the higher areas.

Camille Letuve: One last comment from me - Méribel is built into the side of a mountain, and so the advantage of Méribel properties for sale is that most of them are west-facing, offering panoramic views of the valley and mountains and you also get amazing sunsets and very late afternoon sun. And, you can also see that you have a village centre, but in fact, you have very different centres - you have the historical centre at the bottom and then as you go up, you have the Morel area and a chairlift and a small high street with supermarkets and restaurants, and then you have another area called, Le Rond Point des Pistes, and finally, Belvedere where you also have shops, restaurants and après-ski. As you go nearer to the slopes, ski property prices tend to be higher, and as you go towards the outskirts, the prices are a bit lower because you are further from the slopes. However, Morel has a chair lift and it has good slope access and is a really good area to consider where prices are not as high as the Belvedere area. 

Properties for sale in Méribel

Les Chalets Célénia: is a project composed of seven standalone chalets in a little hamlet called, La Gittaz, in between Méribel Village (1 minute drive) and Le Raffort. It is a little hamlet, yet very close to the slopes and restaurants in Méribel Village and Le Raffort. The Developer has launched Les Chalets Célénia and I think it is a very good project because it is a standalone chalet at a price per square metre that is much lower than Méribel Centre, so for those who prefer to be in a very quiet location with amazing views and a sunny position, because here you will be southwest facing, yet not too far from the slopes (3 minute walk) and not too far from all the amenities, it is a very good buy. And, also the Developer is selling chalets with electric buggies (fitted with a ski rack) which are included in the price. There are next to no new-build chalets for in Méribel, so to have these chalets for sale at this price per square metre makes it a real gem.

Falcon Lodge: is from a Developer we have worked with many times before and when you are in Méribel we can take you over to see some of their completed works in Courchevel - there are a range of apartments, penthouses and chalets. Work is already underway on this project. The GFA, which is the insurance policy which guarantees the completion of the build, is already in place. We have some 1 bedroom plus bunk beds starting at €950,000, 2 bedrooms plus bunk beds starting at €1.4 million and a huge 5 bedroom penthouse available from €4.5 million. We're in the Morel area here, around 75 metres from the bottom of the piste, around 150 metres around the bend to the Morel chair lift, 6 or 7 minutes walk to the centre of town, so a really good spot. Falcon Lodge has a range of facilities including a swimming pool, spa, wellness centre, concierge, and a 7 day-a-week mini bus shuttle just for the residents, so they will pick up and take you around the resort. There is a standalone 6 bedroom, 6 bathroom chalet for sale which is also available and has an entire floor dedicated to its own private facilities with a pool and wellness area and its own access area as well - priced at around €8.5 million.

Le Lac Bleu: staying in Morel, this is a redevelopment of an old hotel and is attached on one side to the Morel chair lift, so the location is fantastic, amazing views out over the valley, again very near to the bottom of the local piste and ski shops, supermarkets, hotels and restaurants all in the local vicinity. Le Lac Bleu is made up of different style properties, including chalets, apartments and penthouses. Prices start from around €2 million. The development is going to have a large, 300 square metre swimming pool, spa and wellness area. What is important to mention is that there are no more plots available in Méribel that are buildable, so it means that there is a lot of conversion of old buildings, and at the moment, this is the last wave of conversion from hotels and old buildings and there won't be any more properties for sale like this in Méribel in the market in the next 2 or 3 years. We are seeing the last wave in Méribel, bearing in mind that in Méribel, it is also important to mention that there has not been any new-build properties for sale for at least 5 to 7 years - there has been a rarity in Méribel for a long time. 

La Fleur des Alpes: we move a little bit further up the resort to a new property for sale in Méribel called La Fleur des Alpes which is from the same Developer as Le Lac Bleu. This is already fully launched and now selling very well with a mixture of properties available. It's a little bit lower in price than Le Lac Bleu because it's a bit further away from the slopes (still only 100 metres from the chair lift), but you still have fantastic south-facing views. 1 bedroom plus bunk rooms start around €1 million. The Developer has already completed projects in Méribel, so if you choose to visit, we can show you some completed properties. 

Le Yana: this is located in the Belvedere area at the top of the resort. The base of the resort is at an altitude of around 1,500 metres. Belvedere is at about 1,800 metres with fantastic views of the valley and it is an interesting area because it is being redeveloped, so there is a five star hotel that just opened called Le Coucou with a lovely bar and very nice restaurant on the slope. There are only about 10 apartments. It is an old chalet that has been extended, and will have a very beautiful architecture, large windows and super views. Prices are from €1.8 million. 

