The state council in Switzerland lifted the moratorium on property sales to foreigners in seven communes in the canton Valais, replacing it with a new Cantonal.

According to a government spokesman, this action has been taken to clear the backlog of 1,920 applications to build property outstanding in the Canton and to carefully regulate the issuing of permits.

The Canton Valais has 330 permits for 2008 for new homes, to eliminate the backlog and for developers selling tourist-oriented projects of more than 10 units in the Canton, according to Chesterton International.

The new legislation prevents developers selling a property to a foreigner without first receiving a permit. Permits are only available for new build property and foreigners will not be allowed permits for re-sale properties.

Andrew Hawkins, senior International property consultant at Chesterton International (020 7201 2070; www.chesterton.co.uk), says, ?Chesterton is actively seeking further information and clarification on the implications of this new system. Meanwhile, those looking to purchase property in Switzerland can do so by applying for residency through the normal channels.?

Simon Malster, managing director of ski property specialists Investors in Property (020 8905 5511; www.investorsinproperty.com), expects more requests for property in other Swiss Cantons with more foreigner permits and fewer restrictions.

‘We have always had strong demand for property in Villars as it is an attractive dual season resort less than 90-minutes from Geneva Airport. As Villars is in Canton Vaud, where foreigners can buy freely today and sell tomorrow, we expect demand and prices to continue to rise,? he adds.

* Property for sale in Switzerland