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Alpine property offers good rental potential, new research suggests

The research compiled by Alpine Homes and Savills Residential Research shows that despite the overall volume of UK holiday home buyers reducing between 2009 and 2011, the proportion of those investing in ski properties actually increased, to just over 9% of the UK holiday home market.

The popularity of buying Alpine properties has risen considerably in the last decade. The opportunity to benefit from a bolthole on the piste while maintaining the potential to generate rental income when not using it, means that 62% of people surveyed by Alpine Homes said they are now buying Alpine property for both lifestyle and investment reasons.

Ski tourism has witnessed a 26% decline since its peak in the 2007/2008 season when 1.2 million tourists visited the slopes. Despite this trend, Alpine destinations have increasingly opened up to summer tourism, enabling property owners and investors to benefit from a growing revenue stream of year round lettings.

Since 2007, owners of property in the Swiss Alps have also benefited from the appreciation of the Swiss Franc against the Euro and Sterling, while the move last month by the Swiss National Bank to cap the Swiss Franc at CHF 1.20 against the Euro presents a boost for potential second home buyers. A duplex apartment, for example, that cost £630,000 in August now costs £525,500.

‘While the Swiss ski property market can be challenging to access, it provides buyers with a safe, secure asset that sees steady capital appreciation. For this reason, many still view Switzerland as a long term hedge,’ said Alpine Homes’ managing director, Jeremy Rollason.

‘Austria by comparison is much more price-accessible and investors can benefit from both long term capital growth as well as attractive yields through holiday lettings. But France remains the Alps’ most visited ski destination, commanding strong apartment and chalet prices,’ he explained.

‘While there has been negative or only modest capital growth since the global economic downturn, continued rental demand from tourism sustains revenue streams and provides compelling investment opportunities in selected resorts,’ he added.

Find out more about buying property in the Alps in this month’s Property Wire Confidential magazine: