Why are mountain destinations highly appealing for rental investments?
Over the past three years, property prices in the Northern Alps have surged by 27%, showcasing a thriving market. The French Alps, boasting an impressive 9,000 kilometres of ski slopes, have become a haven for winter sports enthusiasts.
If you seek a property investment with excellent rental yield potential or desire a second home for blissful weekends away, directing your attention to the Alps is a wise choice.
Explore our compelling list of ten reasons to invest in the mountains!
- 1. The value of real estate continues to rise
- 2. Opportunities for every budget
- 3. Investing in the mountains: attractive returns
- 4. Regions rich in history and heritage
- 5. Peace and quiet: recharge your batteries
- 6. Scenery and views of the peaks
- 7. A versatile environment
- 8. There’s an activity for everyone
- 9. Invest in the mountains for the outdoor activities
- 10. Investing in the mountains: ski-in/ski-out resorts
1. The value of real estate continues to rise
Generally, trends in the Alpine property market over the last 30 years reflect a booming market, despite the economic climate. This trend is borne out by the figures for the first few months of 2023. On 1 April 2023, for example, house prices in Savoie and Haute-Savoie were still up to 6% higher compared to the previous year.
Strong demand and short supply
Strict building regulations in mountain areas limit the supply of available property. This includes planning schemes to prevent natural hazards such as landslides, and preservation of the landscape and nature reserves.
At the same time, mountain resorts continue to attract tourists from all over the world. Almost 10% more overnight stays were booked in 2022 than in 2021 in the Hautes-Alpes, and 18.2 million hotel nights will be sold between December 2022 and March 2023.
In times of economic uncertainty, Alpine properties, especially luxury chalets, are widely regarded as a secure investment option. Investors seek out safe assets that can maintain or appreciate in value, and mountain properties align with this objective. As a result, the demand and prices for properties in mountainous areas experience a significant boost.
The shortage of supply of properties for sale combined with growing demand is creating continuous upward pressure on prices.
In the Northern Alps, the average price/m2 has risen by 8.2% over the last year and by 27% over the last three years. This compares with a 9.3% increase in the Southern Alps between 2022 and 2023, and an average increase of 4.6% in France over the same period.
The particular case of the Alps
The property market in Haute-Savoie stands out as one of the most dynamic in France. This particularly applies to desitinations such as:
- Annecy and Talloires
- La Clusaz
- Le Grand Bornand
- Les Portes du Soleil (Morzine – Les Gets)
In addition to the constant flow of tourists, Savoie and Haute-Savoie are attracting more and more inhabitants every year. According to INSEE, this amounts to more than 12,000 per year.
Average property prices
Here’s the median price per square metre (in euros) of property in major Alpine resorts between March 2015 and 2023:
La Clusaz and Samoëns
Megève, Morzine and Méribel
There are a number of reasons for this dynamism, both in the case of tourists and the local population:
- The French Alps provide an unparalleled blend of breathtaking landscapes, exhilarating mountain sports, and an enviable quality of life. Annecy, for instance, has been voted as France’s top city to reside in for both 2020 and 2021.
- The economic advantages of being in close proximity to Switzerland, where salaries surpass those in France.
- Savoie and Haute-Savoie house the ten most prestigious ski resorts in France, further enhancing the appeal of the region.
- The ongoing efforts to enhance ski areas. This includes inter-resort cable cars, a range of activities during peak and off-peak seasons, and technological advancements like artificial snow.
- Expanding transportation networks, such as the Léman Express, and the upcoming project to extend the motorway connecting A40 and Thonon by 2025. Accessibility plays a pivotal role for prospective homeowners, particularly those seeking a second home or a property for seasonal rentals.
It’s clear that investing in property in the mountains offers a major advantage: the prospect of a significant increase in the value of your investment over time.
2. Opportunities for every budget
The data presented above might create the impression that investing in the mountains, especially in the Alps, requires an exorbitant budget. However, the reality is quite different, as there are captivating opportunities available for investors with various budgets.
Certain resorts, while not extensively developed for tourism, hold significant investment appeal. Prices in these locations are often more accessible compared to larger, well-established, and highly popular resorts.
Rest assured, if you aspire to invest in the Alps, there is no need to compromise your standards or financial plan. You can discover quality properties that align with the expectations and demands of investors, whether you seek traditional chalets, modern apartments, or charming residences.
