Alpine Neighbourhoods to Watch

Thinking of making a move to the mountains? The events of 2020 have shone a spotlight not just on how we interact with our homes, but also the neighbourhoods where they are located. According to Knight Frank’s Global Buyer Survey, in June 2021, 18% of global buyers said they were more inclined to purchase a ski home as a result of Covid-19, up from 11% six months earlier. Fresh air, views of nature, exercise and time with family and friends are just a few of the many benefits driving demand.

Using our local knowledge, Knight Frank’s Alpine teams have handpicked the ski markets they believe are primed for growth in a post-pandemic world.

Champéry, Swiss Alps, Switzerland

Surrounded by the Dents du Midi, this authentic Alpine village provides skiers with easy access to the Portes du Soleil which, with more than 600km of pistes, is Europe’s largest ski domain.

Why is the area up and coming? Prices are lower than in neighbouring resorts, yet the area is still within easy access of Montreux, Lausanne and Geneva for those seeking a weekend bolthole or a more permanent base in the Alps from which to work from home. Popular with young families seeking a small and friendly resort, Champéry attracts both Swiss and British buyers.

My favourite bits: The excellent sports centre and numerous biking trails, as well as the traditional Swiss cafés.

One thing the locals like to keep secret: At Thermes Parc, a full thermal spa located at nearby Val d’Illiez, you can drift along the hot river surrounded by snow and mountains.

Les Favrands, Chamonix, France

Located to the south-west of Chamonix town centre, Les Favrands has traditionally been a residential part of the Chamonix Valley, but is becoming increasingly popular with investor owners given its proximity to town, convenience and good value pricing.

Why is it primed for growth? More established areas on the north-eastern side of town have reached a price point that excludes many buyers with families who struggle to afford four- to five-bedroom chalets. The town hall is focused on raising the permanent population in the valley and is encouraging quality development in Les Favrands. There are two schools and a protected cycle path leading right into town. There are also dramatic views of the Aiguille du Midi, the Bossons Glacier and Mont Blanc itself.

My favourite bits: The many small trails and pathways that wind through the various villages to the small resort of Les Houches and up into the mountains on both sides of the valley.

What will my money buy me? €1.5 million will get you a good-sized family chalet within reasonable walking distance of town, compared with €2.3 million for something similar on the north-eastern side.

One thing the locals like to keep secret: All of the above! A quarter of the permanent population of the valley live in this area, providing a real sense of community, with many attracted by the town’s broad range of amenities and its social scene.

Aspen, Colorado, United States

We highlight the latest trends influencing Aspen’s prime ski hotspots

Why is investment ramping up? The Aspen and Snowmass resorts are investing heavily in their resorts and mountain infrastructure. The new Snowmass Base Village ($600m) is now open comprised of the Limelight Hotel, 55 residential units and a public events plaza with ice skating rink, new restaurants, bars and a community center. In Aspen, the W Hotel opened this year, which has 88 rooms and 11 branded Sky Residences.

Why is the area up and coming? Wealthy US buyers are increasingly looking to luxury homes as a means of storing capital against a backdrop of heightened stock market volatility and global trade tensions.

Who’s buying? Younger buyers, particularly tech millionaires and young families are increasingly evident in Aspen – with the resort home to the top ranked High School in Colorado. US buyers predominate with many originating from New York, Chicago, Texas, South Florida, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Anything exciting coming to the area? The new Lift 1A, which will be constructed by Aspen Skiing Company, is to be positioned closer to the city centre near Dean Street. The lift, will provide easier access off the mountain to the Downtown core area, potentially influencing values in the area west of Monarch Street and surrounding Wagner Park.