What is the right altitude to buy at?

Does it make sense to buy at high-altitude resorts to anticipate the effects of climate change on snow cover?

According to Olivier Builly, one of the founders of Cimalpes, it could be just as judicious to invest in the mid-mountain area if the investment has been properly thought through.

Is altitude the most important criterion for buyers, particularly in the context of climate change?

Altitude is an important but not decisive criteria. Sales are currently thriving at resorts whose property market is in line with demand, that is to say properties with character, large volumes and a minimum of two, three or four bedrooms and more. Val d’Isère, Méribel and Courchevel, which combine altitude and renovation works on properties, attract a lot of attention, but the same does not always go for resorts at equivalent altitude whose real estate portfolio is not of the same standard. Conversely, some resort-villages at a lower altitude are popular among investors and are set to remain so thanks to their authentic charm and character, regardless of climate change issues.

Which resorts-villages have retained their attractiveness?

Megève (1,100m), Courchevel Le Praz (1,300m) and Saint-Martin-de-Belleville (1,400m) are particularly in demand with both a French and international clientele. The reason: timeless charm and a recognised art de vivre. Indeed, although some high-altitude resorts find it difficult to keep up the vibrant atmosphere when winter draws to a close, Courchevel Le Praz, Megeve and Saint-Martin-de-Belleville are animated year-round: not only in the summer, but also in spring and autumn. Although a key factor, skiing is not the only draw and snow conditions are becoming less important with the advances in artificial snow as well as grooming techniques and inter-season slope renovation. Concerns should be tempered as it has always been possible to ski at these destinations as of December.

How about buyer behaviour at resorts that span several altitudes?

Strategies vary, which confirms that investors are not bent on high-altitudes. At destinations such as Méribel and Courchevel, respectively spread across five and six villages at different altitudes (from 1,100m to 1,850m), some investors opt for the lower altitude villages that offer properties, facilities and prices in line with their search criteria (typology, prices, slope access, etc.). All the more so given that connections between the different altitudes have been optimised in addition to the rapid slope access.


See properties for sale in Courchevel, Méribel, Megève, Val d’IsèreSt-Martin-de-Belleville

By Cimalpes, leading agent for sales of high-end chalets and apartments in the Alps welcomes you to Courchevel, Méribel, Megève, Val d’Isère and St-Martin de Belleville.

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Photo «Les 3 Vallées – David ANDRE»