Has the 2016 vote had consequences?

No, none. On the contrary, investments have picked up in the Alps, although 2018 has been an exceptional year thanks to the heavy snow which has boosted purchases. Some investors have even bought property in the Alps to get ahead of Brexit, in case it has undesirable consequences in the long term.

We do not yet know if there will be a hard or soft Brexit. Could this have repercussions?

Of course, we are in the dark for now which means we don't know what to imagine. For example, the UK could come out on top, which could have positive impacts on purchasing power and therefore investment capacities, or we could end up with the worst-case scenario, resulting in the pound collapsing against the euro. Two things are certain: first, everything is possible; second, with no deal, the risks are high.

Beyond Brexit, what can we say about the motivations of British investors in the Alps?

It’s more about aspirational or lifestyle purchases than making a profit. Although most buyers rent out their properties, they do so to pay the charges and taxes, not to generate income. People come to the Alps to look for an unrivalled quality of life, for themselves and their family. That is why the number of purchases is rising independently of Brexit, because Brexit or no Brexit, these motivations remain the same. In addition, buyers are in the high-income categories, which gives them the means to invest where they want. And at the moment they want to invest in France rather than in Switzerland, for example, as they are aware of the investments made by the major French resorts such as Val d’Isere, Chamonix, Megeve and the resorts in the Three Valleys.

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Roddy Aris

Knight Frank Associate

Roddy Aris is an Associate Partner at Knight Frank looking after the Paris residential market and French Alpine network. Roddy works with Knight Frank's associate offices in Courchevel, Méribel, Chamonix, Argentière, Megève, St Gervais and Val d'Isère to source the best in class properties across the French Alps to sell to an international client base.