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UAE nationals among leading investors in European ski resort properties

UAE has been ranked in the top eight  buyers of ski property in Europe, according to a new survey.

Property consultancy Knight Frank, in its Ski Property Report 2016, said the UAE was among a growing number of countries investing in global ski resorts during the last six years.

In 2010, the majority of investors came from France, Switzerland, Russia and UK. This year, however, Frank Knight said that has expanded to include significant number of investors from the UAE, as well as those from Belgium, Holland and Sweden.

Dana Salbak, associate partner and head of Research at Knight Frank MENA said the interest is not just limited to those from the UAE, but across the GCC region.

“Buyer trends have shifted over the last decade in the Middle East, as the region saw large capital outflows on the back of on-going geopolitical tensions,” said Salbak.

“While the residential sector in London has been the greatest beneficiary, wealthy families particularly from the GCC are now looking at diversifying their portfolios and seeking second homes elsewhere across Europe.

Salbak added that it’s a trend that she expects to grow in the coming years, particularly in France where the investment is incentivised with leaseback schemes.

“We expect this trend to strengthen further as improvements to the infrastructure of key resort villages continue to drive their value. This is in addition to favourable investment conditions, particularly in France, with strong rental demand both on and off season and France’s buyer-friendly leaseback scheme,” said Salbak.

The report also found that buyers are hunting for value in resorts such as Chamonix and St Gervais, which comes on the back of continued investments in ski infrastructure and the wider provision of non-ski activities.

Top of the 2016 Alpine Property Index is Gstaad, where prices rose 13% on the back of tight restrictions on foreign buyers.

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