When considering where to buy, the Alps continues to reign supreme for British buyers.
Val d’Isère and Chamonix in France, and Zermatt in Switzerland make up the top three of the most desired locations for ski chalet purchase, according to a survey carried out on behalf of the organisers of The Luxury Ski Show.
However, many are also looking further afield for snow sports, with a quarter looking to buy in Aspen in the US and 13 per cent considering Japan’s Niseko.
But while the super-wealthy may keep their ski home for exclusive use, Knight Frank’s market analysis has found that most Brits plan on generating an income from this type of assets, with 90 per cent of owners opting to rent it out, up from 65 per cent in 2005.
Investing in a property in a winter sports resort has its own considerations. Long-term capital appreciation is unlikely to be achieved, compared with a city or coastal property, but other factors, such as a reliable rental income, ease of access and the availability of an on-site management set-up are just as important.
Void periods, particularly in resorts that have few summer visitors, are a consideration too, so a good investment depends on much more than choosing a property. The advice is to target resorts hosting year-round events including sporting, food, music or culture activities which will be a source of rental demand out of season.
Proximity to an airport is key and will influence the season length – higher altitude resorts will have longer ski seasons, but lower altitudes may have more amenities and cater better for summer tourism. Accessible locations may do well for locals looking for weekend rentals too. Consider if the resort has an international profile and is not overly reliant on one nationality or economy.
Investors also need to research maintenance and letting costs and any local regulations. For instance, France offers a VAT rebate on new homes.
While budget options are out there – a one-bed flat in a Bulgarian ski resort can be snapped up for less than £30,000 – here we have rounded up a selection of the most luxurious properties available.