After disrupting the ski season and property purchases in early 2020, how has the market fared as we go into another uncertain season?
Local market conditions are helping resorts in the Alps to weather further effects of coronavirus better than other second-home destinations. Being in a mountain resort with stunning natural scenery has an attraction to get away from the pandemic. Some buyers have also realised the benefits of the year round options of mountain resorts, with walking, cycling and golf options in the Summer months.
The main reasons given by recent buyers are:
Skiing and winter sports are the main attraction of most mountain resorts, though many have just as much to offer outside of the winter months. These include mountain-biking, climbing, rafting, canyoning and trekking. For the less energetic, there are golf courses, aqua parks, indoor sports facilities, swimming pools and health centres.
Covid-19 has done a lot to raise awareness of the dual seasonality of the Alps, in particular in the Haute Savoie region, which reported 2020 as being its busiest summer ever. Resorts there recorded occupancy levels of 80% during July and August this year, compared with a more typical level of 40%.
The pandemic has created a shift towards people wanting to be somewhere with fresh air, uncrowded natural space and easy access to an active lifestyle. Very few environments offer all this to the same extent as the Alps. The unpolluted air there is beneficial to everyone, but it’s especially good for helping to ease respiratory problems, including asthma, as well as reduce the effects of allergies. Being at altitude has health benefits for the heart, too, helping to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Meanwhile, keeping active and doing exercise comes with the territory in the Alps, whether it’s doing winter sports or one of the many outdoor activities suited to the warmer months.