Summer is here, the sun is out and various nationalities are back in the Swiss Alps looking at alpine homes again. With endless outdoor options on offer to include cycling, hiking, water activities and adrenaline fuelled fun, plus wonderful views, nature and wildlife, it’s no wonder that people are realising more and more the joys of Summer in the Alps. As we enter Switzerland’s second month of being open again, there’s no denying, however, that life has changed for all of us, so what is next for the Swiss Alps’ property market?
The summer season has started later than usual for obvious reasons, but as we all adjust to the ‘new normal,’ buyer activity is well and truly back up and running. As everything is open again, to include the telecabines, chair lifts, restaurants and so on, our clients are experiencing exactly what the Swiss Alps are like during summer – especially those who would usually only ever came out for the winter season, but couldn’t do so earlier this year due to lockdown.
The number of buyer enquiries we have received post lockdown continues to increase from various main European nationalities, especially since it was announced in early July that British buyers don’t need to quarantine if they have visited Switzerland – as long as we continue to be seen as a ‘low risk’ country. Since June 2020, when we could show properties to perspective buyers again, the highest proportion of our enquiries has come from Switzerland, Holland, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Now that measures have eased and our land borders have re-opened, people are travelling out here despite all the Covid regulations at the airport and on public transport. Buyer mindsets towards ‘physical’ viewings are now very different when compared to pre-lockdown. They have spent the last few months looking at our homes virtually, accessing tons of information about them, before shortlisting which one’s they’d like to visit in person. Once out there, they are effectively seeing the visit as their second or third viewing and if happy with what they see, will want to make an offer immediately. Around 70% of clients who have visited us since lockdown have made an offer - which is really encouraging news for sellers.
Nendaz and Veysonnaz are proving very popular with the British and the Dutch as prices are a lot lower than Verbier, yet in summer they can still access the same cycle paths, hiking routes and so on, whilst accessing the same slopes in winter. Crans Montana attracts many golfers, cyclists and hikers from Belgium, but the British are beginning to realise its appeal in summer too. In June for example, we had a call from a UK buyer who had read Cassandra Levene’s piece on why she loves Crans Montana in summer. He told us that he had no idea they could do so many things during the summer there and wanted to find something his family could enjoy now as well as in the winter. Meanwhile, the Swiss Germans continue to show interest in Les Collons, Les Masses and La Anzère, whilst the French and Swedish love Verbier if they can afford it.
Also noticeable in recent weeks is how the mindset towards remote properties has changed. People used to be wary of being isolated, but now they love the fact they can walk around and not bump into anybody. This is particularly important for clients who live in busy cities such as Paris, London and Berlin, who are most likely living in small apartments with little to no outside space. They are now looking for something in the more quieter places such as Les Masses and Les Collons, or the outskirts of Verbier and Crans Montana, where space and privacy are plentiful. For example, Chalet Touti in Les Masses, which enjoys a quiet and peaceful location. Whereas we tend to see those who live in the countryside seeking the likes of Verbier, Crans Montana, Gstaad or the centre of Nendaz where it’s a bit busier.
The common denominator between all buyers however is space, privacy and home offices, as people realise the benefits of being in their second homes at any time of year – not just for winter. Chalet Nicande in Nendaz ticks all the boxes in that respect. We are also selling a super penthouse in Anzère which has a home office and exceptional views. However, ski-in ski out apartments are still proving popular too - which also allow for easy access onto the mountains for walks or cycling in summer.
It’s hard to predict what will happen to the property market, as we have never been in this situation before, but buyers are definitely viewing the Swiss Alps as a safe place should we go into another lockdown. A release of pent up demand combined with a beautiful time of year to be looking at alpine properties have meant things have picked up again pretty quickly, with prices remaining stable. I suspect this demand will continue throughout Autumn too, given we are playing ‘catch up’ in the market, people realise that some areas of the Swiss Alps can be enjoyed all year round whilst others want to find something now should there be another Covid-19 surge in the winter.
If Alpine Homes International can assist you with your property search, or the sale of your alpine home in the Swiss Alps, please do get in touch at +41 27 323 77 77 or firstname.lastname@example.org.