The ski season is just around the corner, and having had a beautiful summer (and a busy one with clients!), I am very much looking forward to whizzing down the ski slopes with the snow in my wake once more. There is definitely a buzz out here still, and ski companies, hotels restaurants etc are continuing to work hard to keep visitors safe. The question on everybody’s minds of course is ‘what is going to happen next?’ Of course, this is very hard to predict, but everybody in the Swiss Alps is intending there to be some sort of ski season this winter… we just don’t know what it will quite look like yet. Alpine Homes are still expecting there to be a big demand of people looking for ski homes during Autumn and Winter, especially from the Swiss as the travel restrictions will mean they probably won’t travel long-haul. It’s easy for the Belgians, Germans and Dutch to drive here, so I expect we’ll see a lot of them, and if the UK drops Switzerland from its quarantine list, they will be here in an instant.
Of course there is no denying, that Covid-19 has impacted the Swiss Alps property market, but not in a negative way as demand, sales and so on have remained strong. Instead, we have noticed a shift in what domestic and international buyers are looking for now. These include:
Resorts which were super secluded have now become very popular for the upcoming winter season. 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. Les Masses and Les Collons are now highly sought after, 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 seeking the likes of Verbier, Crans Montana, Gstaad or the centre of Nendaz where it’s a bit busier.
We’ve also noticed that buyers are now looking at Veysonnaz or Nendaz more, where they can purchase something bigger for their budget yet still have access to the slopes of Verbier next door. You will of course still get buyers wanting to buy in Verbier, as it still is very much an ‘in’ resort, but with Covid-19, we have definitely noticed a change in priorities.
Buyers simply want more space, both inside and out. They want to be in the Alps rather than at home if there is another lockdown so that they can enjoy the clean alpine air, and they want to spend more time at their property during the warmer months, where they can entertain friends and family in a garden or on a large balcony or terrace.
With working remotely becoming the ‘new norm’, many of our clients have enquired about home offices, either looking for a dedicated room or somewhere they can create a working space within the living room, kitchen or bedroom.
VISITING OUTSIDE OF THE SKI SEASON
Buyers who visited the Swiss Alps during the summer, and now Autumn, have realised the joys of being out here for the warmer months, as well as skiing. With endless outdoor options on offer to include cycling, hiking, water activities and adrenaline fuelled fun, plus wonderful sunshine, views, nature and wildlife, it’s no wonder that people are realising this more and more. Crans Montana in summer is actually one of my favourite times of year!
Currently, the Swiss are our biggest buyer, followed by the Dutch and Belgians, as there aren’t any border restrictions or quarantine rules in place for them. Before Switzerland was put back on the quarantine list for the UK, we also had a lot of British buyers. We had a great summer, and in the weeks following post lockdown, 70% of our physical viewings led to a sale. However, with evidence of the impending ‘second wave’ combined with uncertainty over the UK economy and needing to self isolate once back home, most British buyers have stopped visiting the Swiss Alps for the time being. They still very much plan to purchase an alpine property in the near future, and are taking advantage of our virtual tours, but they would rather wait until the dust settles first.
SO WHAT DO THESE SOUGHT AFTER PROPERTIES NOW LOOK LIKE?
Chalet Wanda in Nendaz is a super example of what people are looking for now… With beautiful gardens and a wrap around terrace, Chalet Wanda is ideal for sunbathing and al fresco dining during the warmer months, whilst its 300sqm of habitable space spread over four floors allows for plenty of room to chill out with friends and family after a long day’s skiing, where you can watch the world go by overlooking the mountain peaks, as you relax in front of the fire. This gorgeous chalet also boasts a private lift, double garage, games room and ski lift, all just 500m away from the slopes... what's not to love?
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