Property prices for the ultra-rich appear to have been hitting new highs as people’s home-type desires change when faced with the reality of repeated lockdowns. Prices are also reported to be rising for all other ski resort property in most locations around the world, although there’s a marked trended noted away from the previously popular slopeside apartment to more outlying properties with more private outdoor space.
A seven-bedroom, nine bathroom, house built just last year at the prime location of 1001 Ute Avenue in Aspen, Colorado has gone on the market for $75 million via Christie’s International Real Estate.
Located within a short walk of downtown Aspen the new owner will also discover an indoor pool and hot tub, cinema room, bowling alley, full spa and five-car garage in their new pad.
(image credit Christies)
The high price-tag property reflects a worldwide trend with international property markets deeply affected by the global pandemic with properties in many of the most sought-after mountain resorts, outperforming sales from previous years according to members of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® group.
“When the lockdown came in March 2020, we were initially unable to make forecasts about how the market might change. It is now clear that many of the existing trends have accelerated: tangible assets have become even more attractive, home-office solutions have become possible virtually overnight and have increased the demands on the home, the home in the countryside has become even more desirable, and those who can, will prefer to buy a vacation property in the mountains today rather than tomorrow,” said Sascha Ginesta, head of brokerage for Ginesta Immobilien in Küsnacht, Switzerland, whose service areas include the mountain recreation areas of Davos and St. Moritz.
Antonin Allard, CEO and founder of ANTONIN real estate brokerage in Megève in the French Alps, also reports a dramatic rise in activity since the beginning of the year. “We have seen a significant increase in requests for secondary homes as buyers look to escape the crowded cities of Paris and Geneva,” says Allard. “Many visitors who came to enjoy mountain air away from the busy cities during the pandemic are now considering investing in a property here. Some clients have decided to switch their primary residence to Megève while keeping a pied-à-terre in the city.”
Patrick Kelly, president of The Whistler Real Estate Company in Canada, reported the highest levels of sales activity since 2016, with average sales prices increasing by 20 percent since the start of the year.
Joffray Vallat, CEO of VALLAT in the French Alps, has been “positively surprised” by the surge in demand post-lockdown, particularly for the most established resorts such as Courchevel, Megève, Méribel, Tignes and Val d’Isère.
However, not all worldwide ski locations have experienced a price lift. According to Diego Loy of Alto Andes Real Estate in Chile’s Valle Nevado, “COVID-19 caused the demand curve to shift, reducing sales volumes across the Andes. The pandemic has impacted income and job security, so many purchasing decisions have been postponed until the situation stabilizes.”
Interestingly, the types of properties buyers look for in ski locations has also evolved. Allard cites a greater emphasis on size and space rather than location.
“It used to be all about access to the ski slopes and the village,” he says. “Now, having an apartment with a terrace or a garden is key for buyers. The market for the largest chalets with the best amenities has been particularly buoyant. Families plan to spend more time in the mountains and seek refuge and comfort.”
As a result prices for properties on the edger of ski resorts, with more outdoor space and some privacy, has grown faster than those for smaller slopeside apartments with no garden which used to be the top choice.
Agents say people are also asking far more questions about things like the quality of schools, healthcare and availability of everyday shopping needs as they looks to make the resort their permanent year-round residence.
“There has been a global change in buyer attitudes,” concludes Allard. “Mountain resorts are now seen as year-round locations, not just vacation properties. We expect demand to stay strong in 2021 as investors realize the lifestyle benefits of a residence with an abundance of privacy, space and fresh mountain air.”