The Changing Landscape of Ski Property Investment: An Interview with David Olsson of FindHomeAbroad

Posted by FindHomeAbroad on July 29, 2023 Blog Findhomeabroad, Property Market Insights 0

The world of ski property investment is evolving, with buyers’ preferences shifting in response to global trends and personal needs. To gain deeper insights into these changes, we sat down with David Olsson, a seasoned expert in the field of ski properties and a director at  FindHomeAbroad.

David, with his extensive experience in the ski property market, shared his insights on the latest trends in 2023.

Q: David, the Ski Property Report 2023 reveals that over a third of buyers are undecided about whether to buy a new-build or an existing property. Why do you think this is the case?

David: “It’s a fascinating trend. I believe this indecision stems from the unique advantages each option presents. New-build properties often come with modern amenities, energy efficiency, and the opportunity to customize. On the other hand, existing properties offer a sense of history, established communities, and sometimes a more attractive price point. The choice ultimately depends on the buyer’s personal preferences and investment goals.”

Q: The report also ranks the factors that buyers consider most important when deciding which resort to buy in. Can you elaborate on these factors?

David: “Absolutely. The top three factors are mountain views, high-speed broadband, and outdoor private or communal spaces. Mountain views have always been a significant draw for ski property buyers. However, the importance of high-speed broadband and outdoor space has surged, likely due to the pandemic-induced remote work trend. Proximity to ski lifts and year-round resort availability are also crucial factors. Interestingly, energy efficiency is gaining importance, reflecting the growing rise in energy prices in Europe. The energy rating is now becoming an important factor if you wish to be able to let your ski property and new builds, with a rating between A and B,  offer just that.”

“One factor that we do not show on our graph but which remains paramount is the price of the ski property and also its price per sqm. We are now providing a price per sqm for most of our listings to better guide our clients. Prices per sqm have increased exponentially in the last 5 years and in some resorts like Chatel or Alpe d’Huez have virtually doubled in less than ten years. When it was customary to find good quality new builds in altitude resorts below 6,000€/sqm it is now becoming very rare to find anything below that amount. Also access to a French mortgage to finance your ski property has become much more complicated, not to mention the interest rates which have increased back to 2015 levels (above 3.5-4%), thus affecting potential return. An example of very good value still to be found are a couple of new build projects in Saint-Gervais and in the new regeneration project of Chamrousse 2030.

Q: How do these factors influence the decision-making process of buyers?

David: “These factors essentially shape the buyers’ vision of their ideal ski property. For instance, a buyer prioritising mountain views and high-speed broadband might be envisioning a picturesque work-from-home setup. Proximity to ski lifts would be important for those who want easy access to skiing. It’s all about aligning the property features with the lifestyle the buyer aspires to have.”

Q: How has the pandemic influenced the ski property market, according to your observations and the report’s findings?

David: “The pandemic has undoubtedly left its mark on the ski property market. As people spent more time at home, the value of outdoor space and beautiful views became more apparent. Moreover, with remote work becoming the norm, high-speed broadband has become a non-negotiable feature. The desire for a year-round resort is also notable, as people are looking for locations that offer more than just winter activities.”

Q: What advice would you give to potential ski property investors in light of these trends?

David: “My advice would be to clearly identify your priorities before entering the market. Are you looking for a personal retreat, a rental income source, or both? How important are factors like mountain views, broadband speed, or proximity to ski lifts to you? Once you have a clear understanding of what you want, it becomes much easier to find a property that fits your needs and aspirations.

A new trend that we have started at Findhomeabroad is selling a few carefully-selected premium ski properties in fractions (one share is 1/8th of the property) so that you can enjoy the mountain in a top ski property that is yours without breaking the bank. This is not Timeshare and your name is on the deed, contact us for more info.”

The insights provided by David Olsson shed light on the evolving trends in the ski property market. As buyer preferences continue to shift, keeping abreast of these trends will be crucial for both investors and developers in the ski property industry. Whether it’s the allure of mountain views, the necessity of high-speed broadband, or the appeal of a year-round resort, understanding these factors will be key to making successful investment decisions in this dynamic market.