From Kitzbühel to Zell am See: vacation homes in ski regions continue to enjoy great popularity. Instead of position, position, position, however, height, height, height is now the overriding principle. This is also due to climate change and plays into the hands of ski regions such as Pitztal, Sölden, Zell/See, Stubaital, Gurgl and Obergurgl and Ischgl.
On the one hand, people are looking for residential properties that also allow them to work from home thanks to a good infrastructure, while on the other, tiny houses are proving to be a continuing trend – especially for city dwellers with a strong passion for skiing. Easily accessible ski resorts such as Mariazell, Puchberg am Schneeberg, Hochkar, Semmering, Hochficht and the Phyrn Priel and Ramsau regions are leading the way here.
Top 5 ski regions in Austria
The PREMIUM LIVING real estate platform has compiled statistics on the most popular ski regions compared to the previous year and reveals what a vacation home in the winter paradises costs and what distinguishes the top 5 ski regions. First things first: The Kaprun-Zell/See ski region is the newcomer of the year. Real estate professional Kevin Ferstl(www.ferstl-immo.com) explains why this is the case in an interview.
1st place: Kitzbühel
Both in terms of demand and prices (-6.4%), the city on the Hahnenkamm recorded a slight decline over the year. Nevertheless, Kitzbühel remains clearly at the top of the podium in the exclusive segment. Depending on the location, floor and fittings, the average apartment price here is EUR 18,300 per square meter, with the entry-level price at around EUR 11,000. If you want the best of the best, i.e. an apartment with a magnificent view of the Hahnenkamm, you will have to dig a little deeper into your pockets (approx. EUR 23,000 per square meter). Single-family homes are available from EUR 14,000/m2, while an Alpine chic chalet costs around EUR 22,000/m2.
2nd place: Zürs and Lech am Arlberg
The shortage of supply and a snow record with rarity value are causing property prices to rise year on year (+7.3% year on year). Today, an apartment in Lech costs between EUR 13,000 and EUR 15,000/m2, depending on location, floor and furnishings, while a chic chalet costs around EUR 18,000/m2.
3rd place: Leogang-Saalbach/Hinterglemm-Fieberbrunn
After fifth place last year, this ski resort is on the podium this year – thanks to a double-digit increase in demand. And it’s no wonder: with 270 kilometers of pistes, 70 cable cars and lifts as well as a versatile sustainability concept and benchmark hotels, there has been increased investment in a year-round leisure program that is now beginning to bear fruit. What sets this ski region apart is the increased interest from international buyers, who primarily come from Germany and the Netherlands.
4th place: Ennstal, Schladming, Ramsau am Dachstein
This winter season, the Rittisberg has become a combined lift – so the gondola and chairlifts are now available for fantastic fun on the slopes. The combination of skiing and cross-country skiing, coupled with a short journey for city dwellers from Vienna, Graz, Salzburg or even Bratislava, makes the region very popular for skiers. Added to this is the fact that Schladming is also a designated climatic health resort. From the traditional farmhouse to the modern cubus with lots of glass, every taste is catered for here, but the range is manageable. Following the construction boom at the beginning of 2020, the market is now extremely thin, with the few available apartments coming in at EUR 8,000-11,000/m2 and exclusive detached houses at EUR 10,500-13,000/m2. According to the analysis, the strongest group of buyers comes from Graz and Vienna, but demand from Hungary and Slovakia is also on the rise.
5th place: Pinzgau, Zell/See, Kaprun
Whether skiing, snowboarding, ski touring or snowshoeing – the Pinzgau offers the full program for alpine fans. At 3,000 meters above sea level, the Kitzsteinhorn is very snow-sure and attracts guests from 60 nations all year round, especially from the D-A-CH region and the United Arab Emirates. In terms of real estate, the combination of tradition and modernity is also very popular here, and the supply market is diverse due to the numerous investments made in recent years. While prices have remained the same compared to 2022 (apartments 6,000-10,000 EUR/m2, detached houses around 8,500 EUR/m2, chalets around 12,000 EUR/m2), demand has risen rapidly. With an increase of 12%, this ski resort is the climber in this ranking. Real estate expert Kevin Ferstl reveals the background in an interview:
How do you explain the increasing popularity of the region?
The increasing popularity of the region can be explained by effective marketing, the merger of the lifts, the Kaprun Glacier, Lake Zell and the tourist-friendly orientation. The variety of offers for non-skiers and the wide range of summer, winter and water sports options also contribute to this.
Where do the interested parties/buyers come from and what distinguishes them?
Interested parties and buyers for tourist properties and second homes are mainly from Germany, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. This is where we have the largest share of buyers and we are pleased to be able to help many Austrian customers to own their own home.
Is it easier to buy property in this ski region than in Kitzbühel, for example?
In principle, there are also laws in Salzburg Land that clearly define the use of a property. We check this in advance for each property and thus position the properties in relation to the target group. In the Zell am See-Kaprun region you get more for your money compared to Kitzbühel. We have a high quality standard and significantly lower prices per square meter. We also offer significantly more for the buyer/guest with our ski areas and their kilometers of slopes.
What is the supply/demand ratio and what are the prices?
Demand for second homes and tourist properties is high, but supply is still limited. Prices for new builds range from € 7,000 – € 12,000 per m2, depending on the location and possible uses.
What is the main search for in the region?
As we have a large portfolio, we can offer all types of real estate here. Our focus is on high-quality real estate in the premium segment in prime locations. Buy-to-let properties are also in high demand in our region. These are apartments where the focus is on the investment factor or return. We also support customers in the region in their search for their own home.
The complete offer, i.e. the infrastructure, is becoming increasingly important for buyers. How has this region developed recently?
Our region provides a high quality of infrastructure. Due to the twelve-month season and its reputation as a tourist destination, great attention is paid to the infrastructure concept. The aim here is to offer holidaymakers a full service and not to restrict local residents in their daily lives.
Lead photo: Michael Werlberger