Considerable investments have been made in modern infrastructure, state-of-the-art lifts, and top-notch facilities to fulfil the expectations of travellers, all while retaining the mountainous and rustic charm that makes these destinations so appealing.
The Grand Massif ski area and some of the smaller villages in the Aravis are good examples of this trend.
The Grand Massif
The development of the Grand Massif area follows a similar trajectory to that of La Clusaz, which has earned high praise in recent years.
Numerous communes in the region have undertaken modernisation projects for their ski lifts, ensuring high-performance and comfortable facilities. These upgrades include the installation of inter-station gondolas, classic chairlifts, and bubble chairlifts across multiple resorts.
Additionally, efforts have been made to expand the ski area by introducing new slopes, enhancing existing routes, and utilising top-quality artificial snow. The inclusion of designated play areas for families and children further enhances the appeal.
Another notable advantage is the proximity of the Grand Massif to renowned international resorts such as Chamonix, Megève, and Courchevel.
The small villages of the Aravis have set up initiatives to promote local skills, such as crafts and regional gastronomy. Numerous events are organised throughout the year to enable visitors to discover the area’s traditions:
- Traditional markets: the weekly market in Thônes takes place every Saturday morning. It is renowned for its lively atmosphere and offers a wide range of local produce such as cheeses, charcuterie, honey and other artisanal products.
- Picturesque festivals, such as the Fête du Reblochon (pictured above): this event celebrates the traditional cheese of the same name. Every August, visitors to La Clusaz can sample local specialities made with Reblochon cheese, watch cheese-making demonstrations and take part in parades.
- Cultural events: in July and August, “Les Pestacles” festival, which focuses on music and street arts, brings the various villages in the Aravis region to life. The shows on offer include open-air concerts, artistic performances, children’s entertainment and demonstrations by local artisans.
3. Investing in the mountains: attractive returns
An additional income
Owners of mountain properties have the option to rent them out when not in use, allowing them to generate substantial additional income throughout the year. The Alps, being a sought-after tourist destination throughout all seasons, attract numerous guests in search of comfortable and conveniently located accommodations.
By investing in mountain tourism, property owners can cater to this consistent demand and enjoy a continuous influx of potential tenants.
A self-financing property?
A mountain property can also be self-financing. By renting out their property when they are not occupying it, buyers can generate rental income that will help to cover costs such as mortgages, maintenance costs, and property taxes.
This considerably reduces the financial burden of the property. And, it is even possible to achieve a positive financial balance, where rental income covers all chalet-related expenses.
Re-selling at a profit
By investing in the mountains, you can potentially gain capital when reselling your property. Additionally, the enduring appeal of the French Alps as a tourist hotspot ensures strong demand for regional properties. Selecting a strategic location and maintaining the property diligently can lead to its value appreciating over time, along with potential tax benefits.
In order to define your holiday rental objectives and maximise your rental income, it is essential to work with experts.
The OVO Network team can advise on best practices in pricing, marketing and booking management. We can also recommend excellent property managers, who can take care of coordinating arrivals and departures, chalet maintenance and guest satisfaction. All these factors make it easier to manage your rental business and maximise your bookings.
4. Regions rich in history and heritage
Traditional villages and resorts
By choosing authentic villages steeped in history, such as Megève, Annecy-le-Vieux or Chamonix, investors can enjoy – and pass on – a unique experience and genuine mountain charm.
Certain regions of the Alps, such as Queyras, Maurienne and Beaufortain, are steeped in fascinating history, some dating back centuries. These places have preserved their traditional architecture, picturesque lanes and historic buildings, creating an authentic and welcoming atmosphere.
By investing in property in these resorts, investors become part of this cultural heritage and help to preserve local history. Many villages organise festivals, traditional events and activities based on their heritage. Investors can capitalise on these initiatives, attracting visitors seeking authentic experiences and contributing to the economic vitality of the region.
An immersive holiday for history buffs
Sometimes a long weekend is all you need to recharge your batteries, whether you’re a homeowner or a holidaymaker in transit. Here are three ideas for themed short breaks:
Exploring medieval treasures: the forgotten châteaux of the Savoie region
Visitors can step back in time to the era of knights and lords. They can explore unusual sites such as the Château de Menthon-Saint-Bernard, renowned for its remarkably well-preserved medieval architecture, or the Château de Thorens, with its breathtaking views of the Alps.
