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“I’m assuming that because of the current economic situation it’s a buyers market in the Alps.” It’s a common sentiment at the moment. Some of our prospective buyers from the UK are expecting discounted prices which isn’t the case and they are leaving disappointed. I guess it’s a combination of a difficult market in the UK and the UK press giving the impression that Europe is “on its knees”. Although the situation in Spain and Greece might seem closer to home many of the mainland Europeans feel pretty secure about their situation at the moment, The Alpine market is very stable and has been for the last couple of years, currently the majority of the buyers are coming from France and Switzerland. This is a big change from the pre-2008 situation where the Alpine Property market was being driven by the British. Many of the current buyers are looking for something to do with their savings and don’t see much milage in the stock market or with the banks. This is leaving the sellers feeling bullish and they are getting close to asking price. This week I asked some of our agents for comments on the subject. These quotes are from three of them, Chatel, Les Gets and St Gervais.
- “Those from the UK want a “good deal in a buyers market”, but they are talking about 20% off the asking price and it just won’t happen.”
- “There is still flexibility in prices, but I can’t think of any seller that I have that would take a silly price. Offers have to be within 10% of asking price to be taken seriously.”
- “I have sold 2 big and expensive chalets in Chatel this year before they even got onto the website.”
- “2 and 3 bedroom apartments in 4 Elements (Chatel) have sold incredibly fast, and now the developers are bringing forward the start date.”
- “The MGM apartments sold so well they put the prices up midway through the project.”
- “Some difficult properties (that have been with all the agencies for years through the recession) have now been sold.”
- “My last 3 sales in St Gervais have been asking, price or very close. One is signing in 2 weeks at asking price, the others are going thru at very close to asking price.
Obviously these comments are a reaction to my question so they are particularly bullish, and they are only anecdotal in a broad market. There are weaker areas, which generally sit between the very expensive and the more moderately priced. As an example, none of the properties referred to above are valued between 600,000 and 800,000€. One of the latest (and most picturesque) properties we have for sale is Les Balcons de la Tournette. Pictured below. Situated in striking distance of both Lake Annecy and the skiing at La Clusaz and Le Grand-Bornand.