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First snow in the Alps set to encourage lifestyle property investors, experts believe

Many resorts experienced some of the best snow conditions for decades and with local authorities becoming keener to grant permission for new developments a mini property revival is predicted.

‘Enquiries about property in the French Alps have risen steadily in the past six months, despite the fact that the summer is usually the quietest time of year, said Richard Deans, sales consultant for ski property developer MGM.

As well as having a number of projects due for completion before the end of 2011, the developer has just revealed plans to 400 leaseback ski apartments in Val Cenis, Flaine, Alpe d’Huez and Tignes.

This will include an affordable range of apartments in Val Cenis in Haute-Maurienne close to the Italian border.

‘It is charming, unspoilt and, in some ways, a bit of a time-warp,’ said Deans.

Stuart Johnson, New Business Manager, at Experience International believes that the property market in the Alps will hold strong as it has always done.

‘New developments are continuing to sell well and lots of new projects are going ahead,’ he said.

The property investment company has had new clients enquiring daily, proving there is still strong interest out there.‘With many ski resorts reaching their construction limits this automatically starts pushing prices up.

Snow coverage is obviously a key factor when it comes to ski properties and lots of snow means lots of interest.

This will hopefully bring a new influx of potential buyers which will further boost the property market,’ he added.

Rental potential is a key issue for those buying in this part of the world. ‘Lots of lifestyle buyers are looking for somewhere they can use for a couple of weeks a year and rent out for the rest of the time.

There are also investors who are aware of the strength of the French Alps and buying purely for investment returns, explained Johnson.

Overall the opinion in the industry is that property prices in the well known areas have held strong as the interest from prospective buyers has remained and construction limits are being reached.

Lesser known, smaller resorts have struggled a bit but should regain their value over the next few years.

Indeed MGM believes that offering property investors a choice is the key to surviving the real estate downturn.

Its affordable range is aimed at reaching out to those who might think that buying property in the Alps is too expensive for them.

But interest in its luxury apartments with features like an indoor pool, fitness suite, gym, sauna, jacuzzi and steam rooms, as well as a beauty centre with a variety of massages and treatments on offer, has not dwindled although it has reduced prices to make them an attractive investment.