The Alps covers an area of 191,000 square km and spans seven countries. Attracting up to four million visitors a year, the region boasts 36 per cent of the world’s ski resorts and captures 45 per cent of all global skier visits.
As the Alpine property market recovers, the region is once again attracting a growing number of second home buyers from across the globe. And, as Savills World Research and Alpine Homes reports in Alpine Property Market Spotlight, it isn't just high-end property that is being snapped up – more sales are taking place at lower price points.
Ultra prime property prices in the Swiss resort of Verbier average around €28,600 per square metre and €12,000 per square metre for prime property.
Switzerland’s position outside the EU cements its appeal as a safe haven for wealth and that results in a price premium for the country's top resorts. But there is good news for those with less deep pockets. Average prime property prices in the Swiss resort of Saas Fee are currently between €4,000 and €6,000 per square metre.
Austria is a good bet for those looking to turn a profit in the Alpine property market.In addition, rental returns on ski property are roughly double those in either France or Switzerland, at around 5-7 per cent gross.
Kitzbühel is the only Austrian resort featured in the Savills Top 10 Ultra Prime Resorts Index, where prices range from €8,000 per square metre to €15,000 per square metre.
The lowest prices are found in Bad Gastein and Zell am See, but the popular resort of Ischgl, the 'Ibiza of the Alps', is highlighted as one to watch, with prices under €4,000 per square metre.
Stability is beginning to return to the French Alpine property market but there are still good opportunities for buyers.
Courchevel 1850 continues to dominate the top end of the market: expect prices of up to €34,200 per square metre.
All eyes will be on Méribel this year as it takes the global stage and plays host to the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup 2015 finals. Prices range from €8,000-€19,000 per square metre and there is room for growth as its profile increases.
Buyers looking for value should consider St Gervais, a more affordable alternative to better-known Megève, with property values under €4,000 per square metre.