Slope off to the Alps: holiday homes in Austria and France

Good-value homes, great snow and a strong pound are drawing the powder hounds to the Alps.
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The clocks have gone back, winter is coming and it's time for keen powder hounds to dust off their skis. Favourable exchange rates and exceptional snowfalls for two consecutive winters make Alpine property more appealing than ever. 

"We've seen transaction numbers in the Alps double so far this year," says Jeremy Rollason of Alpine Homes. "Most buyers are purchasing for lifestyle and paying cash but 80 per cent plan to rent out their homes, too, to cover costs."

The Austrian property market is Europe's most resilient, according to Knight Frank. Prices have risen by 34.7 per cent since 2008 compared with 26.5 per cent in Switzerland and 0.9 per cent in France. Yet Austria can still offer good Alpine value.

New from Mark Warner Property is a project in delightful Seefeld in the Tyrol. Attractive two-bedroom flats which can be rented through the on-site hotel start from £311,450.

  • Mark Warner Property: 020 7692 0786; 

At Mountain Lodge in Bramberg, in the Hohe Tauern nature reserve, Investors in Property has ski-in, ski-out, two- to four-bedroom flats, 100 minutes from Salzburg airport. Prices from £361,850.

Zell am See is 90 minutes from Salzburg airport and easily accessible by car or train. It's a pretty, year-round lakeside resort with ski slopes and nearby golf. 

Alpine Homes recently launched the second phase of Eder Residences, 20 one- to three-bedroom flats priced from £212,150. Luxas Apartments, in the high, snow-sure Tyrol village of Obergurgl 80 minutes from Innsbruck airport, should be completed for Christmas. 

The 14 one- to three-bedroom homes start from £422,600 through Alpine Ski Property and must be available to rent when owners are not using them.

  • Alpine Homes: 020 7016 3740;
  • Alpine Ski Property: 020 8455 0505;
  • Find property in Austria 

A steadily strengthening pound and low French mortgage rates provide interesting opportunities in the French Alps. Tracker-rate mortgages are available from two per cent and fixed rates from 3.30 per cent, both at 80 per cent loan to value. 

  • French Private Finance: 020 7471 4515; 

Athena Advisors has two- to five-bedroom flats at Whistler Lodge in the centre of Courchevel 1650 in Les Trois Vallées from £526,150. The 11 off-plan freehold properties offer the buzz of the world's largest ski area but in a charming, small village without the bling and prices of Courchevel 1850.

  • Athena Advisors: 020 7471 4500;
  • Find property in Courchevel

Also in Les Trois Vallées, Investors in Property has flats and chalets in Les Biches from £394,600 and at Aspen Park and Lodge at the foot of the Méribel slopes — popular with British skiers — from £636,500.

New this season in Samoëns in the Haute Savoie, one hour from Geneva airport, one- to four-bedroom off-plan apartments at Les Chalets de Laÿssia cost from £191,000. The 55 leaseback properties are the seventh project by French developer MGM in this charming year-round Alpine town.

  • MGM: 020 7494 0706;​
  • Find property in the Haute Savoie



Emma and Michael Westcott from Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire bought a three-bedroom flat in Les Saisies, France, through Athena Advisors, to take their three young children skiing. They also rent it out.

"Make sure you are buying in the right location," says Emma. "The most important considerations are good snow records, distance to the shops and lifts, an easy journey from the airport or Eurotunnel and the track record of the developer." Les Saisies is in Savoie, 19 miles from Albertville with views of Mt Blanc and 115 miles of pistes. "Top ski operators go there — important to us for rentals — and there are plenty of winter and summer activities."

  • Athena Advisors: 020 7471 4500; 
  • Find property in Savoie

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