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Buying & owning Austrian property FAQ

ZONING AND OWNERSHIP

What is a “tourist residence” and what restrictions can an owner expect?

When purchasing a property constructed on land zoned for touristic use you are obliged to rent the property within the framework of a tourism enterprise.  The enterprise is managed by an appointed Rental Management Company.

Why do the local authorities zone properties in this way?

The local government invests in infrastructure in the resort such as ski lifts and development of the ski area, which is financed by usage.  Therefore, it is important that owners do not leave their properties empty when not using it.

Does this mean I can’t use my own property?

No. For purposes of attaining optimum capacity and usage you are permitted to use your apartment within the framework of a tourism enterprise.

How do I rent my property to tourists?

We appoint professionals to provide rental and facility management services relating to the running and tourist operation of the property.  They maintain a booking and reservation system and accept bookings throughout the year.

Am I investing in a hotel?

No.  You will be officially recorded in the Land & Property Register as the owner of the freehold of your apartment.  You are not purchasing shares in a hotel. Furthermore, you will own a share of the land and the common areas in the property. This includes the wellness facility, technical rooms, ski and boot room, etc.

PURCHASE PROCESS – RESERVATIONS, PAYMENTS, COSTS AND HANDOVER.

I am keen on a particular apartment but worried another buyer could reserve it before I’ve had chance to go through all my queries.  What should I do?

To allow a prospective buyer time to go through all of the important questions that come up, we can reserve a unit for a period of one week with no obligation.

I’ve decided to move forward – how do I proceed?

The first stage is to sign a Purchase Offer (Kaufanbot) which is sent to you by email for signature.  A 1% deposit of the net purchase price is due upon signing as an ‘Earnest Money Payment’ and this may be refunded if the construction has not started according to the due date in the Agreement, or other special requirements are not met.

From whom am I purchasing the apartment?  Kristall Spaces?

No. Your Sale & Purchase agreement is with the development company which owns the land.  The Developer appoints VenturePlus AG and Kristall Spaces AG as experienced development consultants to assist with the delivery of the project.

Can I buy the property through a company in Austria?

Yes, many purchasers use a so-called Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). The only requirement is that the SPV acquiring the property has to have a registered office inside the EU. Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary for the shareholder or ultimate beneficiary to be a European citizen.

What if I want to sell?

There are no restrictions on resale; you may sell your property at any time.

What happens if the Developer selling the apartments has financial problems part way through the development?

Buying property off-plan in Austria is extremely secure.  New-build chalets and apartments are paid for in stages and all payments are made to a lawyer and held in a Trustee Escrow account.  Stage payments are not released to the developer before an independent, court-appointed surveyor has inspected each construction stage and signed off the building progress for the Trustee.  Construction begins only after the financing bank has released funds for the development and the development is fully funded to completion.  Furthermore, the development is ‘ring-fenced’ and completely independent of any other commercial activities.

What is the schedule for the stage payments?

  • 15% at start of building works (including the ‘Earnest Payment’ of 1%) due within 14 days of both parties having signed the Sale and Purchase agreement
  • 35% on completion of the building shell and roof
  • 20% on completion of plumbing and electrical installations
  • 12% on completion of the facade & windows
  • 12% on completion of the property
  • 4% on hand over of keys
  • 2% after the developer provides a bank guarantee to the Trustee to cover any unforeseen defects.

Who drafts the contracts and handles the legal aspects of the purchase – what are the legal fees?

In Austria, a Trustee lawyer or Notary acts on behalf of both the purchaser and the vendor. Occasionally, the purchaser appoints his or her own solicitor for a second opinion – this is not necessary but may provide peace of mind. In this case, the purchaser’s solicitor will liaise directly with the Trustee. The legal fees are 3% of the gross purchase price.

Why are the legal fees so high?

The Trustee lawyer has more responsibility and employs more resources over a longer period for an ‘off-plan’ purchase compared to a typical re-sale transaction.  The role of the Trustee is to draft the Sale and Purchase Agreement, Rental Agreement, Contract of Administration, etc. in German and English and prepare all documents required to transfer legal ownership to the Purchaser.  The Trustee is obligated to offer impartial legal advice, collect stage payments and release funds to the Seller in accordance with the contract.  The Trustee acts for the Purchaser and the Seller during construction, engages an independent, court appointed, sworn witness to confirm building progress and concludes all aspects of the conveyance.

When and where do I sign the Sale and Purchase Agreement?

The Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) and all documents required to transfer legal ownership are drafted in German and English and signed by the Purchaser and Seller in the presence of a Notary Public.  The Purchaser will receive a copy of the SPA by post and is required to sign before a Notary Public (not a solicitor) in their country of residence. Once the Purchaser’s signature is witnessed the Notary Public sends the document to the Foreign Office to be apostilled. Most choose to sign at the Austrian embassy in their home country as they can also provide the apostille, thus speeding up the process.

