As the 2010/11 ski season enters its final throws, property owners in the Rhones/Alpes region of France should be pleased to hear of the 17% increase in holiday home booking enquiries received by the UK’s leading rental company, HomeAway, compared to last season.
The most popular areas remained traditional family favourites with Chamonix Mont-Blanc topping the charts followed by Portes du Soleil and then the Val d’Isere, Tignes, Sainte Foy region.
‘Despite concerns over early season snowfall levels, the 2010/11 ski season in France has been strong. I visited a number of resorts such as Flaine, Chamonix and the stunning Sainte Foy throughout the season and on each occasion the slopes were busy and villages bustling not only with French but also British, German and Italian ski enthusiasts,’ said Charlie Williams, sales manager of Terresens, an eco-friendly leaseback property developer.
And it is not only HomeAway that has seen France’s popularity as a ski destination rise this year. The latest data from Ski Horizon, a leading ski travel operator, reveals that France proved to be Europe’s most popular location for skiing holidays in the 2010/11 season with the resorts of Morzine and Les Arcs being the most popular.
‘It is no surprise that France remains the most sought after European ski destination. The sheer scale of the ski domains, the quality of the slopes, the first class facilities and the established nature of the resorts with everything on hand just cannot be rivalled in my opinion. Those looking to buy a ski property for personal use or to rent out can do no better than the French Alps,’ explained Williams.
Indeed with tourism to the region on the increase, the rental market is looking robust. A two-bedroom ski apartment in the Val d’Isere, Tignes, Sainte Foy area, for example, can produce a weekly rental income of £1,129 according to HomeAway.
Luxury ski apartments in Sainte Foy, the hidden gem of the Alps, only 15 minutes from Val d’Isere, are proving very popular with investors, as prices remain affordable through the established leaseback programme.
Elsewhere in France there is concern about rising prices in Paris. The latest figures from the French real estate organisation, FNAIM, show that prices in the capital have risen 16% in the last year compared with a national average of 1.5%.
It has prompted the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to warn about a potential property bubble in the city. The OECD has even suggested that the French government should do something about it.
‘The authorities should implement explicit macro prudential measures to limit the distribution of credit to households,’ it said in a recent report. It suggests finance for properties is too easily available and loan rates too low.