Luxury real estate in the Alps: a safe investment?

27 March 2024 • 5 min read

Luxury real estate in the Alps is on the rise once again this year, driven by international demand.

However, the specific nature of the demand is changing. The clientele for luxury real estate is increasingly cosmopolitan with exceptionally high standards. In the most beautiful ski resorts in the Alps, such as Méribel, Courchevel, and others, luxury real estate is the ultimate safe investment. Luxury that can be lived in, invested in, and made to pay for itself.

How can we explain the success of luxury real estate in the mountains?

Mountain property, an escape from the hustle and bustle

Prestigious mountain real estate has been around since the second half of the 18th century, when the first tourists of the modern era fell under the spell of Alpine chalets. Faced with a harsh, wild climate, the rustic, almost rough character of these wood-and-stone dwellings seemed like an oasis of calm, a return to Arcadia.

Spurred on by stories of mountaineering and the draw of winter sports (including downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and dog sledding), tourism gradually developed atop the glaciers. Architects also became passionate about conquering this roof of the world, and many of them specialized in the design of premium second homes, mountain refuges with spas, and luxury residences. Today, in these extraordinary homes, stone fireplaces, spas, steam rooms, ski rooms, terraces with unobstructed views, and swimming pools with counter-current systems offer an incomparable vacation experience.

Scouting out the finest locations

It didn’t take long for the finest locations to become few and far between. In the peaks, space is a prized resource, especially for those looking for exceptional views of lakes, forest, lauze-roofed villages, and glacier ridges. Direct access to the ski slopes is also particularly sought-after.

However, this relentless search for best alpine plots of land has paid off, particularly in the iconic 3 Vallées ski resorts of Méribel Les Allues and Courchevel. Here, the median price per square meter at the start of 2024 was €12,070 for Méribel and €15,500 for Courchevel, representing increases of +44% and +70% respectively over 5 years when taking all neighborhoods into account.

This rise in sale (and purchase) prices is all the more pronounced in luxury homes and in the most exclusive locations, such as Courchevel 1850, the most prestigious area in the 3 Vallées. The narrow streets are lined with luxury boutiques, Michelin-starred gourmet restaurants, and palace hotels where every dream is possible. The slopes of the 3 Vallées ski area stretch as far as the eye can see for some 400 miles, covered in a heavy blanket of snow and featuring a wide variety of slopes, peaks, and breathtaking views.

In the luxury real estate market of the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps, location is the most important criterion for choosing a second home.

Discover the best locations: Where should you invest in luxury real estate in the Alps?

A rational investment combining pleasure and profits

Renting out a second home in the mountains is a particularly attractive source of income for anyone wishing to develop their real estate portfolio.

Thanks to the French LMNP status and a host of other advantages, investors can rent out their chalet or apartment at a premium during the high season. In the most sought-after resorts, which have successfully developed their tourism offering beyond winter sports, this rental profitability is even higher as couples, families, and groups of friends will be delighted to book your cozy refuge all year round.

Reducing rental vacancy rates by offering a wide range of activities and services is an excellent way to make your real estate investment profitable. If you occupy your second home in the mountains for several weeks per year, seasonal rentals can pay off part of your expenses or your mortgage. A great way to combine pleasure and profits.

Developments in the Alpine luxury real estate market

International appeal growing stronger every year

As noted at the start of this article, international demand is having a major impact on the Alpine luxury market. Since the departure of Russian guests, buyers from the Middle East, Brazil, Great Britain, Belgium, and Asia (particularly India and China) are now flocking to this snow-capped paradise.

The search for the perfect property

For many, purchasing a chalet or a luxury apartment in the Alps is the promise of extraordinary vacations with everything accessible on skis. For those who are short of time, who dream of a change of scenery and a welcoming home far from their city or even in another country, acquiring an exceptional residence perched in the clouds is often a carefully considered decision.

In 2024, the search for the ideal property goes far beyond the idea of an impulse buy. Usually, a chalet or apartment meets an exact list of criteria (dream location, fine materials, luxurious finishes, breathtaking panorama, etc.), to satisfy the highest demand – that of perfection.

Even if it means buying just one second home, new owners of luxury residences focus all their attention on a single location that perfectly combines all their expectations in terms of:

  • Design and architecture, with a space that matches your tastes and desires.
  • Privacy, with a sense of intimacy reinforced by thick stone and wooden walls, impeccable insulation, and unobstructed views.
  • Lifestyle, for an escape to the peaks far from confined lives in the city.
  • Technology in tune with their lifestyle: a fully-equipped kitchen, discreet sockets, a home cinema, electric car charging ports, fiber-optic broadband for remote working in the Alps, ski boot dryers, natural lighting, and more.
  • Location, with quick access to points of interest and magnificent views of mountains, lakes, or valleys.

Luxury new-build real estate, for total control of your project from first plot to finished property

The ideal way to acquire your dream home is to invest in new real estate. Choosing a developer such as Rising Stone, specialized in new-build developments in the finest winter sports resorts, means that you benefit from haute couture finishes and uncompromising specifications.

Offering peace and quiet, confidentiality, security, high yield potential, and comfortable living, the essence of quality construction is a guarantee of a profitable, long-lasting investment to build your personal real estate portfolio.