In the footsteps of the first explorers: archaeological sites in the Alps
Travellers will have the opportunity to explore Roman remains in Annecy, as well as the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Saint-Gingolph. Each archaeological dig site will allow visitors to relive the past and retrace the history of the region’s first founders.
Hidden mysteries: the enigmatic sites of Haute-Savoie
The most inquisitive tourists will be able to unravel the mysteries and intriguing legends surrounding some of Haute-Savoie’s historic sites. They’ll discover the Pierre à Martin, an unusual stone engraved with symbols. Or the Plateau des Glières, the scene of acts of resistance during the Second World War.
5. Peace and quiet: recharge your batteries
A relaxing break in the mountains
Investing in the Alps allows you to embrace the serenity and tranquillity of untouched natural surroundings. Amidst the mountains, time seems to decelerate, granting us an opportunity to reconnect with our priorities. The expansive open spaces, pure air, and absence of urban noise collectively create a soothing atmosphere.
Far from the hustle and bustle of the city, the peace and quiet of the mountains allows you to disconnect and rediscover your inner harmony. This could be on a hike in the heart of nature, contemplating the calm waters of a lake or relaxing on a sunny terrace.
Traditional ways to improve your health
The Alps are renowned for their health and longevity benefits. Studies have suggested that exposure to nature, particularly in the mountains, can reduce stress, improve sleep quality and promote respiratory and cardiovascular health.
Pure, high-quality air, combined with the opportunity to take part in a variety of physical activities in the great outdoors, contributes to general well-being and improved physical condition.
Mountainous regions provide serene and tranquil spas that promote health and wellness. These facilities offer rejuvenating treatments, therapeutic thermal baths, and stress-relieving therapies. They create an environment to recharge, revitalize, and restore the body and mind.
Three ideas for a rejuvenating break
The Thermes de La Léchère-les-Bains: This spa in Savoie specialises in spa treatments for rheumatic conditions and the respiratory tract. The region’s thermal waters are renowned for their healing and soothing properties.
Les Thermes de Brides-les-Bains: Les Thermes de Brides-les-Bains: At this centre, they specialise in weight loss spa treatments utilising the region’s renowned thermal waters, which are known for their impact on metabolism and weight management. The Thermes de Brides-les-Bains provide customised programs that incorporate thermal treatments, dietary guidance, and physical activities.
Le Spa des Bains de Val-d’Illiez: This wellness centre in Haute-Savoie offers a wide range of spa treatments and services. There are thermal baths, saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs and many other relaxing facilities. Guests can enjoy different types of massages, facials, body treatments and other personalised treatments to relax and rejuvenate.
6. Scenery and views of the peaks
A privileged setting
The mountain landscapes are incredibly beautiful. Snow-capped peaks, valleys, lakes and waterfalls create a stunning environment. These majestic views inspire and provide a sense of calm, serenity and wonder. There’s nothing quite like this type of environment to improve your general well-being.
Furthermore, the Alpine terrain is a perfect outdoor haven for nature enthusiasts. It provides abundant opportunities to indulge in skiing, hiking, climbing, mountain biking, and paragliding. Or, nture-lovers can explore the rich flora and fauna.
A study of the mountain benefits
The impact of mountain landscapes on healing and health has been the subject of numerous scientific studies, demonstrating the benefits of natural environments and panoramic views on people’s mental and physical health.
“The effects of nature on patient healing” (source : Hartig, T., et al., 2003)
This study revealed that the presence of natural landscapes, such as parks or green spaces, can promote the recovery and well-being of hospitalised patients. Patients with access to views of nature showed reduced pain, improved mood and greater satisfaction with their care environment.
“The effects of the mountain environment on health and well-being” (source : McMahan, E.A., et al., 2018)
This study examined the effects of the mountain environment on the health and well-being of local residents. Results showed that proximity to mountains was associated with better mental health, reduced stress and greater overall life satisfaction. The natural beauty of mountain landscapes was identified as a key factor contributing to these beneficial effects.
7. A versatile environment
Each season is a different experience
The mountains in winter promise snow-covered landscapes, evenings spent by the fire or in a mountain restaurant. Owners and holidaymakers can head to the slopes with their skis or snowboards, making the most of modern ski lifts and top-quality facilities. And after a day of sport, they can relax in a luxury spa.
