Trends in luxury mountain real estate market

Although marked by the Covid-19 crisis, the past year has seen a continuation of fundamental trends favourable to the upmarket mountain property market. New trends resulting from the crisis have even reinforced the attractiveness of the mountains in general and the resorts of the French Alps in particular.


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Fundamental trends confirmed in 2020

  • Interest rates remain highly attractive even whilst the market gets tighter: interest rates remain favourable to investors, stimulating the market even if banks remain cautious.
  • A tax regime which remains favourable thanks to allowances for serviced furnished rentals, reinforcing opportunities for diversification asset portfolios: investors are attracted by these new developments, which combine personal occupancy rights and tax exemption through the recovery of VAT on the acquisition in the context of a lease with interest rates that remain favourable to investors, boosting the market even if the banks remain cautious.
  • Digitalisation of the sector: accelerated by the health context, the deployment of new technologies makes it possible to increase productivity and competitiveness while making the market even more accessible to investors and holiday renters who are often geographically distant.

Emerging trends

  • The accelerating shift from the hotel industry to the rental sector: considered to be better adapted to the new sanitary constraints, seasonal rentals allow you to reunite your family and friends in a preserved setting by taking advantage of para-hotel services in strict compliance with sanitary protocols.
  • The development of long-term winter rentals, a trend stemming from the widespread adoption of remote working: we are seeing rentals extending over one or two extra weeks, or even several months.

Covid-19: what consequences for the mountain market?

From any crisis, upheavals emerge, but while the impact of the Covid-19 crisis is undeniable, it does not seem to have affected fundamental trends. In terms of transactions, no sales were canceled within the Cimalpes network in 2020 due to the health crisis. Buyers have expressed the desire to combine purchase-pleasure and investment-refuge with an investment that also responds to new aspirations born of the first confinement: the search for nature, prioritisation of quality of life, return to accessible destinations. The transaction markets have therefore benefited more than ever from the positive image of the mountains.

For rental accommodation, Cimalpes prepares at the last minute. As if suspended from government announcements, bookings are very often blocked and look set to be less than a typical year despite the already visible interest of holidaymakers: enquiries are continuing, in the current uncertain climate. Also, the occupation of second homes by their owners could occasionally create tension on demand due to a more limited available supply.

Market: the updated data

The real estate market

Transaction markets maintained their dynamism with demand remaining at a very high level despite the health crisis. Buyers are looking to combine buy-pleasure, profitability, and investment in stone. The accessibility of the Alps is also a real comparative advantage: an investment in the Alps provides a second home well served by transport networks: road, TGV, air.

French buyers remain in the lead again this year, a trend reinforced by the constraints on travel that have increased the attractiveness of local destinations. Next come investors from nearby countries such as Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, offsetting the relative decline in the UK market.

Seasonal rental market

Driven by the attractiveness of the resorts and the post-lockdown effects, the seasonal rental markets remain strong. They are also marked by strong price elasticity: a consequence of the professionalisation of the property market, which takes into account in real-time the evolution of demand and available capacity.

In the rental sector, the clientele is increasingly strategic and pragmatic. Mainly French, British, Belgian, Dutch, and Russian, they are above all looking for a type of accommodation rather than a destination in itself. Unsurprisingly, this winter the markets will be refocusing on a local clientele and the French will remain the leading Cimalpes holidaymakers.

Cimalpes 2021 Panorama

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