Close your eyes and think of a new-build mountain home. What do you see? A state-of-the-art apartment in the middle of a big-name ski resort? A stand-alone chalet, perhaps, with the services of a residence on the doorstep, complete with spa and restaurant? Or perhaps you’re actually a mountain biker more than a skier, and what you want is bike storage more than boot warmers.
Whatever your vision, in 2019-20 you’ll find something very close to it in the French Alps. For several years now, investment has been pouring into the region – and alongside all the lifts, snow cannons and leisure centres has come a new wave of property developers. Many have arrived from cities such as Lyon and Grenoble, buoyed by a resurgent domestic market. And they’ve brought with them a host of fresh ideas.
As a result, the sense of choice and flexibility on offer is unprecedented. It’s not just the range of resorts that’s so attractive –from the established names of Chamonix and La Plagne to rising stars such as Combloux, and established towns like Saint-Gervais-les-Bains. We’ve also seen a rise in standards and a greater sense of flexibility. Take the six new demi-chalets at Les Chalets Paradis in Chamonix, for example.
Here, owners can add saunas and Jacuzzis into what are effectively bespoke living spaces. Meanwhile, at Stallion Lodge – a development of studio to five-bedroom apartments in Meg.ve – the owners will be able to customise both their interior and exterior finishes. Then, once installed, they’ll draw on the services of a concierge, who can book everything from private chefs to mountain guides.
The range of ownership options has broadened too. There’s no longer a simple binary choice between freehold and a classic leaseback scheme, which mixes a little private use with lots of weeks in a rental pool. Increasingly, developers are also offering more relaxed schemes with up to half the year available to the owners. Of course, all this choice means buyers must be better informed, so they can make best use of all the variables. And that’s where a company like ours comes into its own. With more than 16 years’ experience in the Alpine property market, and good relationships with many of the most innovative developers, we can help turn those property-owning visions into a bricks-and-mortar reality.
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Les Arcs Immobilier, Jardins de la cascade, Arc 1950 le Village, 73700 Bourg-St-Maurice, France