With the arrival of spring, the mountains are transformed into a lush green paradise. The villages gradually wake up. Hiking enthusiasts will love the trails, while cycling enthusiasts will have fun on the winding roads, which are suitable for all levels.
Summer in the mountains means pleasant weather and sunny days. It’s the perfect time to explore the mountain lakes, fish, swim in the rivers or enjoy water sports such as paddleboarding, kayaking or sailing. Summer festivals and events bring the Alpine villages to life, with a friendly, festive atmosphere.
Autumn brings an explosion of colour to mountain landscapes. The forests take on the warm golden hues that photography enthusiasts will be delighted to capture. It’s a great time to sample local wines and produce which are showcased at autumn festivals.
One place, different lifestyles
More and more people are combining business trips with leisure time, incorporating mountain activities into their stays. Alpine resorts offer a range of activities which combine work and pleasure, whether it’s hiking in the mountains after a day of meetings or taking advantage of the wellness facilities after a hard day’s work.
With the emergence of teleworking and the growing importance of professional flexibility, many workers are looking for places to live where they can combine work and relaxation. Mountain resorts are an inspiring setting for remote workers, with the chance to enjoy revitalising breaks in the fresh air and immerse yourself in peaceful surroundings.
The mountains are an ideal choice for family holidays. Outdoor activities, adventure parks, water parks, child-friendly hiking trails and events designed with families in mind offer unforgettable moments for parents and their children.
Solo travellers can also look forward to a great time in the mountains. Hiking trails, moments of meditation on a mountaintop and the tranquillity of Alpine villages are conducive to contemplation, introspection and self-discovery.
Tourists from aborad
The French Alps are a popular destination for foreign tourists looking for adventure, beautiful scenery and cultural discoveries. Mountain activities, local festivals, Savoyard gastronomy and traditional accommodation attract international travellers looking for an authentic experience.
Investing in the mountains is not just for holidaymakers. The Alpine regions, particularly those close to Switzerland, attract many cross-border workers looking for a balance between working in Switzerland and the quality of life in France.
Workers who want to settle in the region appreciate being close to mountain resorts, where they can enjoy their free time in a natural, unspoilt environment.
Owners of second homes
For these owners, the mountains represent a place of relaxation and retreat, where they can disconnect from everyday life and enjoy moments of tranquillity.
Whether it’s for a weekend getaway, an extended holiday or regular stays throughout the year, it’s a chance to be in a wonderful setting without having to go through a search or booking process.
8. There’s an activity for everyone
You don’t have to be a winter sports enthusiast or expert to enjoy a mountain holiday. There are activities and facilities for all types of holidaymaker.
For all physical conditions
If you’re new to skiing, many resorts offer safe learning areas with qualified instructors who will guide you through the techniques. Adapted ski lifts allow beginners to enjoy the pleasures of skiing.
Children will also find plenty to do, with specially-designed play areas and ski schools for children of all ages. There’s also plenty of entertainment for the young ones. The resorts are proud to offer activities adapted to children, guaranteeing a successful family holiday.
People with reduced mobility are also catered for, and many efforts have been made to make the resorts accessible. Adapted ski lifts, accessible slopes and assistance services are available to enable everyone to enjoy the pleasures of the mountains.
Older guests can also enjoy the mountains, thanks to more gentle activities and adapted facilities. Accessible hiking trails, leisurely strolls through enchanting landscapes and cultural visits are all ways you can enjoy life in the Alps.
For pleasure seekers
You don’t have to be sporty to enjoy yourself in the mountains!
The Alps are renowned for their unique culinary specialities and quality local produce. Alpine restaurants offer tasty cuisine featuring local produce such as cheeses, charcuterie, wild mushrooms and mountain trout.
Home to a number of renowned spas, visitors also have the chance to relax and pamper themselves whulst on holiday.
9. Invest in the mountains for the outdoor activities
Mountain activities offer a multitude of unique and varied experiences for nature and adventure lovers. As well as classic activities such as hiking, climbing, mountain-biking and skiing, there are more unusual options which will push the limits of mountain exploration and adrenaline.
- Paragliding: You’ll get the best views and a wonderful feeling of freedom when you soar among the mountains in a paraglider.
- Via ferrata: Follow safe routes equipped with cables, ladders and footbridges to discover the rock faces and enjoy breathtaking views.
