Alpine Properties Back in Fashion as Market Rebounds
According to a report published by Savills, transaction volumes of alpine property purchases have increased significantly throughout 2013 and into 2014 with Austria enjoying the most growth.
Overall Switzerland remains the most expensive resort area and thereby the most exclusive whereas Austria, with its’ stable housing market and prices at half the levels of Swiss property has attracted the attention of investors looking for bargains in the Alpine property market.
Another contributing factor to the unprecedented rise in Austrian property sales in 2013 were the changes to provincial law facilitating purchases from non-EU buyers which has brought about a significant interest from Russian investors, now able to buy in the country through an EU-registered company.
Savills reports that the Austrian Alpine market saw transaction levels double in the first half of 2013 compared to the same period the previous year. This rise in demand has encouraged price growth with prices climbing to 10% more than in 2012.
Positive economic factors continue to underpin the Austrian property market with GDP growth expected to reach 2% and with the lowest unemployment rate in the EU at 4.8%. Austria's economic stability and growth prospects provide excellent incentive to buyers and investor confidence has noticeably improved.
The Savills report goes on to say that 72% of recent buyers have purchased for both lifestyle and investment reasons, seeking to let their property when not using it themselves. This is in line with the government's commitment to continue supporting the tourism industry as it helps to “prevent ghost towns in second home areas”.
Roughly one fifth of Austrian Alpine homebuyers are expatriates, living and working abroad. While the UK remains the chief source of demand, buyers from other northern European countries such as the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland and neighbouring Czech Republic are active although it is the Russians who spend twice the amount on Austrian ski property.
Given the attractive pricing of Alpine property in Austria relative to France and Switzerland plus taking the growth prospects of the economy into account, it is not hard to see why buyers are flocking to the region in their droves.