Q&A

What is the price difference for Méribel properties for sale at the beginning of 2022 compared to pre-Covid and expectations moving forward?

Prices for properties for sale all over the Alps have been rising significantly, even during lockdown. We were surprised at the amount of people who have been viewing based on virtual viewings and calls with our property experts. There have been different reports on the actual gains over the last couple of years, but it has been at least 5% a year and, at the moment, we are seeing prices rise at significantly higher number because there is not a huge amount of stock in all the ski resorts, especially in Méribel (including the exiting resale stock which is at an all time low in terms of quality). It may seem like there is an excess of supply, because all of a sudden some new properties for sale in Méribel have been released, but these are just demolition and reconstruction of existing properties, and this is finished in 1 or 2 years. We are seeing the last conversion of existing properties in Méribel and the PLU is changing as well, so the local urbanism plan will further restrict the conversion of these buildings. And, also with inflation running, I think it is a very good moment to buy. There is also a lot of infrastructure being built and new hotels opening, so the village is evolving and that will drive the price up in the coming years.

Are there any restrictions for selling a Méribel property?

No, absolutely none. If you are buying a new-build, it is trickier to re-sell a property when it is in the off-plan stage, but otherwise you can sell whenever you like to whomever you like.

Is the VAT rebate scheme driving an increase in the price per square metre?

The property price are fixed and are the price of the market, and in fact, we are offering the possibility for you to set up your purchase in such a way that you can claim the VAT back, but not all clients buying properties for sale are applying for this VAT scheme. I think you are referring to some properties in other resorts where you have a leaseback property, which is a property where you buy the property but then lease it back to a management company which is completely different because on those properties you are buying the ex-VAT price and sometimes you can see that their ex-VAT price is matching the price of a home including VAT. So, what we have presented here is a home within the market value, and then, if you decide to rent it out, you can apply for the VAT rebate scheme afterwards.

Can you tell me about property availability? When should I buy a new-build project?

In the French Alps, one of the common compromises that people have to make...we often hear from clients, 'have you got a property for sale that is just about to  be delivered?' And, the answer is normally, 'No'. If a property has been able to be bought off-plan, then the French system, which requires the Developer to sell 40%, or take reservations on 40% of a project before they get the GFA insurance policy which guarantees the build and completion of the property come rain or shine, that means that everyone can reserve in confidence long before the works have started. It normally means that we have sold quite a few properties in advance. 

What is the price per square metre per area for Méribel properties?

In Belvedere, the price is around €25,000 - €30,000 per sqm. In Morel, it's just under €20,000 per sqm and then in the centre of the village, it depends if you are close to the slopes or not, but this can vary from €15,000 - €25,000 per sqm. 

Is there a benefit to buying a property under a French company name?

If you put a French property into a French company structure, because you can appoint shares to those over 18 years old, then it helps navigate inheritance tax and wealth tax, so depending on your personal profile, and whether you want to rent the property or are just keeping it for yourself, will determine which type of French company you set-up.

Is the VAT rebate payable when you sell the property?

The 20% is amortised over 20 years. You get it all back upfront and then let's say you rent it for 9 years and you decide to stop renting, but keep the property, you will have saved 9% and liable to payback 11%. When it comes to selling the property, either you break the rental mandate, you payback all the VAT and you sell it at the market price or you find someone who wants to take on the rental mandate, take on the remaining VAT rebate that is applicable, and the notary will work out how much you are due as the current owner and how much VAT rebate the future owner is due. 

Can you buy a French property under Trust?

A Trust entity is not recognised in France, so you can't buy directly with the Trust, although the law is going to change, but at the moment, it is not possible. There are a few structures possible if your money sits in a UK or international Trust. We can negotiate with the Trust to establish a loan between you and the the Trust to buy the property for sale. Then they have to guarantee that the money, should you sell the property, goes back into the Trust. There is another possibility to set up a French entity and then establish the French part of the French entity or establish another loan - it depends on the rules with your Trust.

How we work.

Our approach allows us to confidently present our clients not only with beautiful properties, but also with sound investment opportunities in each of our markets thanks to both the local presence of our on-the-ground experts and the strong network of highly regarded developers and architects we’ve formed exclusive partnerships with.

Contact our property advisers

A highly skilled team, each with their own areas of specialist knowledge and expertise.

Niamh Erbek

Head Senior Adviser

Charles-Antoine Sialelli

Head of French Alps

Nicholas Leach

Partner

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