- Hot-air ballooning: Float gently over the mountains for a unique perspective on the peaks and valleys, and some stunning panoramic views.
- High-altitude slacklining: Walking on a strap stretched between two anchor points at altitude requires balance, focus and self-control.
For those who love speed
- Canyoning: Make your way down waterfalls and mountain rivers by abseiling, jumping and swimming for an exciting and refreshing adventure.
- Fatbiking: Pedalling off-road bikes fitted with oversized tyres is a fun way to tackle snow-covered terrain and rugged trails.
- Summer sledging: Slide down specially-prepared summer toboggan runs for a thrilling, fast and safe downhill experience.
For those who prefer the water
- Stand-up paddleboarding: Paddling through river rapids and mountain streams is a unique experience combining balance, strength and nature.
- Aquatic via ferrata: A via ferrata route that follows the course of a river combines climbing and getting wet for a refreshing adventure that awakens all the senses.
- Camping at altitude: Spending a night in the heart of nature and setting up camp at altitude offers a rea mountain experience and incredible views at sunrise and sunset.
- Mountain treasure hunts: Using a GPS or mobile app to take part in treasure hunts or geocaching games in the mountains is a fun, interactive way to explore the countryside.
- Land art in the mountains: Land art consists of creating temporary works of art using natural elements found on site. In the mountains, the landscapes are the ideal backdrop for creating artistic installations using rocks, wood, leaves and other natural materials.
- Landscape photography: Whether you are an amateur or a professional photographer, everyone can express their creativity by capturing the play of light, textures, colours and unique perspectives that the mountains have to offer.
10. Investing in the mountains: ski-in/ski-out resorts
Great access to the slopes and the various ski resorts is one of the major advantages of having a base in the mountains. This allows ski and snowboard enthusiasts to take full advantage of the pleasures of the slopes, while being in the heart of the ski areas.
In the mountains, particularly in the Alps, ski resorts are well served by various transport networks, making it easy to get from one place to another. Whether it’s free shuttle buses, interconnected ski lifts or public transport links, it’s easy to move between the different resorts, offering a wide variety of slopes to explore.
An added advantage is that you can live outside the resorts, yet still have quick and convenient access to the slopes. This means you can enjoy the peace of the surrounding villages, while being just a few minutes from the ski lifts.
In the Haute-Savoie region, for example, the A40 motorway links Geneva to a number of well-known ski resorts, including Megève, Chamonix, Les Gets and Morzine. The A41 motorway provides quick access to resorts such as La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand and Flaine.
A well-designed travel network
Some resorts in the same ski area are linked together. This is the case of Grand Massif and Portes du Soleil. These vast areas offer an extensive network of pistes and lifts, allowing skiers and snowboarders to explore new horizons every day, without being limited to a single resort.
|Samoëns-Flaine||20 min||20 min||4 to 5h|
|Morillon-Les Carroz||15 min||10 min||2 to 3h|
|Les Carroz-Samoëns||10 min||15 min||3 to 4h|
|Flaine-Morillon||15 min||25 min||5 to 6h|
|Morzine-Avoriaz||15 min||15 min||2h|
|Les Gets-Morzine||10 min||10 min||–|
|Châtel-Les Gets||15 min||–||–|
|La Clusaz-Gd. Bornand||10 min||5 min||1h30|
|Manigod-La Clusaz||15 min||10 min||–|
|Saint-Jean-de-Sixt-Grand Bornand||10 min||5 min||–|
Investing in the mountains is an exceptional opportunity, but it’s wise to do plenty of research before making a big commitment. Property prices are increasing in many areas due to inflation and, in some cases, finding available land can be challenging. Due to its lucrative potential, competition for holiday lets is high.
Therefore, to make sure you get the most out of your rental business, it’s important to call on experienced rental professionals who can support you at every stage of your project.
Partnering with the experts at OVO Network could be the game-changer you need. Our unrivalled knowledge and experience in the industry, coupled with a comprehensive range of services, can elevate your venture to new heights.
Whether you need assistance with dynamic pricing strategies, digital marketing, or guest communication, our team of professionals is here to guide you every step of the way. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our advisors for a personalised consultation or try our short-term rental income calculator today.
Also, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and be the first to receive tips on running your holiday rental business, expert opinions and the latest industry news.
Did you like this article? Check out other related topics such as: