Ski Property Gets a Lift

Ski property continues to interest buyers, despite the threat of global warming on Alpine snow.

The top resorts continue to command the top prices and the greatest popularity. In the mainstream resort of Les Arcs, developer Intrawest has launched Edenarc in Arc 1800.

But there is growing interest in more minor locations. If you can still ski in years to come, popping over to Italy for lunch will be a ski trip of only 25 minutes for the owners of new homes going up in the French Alps. French developer MGM, which has a UK office in London’s Regent Street, is building a ski-in/ski-out residence de tourisme in the little-known Alpine village of La Rosiere.

At an altitude of 1,850 metres, it is close to the Petit St Bernard Pass. The MGM residence, Les Cimes Blanches, will comprise 150 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments within a total of nine chalets. Facilities include a pool, sauna and Jacuzzi, as well as steam and fitness rooms. Prices start at €227,000 for a one-bedroom apartment

Incentives include a state sponsored leaseback scheme called Residence de Tourisme. Introduced by the French Government to make more properties available for the tourist industry, it enables purchasers to buy a freehold property and then lease it back to an approved management company to let for an 11-year term.

Estate agent Chesterton specialises in European skiing properties. It has a development in Chamonix comprising a chalet of three apartments, a chalet of two apartments and a stand-alone chalet. Each apartment of two, three or four bedrooms has its own terrace and views towards Mont Blanc and the Aiguille du Midi. Apartments at Les Chalets de la Tannerie are priced from €943,000.

You can spend farm more than that if you want. Close to Megève, Chesterton is selling Le Planay, a refurbished farm and new build chalet priced at €7,500,000.

There’s been growth in interest in former Soviet Bloc skiing. At least once a season in recent years, Bulgarian resorts have been able to report smugly that they have snow while the Alps don’t. The resorts of Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo in Bulgaria have used this as a platform to persuade investors to purchase buy-to-let properties. Property prices remain low in Bulgaria compared to the rest of Europe with apartments starting at just £26,000 in Bansko, £33,000 in Borovets and £37,000 in Pamporovo. Leading agents such as Jet2Let are also offering rental return guarantees of up to 5 per cent on some developments for the first 2 years after completion.

Prices at White Fir Valley – a Bankso scheme – start from €95,695 for a one-bedroom unit, €130,000 for two-bedroom units and three beds start from €190,000 with all apartments including fitted kitchens, bathrooms and heating systems. It is available from MSI Developments.

Bulgaria’s failed bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics, whether genuine attempt or publicity stunt, certainly attracted a lot of attention and the Bulgarian government has pledged millions of euros in the direction of its ski resorts, not least Pamporovo which is the setting for the ‘Perelik Project’. Perelik will connect the same-named peak in Pamporovo with the Mechi Chal peak near Chepelare. Environmental impact assessment has been completed and the world-class project is underway. With a predicted budget of 255 million euros, Perelik will add 29.8 additional kilometres of pistes to Pamporovo’s existing 18 and increase hotel bed stock from 4,920 to 8,000. Mechi Chal will see similar growth including 27km of new pistes and a sports stadium.

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