Good ski season in Europe re-kindles investment interest in mountain locations

As ski resorts in Europe celebrate with a spectacular amount of snow for the end of the season, interest in investment is continuing despite long term predictions that climate change could affect business.

Property developers and real estate agents believe that as ski property is an investment in yourself, your lifestyle and your soul there is unlikely to be a downturn in this sector. 'The mountains are a magical place where the tensions, troubles and tedium of everyday life dissolve into the wintry haze of the morning valley view,' said one chalet owner in Avoriaz.

There is little doubt that once you have been bitten by the ski-ing bug, chances are you'll stay smitten for life. That is why many property investors are drawn to the mountains.

But there are a number of considerations when buying ski property that need to be taken into account, according to John Sykes who has a number of chalets and apartments in the Alps.

'First and foremost, you want your property to be easy enough to get to for a long weekend. That means around a two hour flight and not much more than an hour's drive when you get to your destination,' he advises.

'A good snow record might be important too. No one wants to spend several hundred thousand euros on a fabulous apartment only to find that the nearby pistes are more suited to mud skates than skis. Make sure the snow falls early, sticks around and melts late, to maximise the winter season.'

Other key points that investors might consider include good views from the property, first class facilities such as a spa, hot tub or a sauna, restaurants and apres ski. The other thing is that many Alpine locations are all year round resorts and this can be crucial when it comes to rental income.

Sykes also recommends looking away from the traditional resorts. Austria can be a good buy and this winter resorts outwith the Alps such as the Jura and Vosges in France and the black forest in Germany have had good snow. Eastern European resorts are also worth looking at.