By the Engel & Völkers Team
With ski season well underway, snow enthusiasts around the world will travel near and far to enjoy what this winter has to offer. In North America, ever-popular skiing hotspots such as Whistler, British Columbia; Vail, Colorado; or Mont-Tremblant, Québec may round up this season’s top destinations, but there are also plenty of cold-weather havens abroad that are worth exploring. Home to a multitude of mountain activities (and thriving real estate markets) the European ski towns of St. Moritz, Gstaad, Kitzbühel and Davos/Klosters are forecasted to experience an increase of global visitors and investors alike, according to Engel & Völkers' latest report on exclusive ski properties in Europe.
High-priced homes in St. Moritz
The absolute top location in St. Moritz is the Suvretta-Hang. Mansions here with interiors spanning over 300 metres and offering ample privacy are particularly sought after. Properties of this calibre sold in the first three quarters of 2017 for top prices of up to 70 million Swiss francs (approx. 60.1 million euros). Freehold apartments on the Suvretta-Hang sold for up to 35,000 Swiss francs per square metre (approx. 30,000 euros) during the same period. The ratio of international buyers in St. Moritz in the premium segment is currently approx. 40 percent. The majority of this buyer group are from Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. The property market in St. Moritz is currently undergoing a generational change. Increasing numbers of older homeowners are now selling their holiday properties, meaning that now is a good opportunity to invest in a second home in the resort. Barbara Jost-Derksen, Managing Partner of Engel & Völkers in St. Moritz predicted that due to new regulation, which restricts the ownership of second apartments and the construction of new apartments, available properties in this segment will be limited for the next five to seven years.
Market feeling the local demand in Gstaad and Kitzbühel
Another sought-after and internationally renowned winter destination is Gstaad, Switzerland. Property buyers are attracted by the authentic Alpine charm that can be felt both in town and at its luxury resort. Recently, the supply of for-sale properties has been exceeded by the current level of demand as many homes remain under family ownership. With little new development occurring in Gstaad, Oberbort, a residential neighborhood in Gstaad, remains a most desirable and exclusive area to buy existing homes that come to market. Similar to Gstaad, Kitzbühel, Austria is currently a seller's market, having an increasingly high demand for residential real estate. Even the increasing number of new building developments in recent years has not been able to meet the level of buyer interest in this popular holiday resort town. “Vacant land plots have become rare, so building contractors will find it hard in the future to bring new projects onto the market,” said Wolfgang Böhm, Managing Partner of Engel & Völkers in Kitzbühel. Potential owners looking to buy in the area are looking for townhouses, contemporary Alpine residences with spa facilities, and freehold apartments with high-end amenities.
Domestic buyers dominate the market in Davos/Klosters
Similar to St. Moritz, the local property market in the Davos/Klosters Swiss region is experiencing a generational shift in buyers as older homeowners are increasingly selling and many existing properties are coming onto the market as a result. Additionally, today's buyers in this area are particularly interested in proximity to ski slopes, superb views and light-filled quarters. The most prime neighborhoods in Davos were recorded to be Börtji and Palüda with sale prices for chalets here in the first three quarters of 2017 reaching up to 6 million Swiss francs (approx. 5.2 million euros). Other locations experiencing increased demand include Dischma, Bünda, Horlauben and the Promenade, as well as the Obere Strasse in the center of Davos.
Read Engel & Völkers' full report here.