Country houses for sale

Early snow attracts buyers

Knight Frank’s head of France Paul Humphreys told Country Life that the early snowfall this year meant the season for buying ski properties started earlier than usual this year.

Nathalie Turchet, UK sales manager of MGM French Properties, adds: ‘The first falls in the French Alps in October prompted potential buyers to get in the mood for skiing and think about having a place of their own on the slopes. The result is that we have seen a steady rise in the number of enquiries for ski properties since November.’

Experience indicates that demand from clients with higher disposable incomes will remain stable, according to MGM which currently is selling properties at prices ranging from €130,000 in Bourg Saint Maurice to more than €3 million in Courchevel 1850.

The firm reports that the rental market remains strong with the number of winter bookings looking promising ahead of the ski season.

Meanwhile, second home owners in Europe are currently benefiting from the weak pound.

According to Alexander Wright City-based Corporate FX, a French property bought for 250,000 euros in early 2007 would have cost £166,000, but if sold today – for the same price (i.e. with zero capital appreciation) – it would realise £212,000. ‘That is a gain of £46,000 with no increase in the actual value of the property – a 30% currency profit.’

* Properties for sale in France