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Can I Get a Mortgage for a Ski Chalet in France?

Navigating the property market in France can sometimes feel daunting for first time investors. One of the questions you may be asking yourself is: “Can I get a mortgage for a ski chalet in France?”. We’ve put together this FAQ style blog, with the help of our expert Estate Agent Partners, to give you some more information about getting a mortgage for a French ski chalet...


In this article, we’ll be hearing from our trusted partners…

Gareth Jefferies
-Alpine Property

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Sarah Watts
-Alpihome

Visit their website here.

Mien Krooglik
– Nexalia

Visit their website here.


Is there a preferred mortgage option for buyers of ski apartments/chalets from different territories?

Gareth Jefferies
-Alpine Property

“French clients will usually use a local bank and if they need a mortgage it will be a fixed rate. However, they are less likely to need a mortgage. This will usually be a cash purchase.

Of the Brits that are looking, about 30% currently take a loan. Only 20% actually need it though. That other 10% could buy cash but are attracted by the low interest rates.

Since Brexit, finding someone willing to make the loan has become harder. Not impossible, but harder. We would advise approaching a broker.


Sarah Watts
-Alpihome

I tend to recommend BNP Paribas international buyers. They specialise in Non residents so are perfect for our overseas clients.

For clients such as American based ones, who traditional banks will not lend to, I would suggest a specialist broker.

For French clients, they tend to go to their local branch or will do the rounds of the banks themselves so I don’t normally offer much advice.

The Swiss too have access to some low rate mortgages so they often finance with Swiss banks.”


Mien Krooglik
– Nexalia

We are finding that certain banks in France are still lending to non residents and on favourable terms. The applicant will need to go through strict lending criteria however can then benefit on the low interest rates that we are currently seeing. Over the years we have formed a strong network of both national and local banks that we recommend depending on the client profile.


How buoyant are the ski chalet/apartment sales market at the moment?

Gareth Jefferies
-Alpine Property

“Very, not as buoyant as land and chalets on the outskirts of the ski areas. However, a ski pad is still sought after. Rental chalets that have previously been used by chalet companies are proving harder to sell. They often don’t have the “x factor” that a second home requires. They are fine as a rental, but lack something for a second home.

The chalet business is in flux at the moment. Brexit has dealt it quite a blow, and COVID too. We await to see what happens this winter. I’m told demand is excellent. It’s possible that there are less catered chalet offers around (so reduced supply will make it feel busy), I assume there will be a shift to self-catered options.”


Sarah Watts
-Alpihome

“It has been very buoyant with property flying off the shelves very quickly and at sometimes surprisingly high prices. After Covid, many people put into action their plans for their mountain getaway. Others, having spent time in an apartment in town during lock downs and realising they can work from home, have sold their existing holiday apartment and bought something bigger with outside space.

Stock is low, people want to invest and put money into bricks and mortar and St Gervais/Les Contamines have also hugely increased in notoriety in the last 10 years. People are looking elsewhere outside the traditionally popular resorts like the 3 Valleys.

The combined effect is that it has been an extremely popular property market following the lockdowns last year. This is not necessarily what we expect as we saw the downturn of the economic crisis in 2008 which led to a drop in prices and demand. It took until 2012 to come back up to the 2008 price levels.”


Mien Krooglik
– Nexalia

“Since covid arrived we have seen a remarkable rise in off-plan sales of both chalet and ski apartments equally. This is because of a couple of factors…

Firstly, with certain countries going into negative interest rates, it is now costly to have your money in the bank. Therefore we are seeing a rise in cash purchasers looking to secure their money in a long term investment which offers security.

Secondly, since Covid, more people have adapted their work routines and therefore it’s easier to work remotely.

We are therefore seeing buyers wanting to spend longer periods of time in their second home throughout the year where they can both enjoy and work from.”

How have prices been impacted since Covid?

Gareth Jefferies
-Alpine Property

“They have risen sharply. A 30% has been mentioned. However it depends on the sector. New build apartments have risen by around 10%, new build chalets approximately by 20%, good land by about 30% or more. Mid range (500 to 1m€) chalets with sun and land have risen by approximately 30%. 5 or 6 bedroom catered chalets, with ensuite facilities – 0%.”


Sarah Watts
-Alpihome

“They increased by about 10-15%. There are also higher-end properties coming on the market that previously would take a long time to sell. There is now a good market for over 1 million euros which traditionally was a ceiling in the valley (St Gervais).”


Mien Krooglik
– Nexalia

Contrary to what we thought at the start of this pandemic, prices have increased mainly due to the supply and demand.

At Nexalia we saw a 30% increase in registrations in 2020 and the same in 2021 compared to 2019. That coupled with tighter planning rules and limited permits being granted is pushing the prices up.

In resorts like Chatel in the Portes du Soleil we’ve seen a steady capital growth increase, which is one of the reasons this resort is still an interesting investment.”


Who is buying at the moment? Which Nationalities do you sell to?

Gareth Jefferies
-Alpine Property

French/British/Swiss/Belgium/Dutch, in that order at the moment.


Sarah Watts
-Alpihome

“It’s about 50% domestic and 50% international. This year it’s been mostly French (especially from Lyon and Paris) due to travel restriction.

In terms of international buyers, they are in the majority British clients, who live in the UK or are maybe expats in Switzerland. The rest are Swiss or the international community in Switzerland. Some are Belgian and Dutch. A bit more rare may be clients from America, Australia and the UAE.”


Mien Krooglik
– Nexalia

“Each resort will vary, however in the Portes du Soleil we still have a strong French clientele as well as British. We’re also seeing an increase in buyers mainland Europe.

We make the buying process/evolution as simple as possible by offering in house Technical teams to assist with the customisation as well as the interior design. We also assist non resident buyers in all aspects of the purchase from arranging finance, accountants, lawyers, making the buying process today more simplified for a non resident to buy in France.”


If you’re thinking of investing in a property in the French Alps, make sure to head over to our Properties for Sale page to discover a fantastic range of chalets and apartments on the market.

About Author

Hi I’m Amy and I run the OVO Network Blog. I have spent winters in the Alps since 2016 and I am now based in the beautiful town of Annecy. I love making the most of being surrounded by the lake and mountains with my dog!