As always, our aim here at Source Magazine is to make sure holiday makers, locals and ex-pats have all the information they need to make the most of their time in Morzine, Les Gets and Avoriaz. Each week we’ll introduce you to a new individual or local that can also help!
Allow us to introduce Steve Norris, the owner of Alpine Property.
“Alpine Property was formed in 1999 to address the need for an estate agency serving international property buyers in the Alps. It was centered around the principle that the complex and often daunting process of buying property abroad is best served by professional, local advice in your own language.”
“In its infancy, Alpine Property concentrated on properties in the Morzine and Les Gets area, finding foreign clients for the local estate agents in the area. It soon became clear that there was a pressing need for a full-service estate agency specifically catering for foreign buyers – and so it was that Alpine Property expanded its service to become a one-stop-shop, offering its own properties and accompanying clients along the entire property-buying process.”
“In order to provide this service in France, estate agents must hold a ‘Carte Professionelle’ to show that they are properly qualified, licensed and insured. Renewed annually, the ‘Carte Professionelle’ requires agents to demonstrate their professional ability, be fluent in French and to have taken out professional indemnity insurance. These rigorous demands and a lengthy bureaucratic process mean that very often foreign estate agents operating in France do not have this all-important card, and therefore ‘pass you on’ to local estate agents to complete the formalities of the sale once you have verbally agreed to buy. This often leads to confusion and errors in this important final stage.”
“With this expansion in both scale and service, Alpine Property began to offer properties across the whole of the Haute Savoie region and invested heavily in its unique and innovative website to provide the most comprehensive buying and selling service available in the French Alps.”
“We have a highly experienced team working across the Morzine and Les Gets area. I’m the MD and Gareth deals with clients when they first contact us. Marie-Anne Denicolo and Lee Massey are our agents for Morzine, while Claudia Buttet and Alisa Bishop are our agents in Les Gets and St Jean d’Aulps.”
The local property market…
” The local market in Morzine and Les Gets is very strong at the moment. Another interesting hotspot at the moment is Chatel. There’s a shortage of good properties and lots of new buyers, which makes it a sellers market with prices on the rise. The proportion of British buyers (as opposed to Dutch, French, Swiss) is at an all time high, with around 70% of buyers so far this year coming from the UK. Normally it’s around 50% for us in this area.”
“Buyers are particularly keen on new build or top quality re-sales with modern kitchens and bathrooms. The top end of the market is the strongest.”
The exchange rate…
“The exchange rate is obviously driving demand from UK buyers, and we anticipate that this factor will continue to drive demand for some time to come. I think changes in UK pension legislation are also behind some of the demand and I can’t see either of these factors changing in the near term.
Once the impact of these factors does diminish, I think buyers will continue to seek to invest here.”
“Looking across the Haute Savoie as a whole, it’s clear that Morzine and the surrounding area has established itself as a top destination amongst foreign buyers looking for a second home in the French Alps. This will remain the case for years to come. This is down to some brave local investment in expensive tourist friendly infrasturcture, such as the new Prodain lift and the indoor pool in Morzine. However smaller projects such as the new skatepark and new bus services also have an impact. Our buyers tells us that this area comes out of inter resort comparisons very well and buyers respond to that.”
When’s best to look?
“If you are looking to buy a property it’s best to visit out of season, so in the spring or autumn. You already know how great the resort is in season and you will find the process easier out of season. Agents are more available and properties are generally unoccupied and easier to visit.”
You’ll find a large selection of properties at www.alpine-property.com