Despite Covid-19, Alpine Homes has continued to receive a lot of interest from Swiss Alps’ buyers, with snow enthusiasts being no exception as they seek to purchase their slice of ski heaven this winter. With such strong demand, Elyse Constantin, explains why now could be a great time to be selling your chalet, apartment or penthouse… and it can all be done remotely.
“As we all adjust to the ‘new normal,’ buyer activity in the warmer months well and truly impressed, being our busiest summer in several years. The concept of dual season is no stranger to the Swiss Alps, but I think people have realised more than ever before the true benefits of being out here all year round. Despite stricter Covid-19 restrictions in place again across most of Europe, this momentum has continued, with enquiries overall still much higher than this time last year.
“For sellers, this is great news… so here are a few reasons why I believe now could be a ‘peak’ time to be selling your ski chalet, apartment or penthouse … and it can all be done remotely!”
Buyer demand is very high – virtually too
“The initial easing of Covid-19 measures and quarantine restrictions in early summer released pent up demand from all over Europe, with everyone keen to visit the properties they had been researching and viewing virtually, whilst being able to enjoy the fresh mountain air. Alpine buyers are seeking security, safety and space – and they are still seeing that in the Swiss Alps. We are considered a safe heaven - both for investment and wellbeing reasons. This is helping to fuel demand tremendously.
“The highest proportion of our enquiries are coming from Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom, and for those who can still travel to the Swiss Alps, they are. Whilst those who can’t (such as the UK who have now been put back into another lockdown until 2nd December), they are utilising our video tours. In fact, the most popular nationality looking at our website right now are people from the UK, despite this. This means that whether wanting to view physically or virtually, buyers are still looking for holiday homes away from it all in the mountains despite the pandemic.”
Virtual tours are bringing a more valuable buyer to our properties
“Buyer mindsets towards physical viewings have completely changed due to Covid-19, meaning that when it comes to looking at a chalet or an apartment in person, they are very much in the mindset that they want to make an offer. National lockdowns and general travel uncertainty have meant buyers have spent most of this year looking at our homes virtually first via a FaceTime or WhatsApp video call, accessing tons of information online about them, before shortlisting which ones they’d like to visit in person. Once in the Swiss Alps, they are then effectively seeing the visit as their second or third viewing. If happy with what they see physically, most are making an offer. Around 70% of clients who have visited us since the initial lockdown in spring have made an offer on their first physical viewing.”
Buyers are now thinking about having a home for next summer
“Having had their travel plans postponed from late winter/early spring to the summer due to lockdown, alpine buyers have realised the joys of being in the Swiss Alps in the warmer months of this year. With the current ski season a bit up in the air at the moment for everybody, this means buyers are now thinking about next year, and that includes looking for a holiday home they can escape to next summer assuming Covid-19 will be more under control by then. Properties in dual season locations such as Crans Montana, Verbier and Nendaz are very popular right now as a result.”
Some nationalities can still drive to the Swiss Alps
“Many people don’t wish to fly now or in the foreseeable future – which we understand - and so driving to the Swiss Alps has become really popular this year. Some nationalities such as the British and Belgians currently can’t. However, for those buyers who can such as the Swiss, Germans and Dutch, they can drive here quite easily to view our properties.”
Buyers are looking for plenty of space, inside and out
“The common denominator between all of our buyers is space, privacy and working from home options. As they want to spend more time at their property during the warmer months as well as in winter, outdoor space has also become highly sought after, where they can entertain friends and family in a garden or on a large balcony or wrap around terrace. Chalet Wanda is a classic example of what is grabbing interest at the moment.
“Whilst our investors still seek ski-in ski-out or a central location in a good resort with easy access to facilities and mountain walks, as these properties offer them an excellent return on investment. These can be chalets or apartments, resale or new builds, but generally they tend to be in a dual-season resort so that they can provide a rental income all year round.”
Everywhere is proving popular with alpine buyers now, even the more secluded locations
“Nendaz and Veysonnaz are highly sought after with the British and the Dutch currently. This is because they can buy much more for their money, yet in summer still have access to the same cycle paths, hiking routes and so on in Verbier, whilst being able to ski the same slopes in winter too.
“Crans Montana attracts many golfers, cyclists, skiiers and hikers from Belgium, but the British are beginning to realise its appeal too. Meanwhile, the Swiss Germans continue to show interest in Les Collons, Les Masses and La Anzère, whilst the wealthy French, British and Swedish will always love Verbier.
“The more secluded hamlets and/or smaller resorts have become more attractive too. 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. Whereas we tend to see those who live in the countryside back home seeking the likes of Verbier, Crans Montana, Gstaad or the centre of Nendaz where it’s a bit busier.”
Prices remain stable
“A release of pent up demand has meant prices are remaining stable for good quality properties in the Swiss Alps. I suspect this demand will continue throughout the winter, given we are playing ‘catch up’ in the market, which should keep upwards pressure on prices. Although do expect some minor negotiation, as buyers will still be looking for a discount, even if it is just a small one.”
You don’t need to be in the Swiss Alps for us to sell your alpine home
“Many potential sellers may be worrying about putting their home on the market now because they can’t travel out here, or don’t want to. However, you don’t actually need to be in the Swiss Alps for us to sell your ski home. We can do everything for you, including valuation, preparing your property for photographs and viewings, hosting viewings, Covid cleaning, negotiations and handing over the keys. You can also make your accountant or lawyer your power of attorney so that they can sign all the paperwork on your behalf. Currently, the only restrictions the Swiss Alps has is that bars and restaurants will be closed from 6th November. The property market will remain open.”
We have a UK press office securing ski press coverage for our properties
“Being the ski season, the UK press are starting to write about the property market in the Swiss Alps. This is one of our busiest times for securing press coverage around our properties, and it helps us attract web hits and enquiries from the lucrative London and International markets. Consequently, we are very proud to have secured great exposure for our clients’ properties over the years, in key titles such as Sunday Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph, Financial Times and Country Life. In fact, we appeared in Country & Town House just this week for Chalet Mont Fort.”
Above: Elyse Constantin
Ready to sell yet?
“Alpine Homes can offer you a simple process with maximum exposure and professional advice. This includes giving accurate and up to date valuation advice in line with market conditions; recommending and executing a local and international marketing strategy and conducting visits by prospective purchasers. Our objective is to achieve the best possible price for your property, within your preferred timescales.”
For more information, please do get in touch with me via e-mail email@example.com or telephone +41 (0)27 323 7777. I look forward to hearing from you.