Why is Alpine Real Estate So Hot Right Now?

August 2, 2022

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It may be chilly in the mountains right now, but real estate in the Snowy Mountains of NSW and the Bogong High Plains in Victoria is still hot. Despite the reopening of our borders and the recent interest rate rises, supply can’t keep up with demand for alpine real estate and many investors are keeping their ears close to the ground for an off-market bargain. After years of escalating prices, the property market is finally seeing a correction and many are keen to scoop up an exclusive property in one of these prized winter wonderlands.

Supply can't keep up with demand

The reality is, however, they may have to wait a while because finding a bargain in alpine resorts right now is almost as unlikely as a full week without rain in Sydney. These regions are continuing to hold onto the crazy prices triggered by the pandemic and the shutdown of our borders, and though it's anyone’s guess what will happen once we return fully to international travel, with many employees still working remotely, the government's investment in the areas around Jindabyne in NSW, and our increased focus on our physical and mental health, few can deny the appeal of the restorative powers of the mountains. For those who like to get back to nature, Australia’s alpine regions are now competing with its beaches.

Australia’s mountains are now competing with its beaches

Resorts like Jindabyne, Thredbo and Perisher, close to Sydney, and Mount Hotham, Mount Buller and Falls Creek near Melbourne have never struggled to attract winter visitors who have the requisite funds to ski, but these resorts are now drawing in holidaymakers throughout the year, which makes them even more irresistible to investors.

In general, alpine real estate property owners are cashed-up buyers who have more than investment on their minds. They are also keen skiers who, with their families, want to use the properties to take advantage of everything that “the snow” offers for a certain number of weeks in the year, and then rent them out for the remainder.

Why is alpine real estate so popular?
Supply can’t keep up with demand for alpine real estate. The demand for alpine investment properties is rivalling the demand for the beach.

"Year-round income"!

Annmaree Mitchell, who has owned a property in Thredbo for 14 years, says: 

"We invested in Thredbo because I first started skiing as an 11-year-old and wanted my own children to experience that as well. I never thought it would be affordable but in 2008 the prices had been flat for some time and it was not on most people's radar. Also, press coverage about no snow falling in Australia in the near future due to fears about global warming probably put a lot of people off. Thredbo was the first resort to really make a huge effort in snowmaking and summer mountain biking, making it Australia's only year-round alpine resort which has helped prices rise. COVID and travel restrictions have further pushed them up. It has been a good asset as there is a limited snow season (high rates) and now with mountain biking and better lifts/runs it has year-round income. The scarcity of national parks not allowing any further development has also raised prices."

For those with the financial means and passion for the snow, the following are the benefits of investing in alpine real estate:

  1. Strong demand - Because these regions are highly sought-after and stock is limited, demand outweighs supply which drives prices up, particularly in the Snowy Mountains, where there has also been an influx of workers in search of accommodation during the construction of Snowy 2.0. Rental prices are high, with more than a 60% rise in some areas.
  2. Accommodation savings - For those whose lifestyle affords them the luxury of staying in their properties for a large chunk of the year, owning a property in the mountains reduces the cost of local accommodation.
  3. High occupancy rates all year round - In NSW, the Snowy Mountains Special Activation Precinct Master Plan has been finalised and it is hoped this will encourage tourism throughout the year.
  4. Limited space for development – These resorts are small and limited in terms of further development which helps them retain their exclusivity.
  5. Flexibility – Be honest, how many of us wouldn't jump at the opportunity of heading to the mountains at a moment's notice?

Though alpine real estate prices were off the scale over the past few years – and prices have risen between 70 and 120% in some areas - potential investors should consider the long-term impact of climate change on snow conditions and the costs incurred to rent out holiday homes on sites such as Airbnb, agency fees and cleaning costs between rentals, which can eat away at their return. Furthermore, who knows how long the current demand will last in these regions once international travel ramps up again?

Who wouldn't want a piece of the mountains? 

But for those for whom this type of luxury purchase makes barely a dent in their wallets, who wouldn't want some alpine real estate - a piece of the mountains to call home?

There are many reasons our property owners sell off-market, and just as many reasons our buyers also love the services that Listing Loop offers - as this customer confirms. But none more so, perhaps, than BUYER ASSIST, a customised service that makes the process of buying even more seamless. For FREE access to our impressive portfolio of off-market properties in Australia, including our alpine regions, download our app or sign up to our property hub TODAY


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