Ski property and homes in the South of France
Erna Low Property has been selling holiday and second homes in the South of France for over 10 years. They specialise in the Alps, Cote d’Azur and Provence. Many clients who are buying ski properties, also want to invest in property in the south of France, close to Cannes and St Tropez. Among new developments is Villa Alice, close to Cannes, which offers apartments from just €150,000.
You would usually expect resorts to focus on the winter ski season, but an increasing number are developing summer facilities, so they can become all-season resorts and draw in visitors year-round. In fact, some resorts now see a brighter future as a summer destination than a winter one, says Erna Low.
New summer attractions include mountain bike parks, trail-running networks, yoga festivals and e-biking facilities.
“In summer, the mushrooming growth of sports such as mountain biking has been accompanied by interest in the Alps as a family destination - a place where children can grow and prosper, away from social media and video gaming. As a result, the most progressive resorts are now almost as busy in July and August as they are during the ski season,” continues Mr. Marchand.
It’s no wonder that demand for a second home is on the rise, particularly for families with children. And, the new summer attractions make it easier to rent out an apartment or chalet in July and August.
“The Alps are a big, beautiful and energetic environment, tailor-made for adventures - and parents see it as the perfect antidote to the obsessive, indoor world of video games and social media. So, an important part of their motivation is investing in the future of their kids as well-rounded, physically active people. They plan to spend as much time in their new homes in July and August as they do in winter.”
In the last five years, there has been a wave of state-of-the-art swimming pools and leisure centres across the region, including the €16million Le Signal at Les Saisies, the €13million Forme d’O in Châtel, La Piscine in Les Arcs - part of the €36million Mille8 project - and the €63million Aquamotion in Courchevel.
As well as the Forme d’O swimming pool, Châtel is home to one of the best mountain bike parks in the Alps and has recently launched a new network of trail-running routes in partnership with its sister resorts in the Portes du Soleil. Meanwhile, families can experience the thrills of the high-rope obstacle course at the recently-opened Châtel Aventures amusement center, along with a bob-luge track and mini-golf.
It’s a similar story in Les Saisies, part of the Espace Diamant ski area. Its forests and meadows are perfect for biking, trail running and hiking, but the resort also offers horse-riding, trampolining, archery, tennis and badminton. In addition, the Escaladventure park combines rock and tree climbing with rope bridges and zip wires.
Even rugged Chamonix is broadening its appeal. In fact, its busiest week is in the height of summer in August, during the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc mountain marathon. Younger visitors flock to the outdoor leisure park, complete with Alpine coaster, as well as wildlife sanctuaries, paintballing, a new via ferrata protected climbing route, and both indoor and outdoor pools.
Want to get more ski property for your money?
Working with an experienced currency specialist can save you thousands of pounds when buying your ideal mountain property, says David Johnson, founding director of Halo Financial.
“There’s a lot to think about when you buy a mountain home. Chalet or apartment? High altitude and snowsure, or low-altitude and cute Leaseback or classic freehold? There may also be mortgage brokers to contact, tax advisers to consult, and a notary to commission.
“So, it’s no wonder that picking the right moment to buy your Euros often slips down the list of priorities. But it shouldn’t: because using the right methods to exchange currency can bring big savings during the purchasing process.”
Exchange rates fluctuate constantly
Exchange rates fluctuate constantly and in the current political climate, these currency movements can be considerable, Mr Johnson says. “When it comes to buying property, the difference they make to the final cost is measured not in hundreds, but thousands of Pounds.”
At every stage of the buying process there are ways you can save on the payments for your French ski property - whether it’s for the deposit, the final payment in Euros, or the ongoing mortgage or property maintenance costs.
Save time and money
“By enlisting the help of a currency specialist, such as Erna Low’s recommended firm, Halo Financial, you’ll bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the task and save yourself both time and money.
“For example, Halo Financial currency consultants can monitor the currency markets and let you know how they are moving, as well as alerting you to upcoming political and economic news that will affect future exchange rates. When it comes to buying Euros, we can also offer rates that are usually closer to the Interbank rate – the rate banks use to exchange currency with each other – than your local bank.
“This means that the rate you can receive from a currency specialist can be up to four percent better than the standard high street or retail exchange rate. That’s a difference of €20,000 on a €500,000 property!”
Download the full ski resort property report on the Erna Low website.
Find out more about buying property in France