Chamonix Valley Newsletter
Chamonix Valley Property Where to Buy your Ski Chalet or Apartment in Chamonix-Mont Blanc - Market Update
The Chamonix Valley is home to the incredible Mont Blanc massif topping out at 4,810m and is a magical place to visit any time of year. This is what makes Chamonix stand out from most other ski resorts as it truly is a 4 season destination with the summer months attracting tourists from around the world making the resort busier in summer than in winter!
With the last few winters being particularly poor when it comes to the snow conditions, the summer months have become very important for the rental market where the season runs from May to October. Investing in a property that can offer a good rental yield is becoming more important to investors as even if they don't initially want to rent, they know that if they had to, they could.
Apart from the natural beauty, being a year round resort is one of the main reasons why Chamonix is deemed one of the best alpine resorts when it comes to buying a property – whether to live, use as a holiday home or an investment property.
Another reason for Chamonix’s popularity is its proximity to Geneva and the neighbouring resorts across the Swiss and Italian borders. Just 30 minutes drive from Chamonix via the Mont Blanc tunnel, brings you to the chic and cosmopolitan ski resort of Courmayeur. If you head out of Chamonix, past Argentiere and over the Swiss border, you will arrive in the Canton of Valais, home to famous ski resorts such as Verbier and Zermatt.
However, the Chamonix Valley is not just about Chamonix as there are several resorts and villages with their own ski areas that together, provide every type of terrain possible from gentle beginner slopes to extreme off-piste.
So which parts of the Chamonix Valley are right for you?
The Chamonix Valley needs no introductions. Famous for it's off-piste skiing, mountaineering and the 20km Vallée Blanche starting at 3,842m from the Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix is very popular throughout the year enjoying a busy summer and ski season.
New chalets and apartments are springing up all the time to accommodate the increasing demand which is partly fuelled by being so close to Geneva airport and easy motorway access.
Sitting near the top of the valley just before Le Tour, Argentiere is where the expert skiers and boarders head to as this is where you will find the Grand Montets. From the top at 3,300m, you can experience high altitude skiing down the side of the Argentiere glacier. This is also the starting point for the 5-6 day Haute Route trail that takes you across to Verbier.
Argentiere is certainly quieter than Chamonix but has the advantage that many properties around the lower slopes near the Grand Montets cable car are ski-in, ski-out which is the holy grail when buying a ski chalet.
The pretty and quieter town of Les Houches sits at 1,008m just inside the valley and just 6kms away from Chamonix. The town has a full spectrum of shops, bars and restaurants and property prices are significantly lower than central Chamonix.
This pretty village is just a little further up the valley past Argentiere and sits at 1,464m. The ski area is called La Vormaine giving magnificent views of the Le Tour glacier and Mont Blanc. For beginners, La Vormaine offers the largest nursery slopes in the Chamonix Valley and intermediates will love the long cruising blues and reds and the trails from the top of La Balme at 2,186m on the Swiss border, all the way down to Vallorcine.
This small village is not strictly in the Chamonix Valley as it is reached via the Col des Montets pass a little further up the valley past Le Tour. From Chamonix, it takes around 25 minutes to drive there. It shares the same ski area as Le Tour and has some fantastic forest trails from the top of the mountain. During the summer, some must do activities include the short and easy hike to the spectacular Bérard waterfall accessed from Le Buet and a trip up to the Emosson dam accessed from Switzerland just past Vallorcine.
A charming village that sits just before the entrance to the Chamonix Valley on the left hand side. Its a popular spot for cross-country skiing during the winter and only a few minutes to Les Houches for downhill. During the summer, one of the more popular things to see is the Gorge de la Diosaz with its 5 waterfalls.
Chamonix Valley Property Market Update
Compared to a few years ago, the market so far in 2017 has performed better than expected with an influx of American and Asian buyers partly driven by the strength of their currency. UK buyers at the top end of the market have been a little shy with the weakness of sterling but off-setting that is the fact that French mortgage rates are at record lows.
Many UK investors are hanging back until the uncertainty of Brexit has cleared which is causing some concern for property developers trying to shift stock or pre-sell off plan. Howev in the last two months, noted interest have started to pick up with the number of sales being completed increasing.
So while prices have been creeping up in Chamonix, Les Houches and the satelite villages of les Bossons and Taconnaz have remained fairly static but they do offer better value for money.
One factor that differentiates the Chamonix property market is the strict building controls in force which keeps land prices at a premium. Only land that is deemed safe from the dangers of avalanches and floods has the potential for development and the amount of this "safe" land is getting more scarce as the years go by.
Property prices vary significantly driven by size, whether its old, renovated or new build, facilities, location, mountain views and parking but to give some indication, typical average prices per square meter are:
Featured Chamonix Valley Property for Sale
Properties in Chamonix range from luxury chalets, to high quality apartments in residences, many with indoor swimming pools, spa facilities and secure underground parking. A good example of this is Le Crystal de Jade next door to the Aiguille du Midi cable car built by the iconic developer MGM and their latest development in Les Houches - Chalet Eléna.
Prices in the centre of Chamonix are the highest in the valley as you would expect given all the facilities are on your doorstep and you can practically walk everywhere. If location and convenience is not high on the agenda and you are looking for space and tranquility, then you can get far more for your money in terms of the size and type of property in villages such as Servoz or Vallorcine.