Slippery slope for ski property as prices take a tumble despite record snowfall

Sebastian McCarthy
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In Davos, a ski town also known for hosting the World Economic Forum, house prices fell nine per cent in the last year (Source: Getty)

As Europe’s leading ski centres crank up their lifts ahead of the early-season starting later this month, new figures suggest some resorts on the Swiss alpine slopes are undergoing a property slump.

Despite record levels of snowfall and growing investment in infrastructure, house prices across the Alps dipped 0.5 per cent over the last year, after suffering a blow from new property market regulations and weakened currency values.

In the high Alpine resort town of St Moritz, house prices have plunged more than 11 per cent in the last 12 months.

According to Knight Frank, which released the new figures today, resorts such as St Moritz have been hit by weakened demand, as strict transparency regulations and a robust Swiss Franc have deterred foreign buyers.

On slopes such as Davos and Klotsers, where traditionally experienced skiers flock to every winter, property values have sunk by nine per cent and 10.7 per cent respectively.

Read more: UK house prices grew in September

Yet despite the sharp price drop in a number of high-end skiing cloisters, the well-known Swiss resorts of Villars and Verbier have performed strongly, with prices growing six per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively after investing heavily in new ski lifts, hotels and sport centres.

The overall drop in prices has also improved modestly from last year, when values dived 1.8 per cent, with demand being boosted by a record level of snowfall.

In Coucheval, which is part of the largest linked ski area in the world, total snowfall hit 504cm, compared with 10cm in 2010.

Estate agents will also be hoping to see a growing rise in the number of Chinese visitors, who are increasing ditching the slopes of Japan for the European mountain amid the country’s growing number of middle-classes and cheaper travel.