Rival developers race for Alps success

Alps property developers race to meet demand

Photo credit: Gunter Sader

Millions of euros are being invested in the Alps as two rival developers race to meet the growing demand for property. The skiing region has always been popular with homebuyers, but increasing demand has prompted a shower of new developments on the slopes, with one company rushing to finish construction in time for next year.

MGM's 70-apartment complex is located in the French village Samoens, a short distance from the 265km slopes of Grand Massif. But with half of the apartments already sold, the developer has now brought forward its plans and aims to open the properties by the end of 2012.

The move leaves Orascom Development Holding losing ground in second place. The company is hoping for an avalanche of interest in Andermatt, where its luxury resort promises to be the biggest in the Alps. But the project won't be ready until 2013, as Orascom focuses on scale rather than speed. Working with Swedish company SkiStar, Orascom plans to transform the Andermatt valley by linking neighbouring slopes together with a state of the art lift network, which, according to Property Community , will cost 140m Swiss francs.

The developers' downhill race to complete their Alps projects is matched by the speed at which French property prices are continuing to rise. Residential prices jumped an average of 4.3 per cent outside of Paris over the last three months – that’s the fifth quarterly rise in a row, as prices across the whole year increase by 6.8 per cent.

One French estate agent confirms that the property market is strong, as enquiries increase from both local and international buyers. France’s recent tax reforms are also thought to be attracting overseas investors, as the threshold for wealth tax (ISF) is expected to rise next February from €800,000 to €1.3m.

As France's property market snowballs, the developers in the Alps will be going full-tilt to meet increasing demand. Who will find the most success on the slopes?

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The Alps<. Stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany and France in the west, it is one of.


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“This fearsomely beautiful and wild ski area (it cannot really be described as a 'resort') in the southern French Alps(Département des Hautes Alpes) is a one-off: no groomed runs, no snow cannon, no ski patrol or avalanche