Austrian summer overtakes popular ski season

Kolnbrein, Carinthia, Austria

Austria has become a firm favourite among tourists and investors alike, thanks to its more affordable array of resorts than the French Alps. Now, though, the country’s summer is even more popular than its ski season.

Figures released by the Austrian National Tourist Office (ANTO) this year show that 51 per cent of visitors enjoying the Alps for hiking, golfing, mountain-biking, watersports and other outdoor activities during the summer months.

This country’s strong dual-season is also driving the demand for property, both to buy and rent, as the Tyrol Tourism Board reveals 21 per cent of overnight stays in summer 2015 have been spent in privately owned holiday homes.

Already, Austria has proven to be a sound investment as Savills’ most recent Spotlight Report ‘Alpine Property Market 2015/16’ revealed. The country’s strong domestic economy and record low interest rates have resulted in a national house price growth of 41 per cent since 2008, compared to falls of 0.9 per cent in France over the same period. Despite the increase, Austria’s properties are still up to 50 per cent cheaper than resort property in the Swiss and French Alps, triggering a growing interest from savvy buyers.

Branson Atterbury, Marketing Director of Austrian property developer Kristall Spaces explains: “Due to Austria’s strong dual-season, the demand for holiday accommodation is greater than the supply, with many local hotels booking out quickly. As a result, privately owned holiday homes have had a steady uplift in all-year-round rental demand.”

“We are registering an increasing number of enquiries from UK buyers who want the security of their property delivering rental returns throughout the year, not just during a specific season,” he adds.

To meet the demand, Kristall Spaces is launching Mountain Lake Resort – Ötztal in Oetz and Mountain Spa Resort – Paznaun near Ischgl this year, both offering rental returns of up to 4 per cent. The Oetz project, located 30 minutes from Innsbruck Airport, will be in close proximity to Europe’s largest outdoor adventure park, Area 47, featuring 66,000 sqm of activities such as a large ski ramp to learn how to somersault on skis into water, rock-climbing, mountain-biking, cliff diving, wild water rafting, wakeboarding, mega-curved waterslides and more.