St Moritz records strongest property price growth in 2021 with increases of 17%

Knight Frank’s annual Ski Property Report reveals that Swiss resort, St Moritz recorded strongest price growth in 2021 with property prices increasing by 17% according to the firm’s Ski Property Index..

A shortage of stock and strong demand has had an inevitable impact on pricing. In June 2020, 90 ski homes were available to buy in the resort, a year later there were close to 20.

Swiss resorts lead the Ski Property Index for the first time in three years, as well as stock shortages and strong domestic demand; the pandemic also shone a spotlight on the advantage of Swiss Independence. The country’s ability to set its own travel rules, its decision to reopen its ski resorts in December 2020 (the only European country to do so), and its overall response to the pandemic has bolstered its appeal.

Verbier tells a similar story to St Moritz, prices here have risen by 10.2% and properties have at times, sold for 12% above asking price, the resort also achieved a record sale price of CHF 30,000 per sq m for a resale apartment.

Kate Everett-Allen, head of international residential research at Knight Frank said: “This year has been an anomaly. We don’t expect this frenetic pace in Swiss resorts to continue. Supply constraints will ease as the Covid-19 landscape starts to normalise.”

Alex Koch de Gooreynd, head of Swiss sales for Knight Frank comments: “Would-be sellers have become landlords and parents that are thinking of selling have put their plans on ice as their children or extended family members have wanted to enjoy the Alps in the last 12 months. Whilst this affection for the mountains shows no sign of cooling, we are hopeful that we will start to see stock levels recover albeit slowly.”

The French Alps also look set for a busy winter. Chamonix (6.1%) and Megeve (4.7%) proved to be France’s frontrunners, due primarily to their ease of access from cities such as Milan, Turin and Geneva and due to their relative value.

Roddy Aris, Knight Frank’s head of sales in the French Alps said: “Mid-altitude resorts offering a viable base all year-round with a mix of activities are appealing to a broader range of buyers. France’s most expensive resort, Courchevel 1850, also had a busier year than normal. It’s arguably ‘the’ safe haven market in the French Alps, buyers know they’re getting a foothold in one of the most desirable ski resorts in the world, plus it delivers on service and amenities, the challenge is finding stock.”

Knight Frank Ski Property Index Results 2021

Based on a four-bedroom chalet in a prime central location

Annual % change Q2 2021

ResortPrice change (%)
St Moritz16.5%
Courchevel Village1.7%
Courchevel Moriond1.7%
St Martin-de-Belleville1.5%
Meribel Village0.8%
Crans Montana0.1%

The report also shines a light on Colorado. Following a 51% surge in transactions in 2020, sales slowed in the Aspen market in 2021, not due to a lack of demand but due to a shortage of stock, which continued to have an inflationary effect on prices. According to Miller Samuel, Aspen saw 19 new listings in August 2021 (condos and single family homes), down from 61 a year earlier. This fall in inventory has seen sales dip, 25 contracts were signed in August 2021, down from 54 in August 2020.

Riley Warwick at Douglas Elliman, Knight Frank’s residential partners in the US points to one particular sale to show the extent to which Aspen has become a seller’s market saying: “One property I’m familiar with sold for US$6.65m in 2019 and was resold in 2020 for US$9.3m despite no significant refurbishment, almost a 40% increase.”

Further findings from the report reveal:

  • The proportion of global buyers that are more likely to buy a ski home as a result of Covid-19 increased from 11% in 2020 to 18% in 2021
  • Courchevel commands the highest rental rate – a daily average of €516 followed by Verbier at €463
  • Top five resorts (see report for top 10) for remote workers include Chamonix, Megeve, Villars-sur-Ollon, Verbier and St Moritz. Remote workers are looking for fast-speed broadband, a good ski offer, a broad range of amenities, proximity to the airport and links to larger ski domains
  • Globally, skier numbers are largely static, but Asia may hold the key to future demand as China gears up for the Winter Olympics
  • As the world looks towards Cop 26, ski home purchasers are also thinking carefully about what steps they can take to reduce their carbon footprint. From Knight Frank’s Global Buyer Survey, of the respondents who said they were more likely to buy a ski home, 90% said the energy efficiency of a home would be ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to them

To read the report in detail, click here:

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