End of ski season means property discounts in French Alps

Prime property prices have fallen in key ski resorts worldwide

End of ski season means property discounts in French Alps

Following a strong season for ski property sales, a number of property developers in the French Alps have unveiled a range of discounts to boost sales before the official end of the season, it is claimed. Increases on forecasted sales for the 2012/2013 season have enabled alpine developers to leverage offers and soften their prices to provide an end of season sales boost before the summer, according to French property experts Athena Advisors.

‘For some developers this has been the best season since 2006/2007 and they want to keep it going for as long as possible. Developers know that the current all time low mortgage rates won’t be around forever so they’re making it as easy as possible for investors to capitalise now,’ said Nicholas Leach, partner at Athena Advisors.

He believes that the best snow conditions in years, a fluid mortgage market and a sense of ‘now or never’ from buyers following the financial downturn have been the main sentiments behind buying over the last six months. However, not all alpine developers who have reported good sales this season have followed this strategy. ‘A project we launched in Chatel in February this year is already over 60% sold but here the developer chose to increase prices by 5%,’ explained added Leach.

‘This is normally a risky strategy as alpine sales tend to slow during the summer so an increase only slows sales further, but developers who have exceeded their targets have room to manoeuvre. Also, the ski property market is no longer a single season market as so many resorts cater for the continually growing summer crowd,’ he explained.

One of the latest alpine developments to feature an end of season offer is the l’Etoile des Cimes development in the Savoyard resort of Sainte-Foy. Prices have been reduced by up to 10% and the guaranteed rental returns have been increased to 4.3% including personal usage. ‘These are piste side properties at around 50% of the value of nearby Val d’Isere so they already represented great value. Some of the larger units are now over €57,000 cheaper,’ said Leach.

He pointed out that this decrease in price and increase to the rental yield coupled with the very low mortgage rates means that only very small top ups to monthly mortgage payments are required. ‘In many cases these amounts only add up to a value similar to that of one peak time holiday, yet of course here you are paying off the mortgage and the holiday is free,’ he said.

Quote from PropertyCommunity.com : “UK buyers searching for homes in a far flung destination have been looking towards Australia which has seen a surge as thoughts turn to emigrating, according to the latest monthly report from Rightmove Overseas.”

Located at the bottom of the nearby slopes L’Etoile des Cimes is an Eco-Friendly four star collection of one to four bedroom apartments. They are situated in Sainte-Foy which is also 20 minutes drive from a variety of other alpine resorts including Tignes, Val d’Isere, Les Arcs and La Plagne.

Other end of season deals include cash back offers at the signature stage of the purchase process. A 7% cash back deal is currently available on properties at the Le Centaure development in Belle Plagne. Prices for these ski-in ski-out properties range from €190,000 to €493,000, including furniture and parking, this offer provides the buyer with cash backs values varying from €12,600 to €34,300 (7% cash back calculated on property value only).

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