What are the average purchase costs?

Purchase costs for buying a property in Austria are 7.6% of the gross purchase price.  The purchaser pays the Trustee fees after the SPA has been signed. Fees are calculated as follows:

  • Purchase Tax (Stamp Duty) is 3.5% of purchase price
  • Registration in the Land Registry is 1.1%
  • Trustee legal fees – 3% + VAT (VAT is refunded)
  • Court costs, administration fees – approximately 150 euros.

Do I pay agency fees?

No, Kristall Spaces does not charge any fees to the buyer.  Buyer’s fees can be as much 3%, so there is an instant saving when you buy through us.

Do you arrange finance?

Yes, once a Purchase Offer has been signed “subject to finance”.  Austrian banks will fund up to 55% of the purchase price with a loan period between 15 and 25 years.  Some banks may charge set-up fees and/or an appraisal fee of 0.5% in addition to a notary a fee of 1.5% for the amount of the mortgage to be registered in land registry.  If required, it is possible to add the mortgage related costs to your mortgage.  Variable interest rates are currently 2.5%.

Austrian mortgage agreements generally need to be signed at the bank in Austria.  Some buyers therefore time this to coincide with signing of the Sale and Purchase agreement.

Why do you not provide a fixed date for completion and handover?

We are obliged to make every effort to complete construction and hand over your apartment on time.  However, we are building in a high-alpine environment at the mercy of the weather with a short construction window of May to November.  Also, we are governed by the local laws, which often restrict construction during the tourism seasons.  We offer an estimated date for completion in the contract but no guarantees can be made.

Parking

Each apartment must be purchased with a minimum of one space.

Will Wi-Fi & Sat connections be provided to all parts of the development?

Internet by Ethernet cable and Wi-Fi is available in your apartment. Cable TV is available in each room.

Will there be any separate storage space for owner’s belongings such as ski equipment and clothing?

Yes, a minimum 2m² of storage per apartment is provided and included in the purchase price. Owners must provide their own personal padlock.

Please confirm the arrangements surrounding the use of the washing machine & tumble dryer.

The washing appliances are metered and for the use of the owners and their guests.  Alternatively, each apartment has the option to install the connections for a washer/dryer in one of the bathrooms if instructed during construction.

HANDOVER, SNAGGING AND BUILDING GUARANTEES

How do you hand over the apartment?

You will be contacted two weeks in advance with a date for the official handover of the apartments. If you cannot be there in person, the Trustee Lawyer and independent, court appointed surveyor will represent you.

What about snagging?

The developer provides a 3-year bank guarantee to cover unforeseen snagging defects.  A report will be produced documenting any snagging issues at the time of handover.  Any issues raised will be fixed within six weeks if the apartment is vacant.

Is the apartment delivered to the owner turnkey?

At the time of handover, the apartment will be fully fitted out with all contents and appliances included in the inventory and the design scheme chosen by the owner.

A full furniture pack including cutlery and crockery is included in the purchase price.  Everything required for rental is supplied with the apartment and is detailed in the Building and Furnishings specifications sheet you will receive prior to purchasing.

A choice of three high-quality design schemes for the apartments have been created and owners are invited to choose their preferred interiors.

Are there any building guarantees?

Yes, we negotiate bank guarantees with tradesmen for the following:

  • 10 years for the roof covering
  • 5 years for the mechanical systems (heating, electrics, lifts)
  • 5 years for the remaining works including the shell of the building
  • 2 years for electrical goods

Furthermore, Austrian Building Law allows for a 30-year Statute of Limitations for all hidden defects.

POST HANDOVER – RENTAL INCOME, CONDOMINIUM FEES (WEG) AND PERSONAL USAGE

What are WEG fees?

WEG fees are your condominium fees and owners are invoiced these monthly in advance by the Facility Management company.

What is the Facility Management Company’s role and who appoints them?

We appoint the Facility Management Company to represent the Condominium Owners Association before handover of the apartments.  The Facility Management Company will read the meters for water, electricity and heating on the handover date and appoint the caretaker, utility and maintenance providers, and ensure the building has full insurance coverage.

How much are the WEG charges and what do they include?

The total operating costs of the building are divided proportionately between the Condominium Owners Association (WEG) according to the size of each owner’s property.  These are payable monthly in advance.  Your share of communal service charges is determined by a court-appointed assessor based on the title document for each individual apartment, which is detailed in the Sale & Purchase Agreement.   The heating, water and electricity costs of running your individual apartment are metered in the owner’s name, so you can see exactly what you are using and paying monthly.

We generally estimate the fees to be EUR4 per m² of your apartment per month.   The estimate includes the following services:

  • Heating
  • Waste water
  • Electricity and lighting in the general areas
  • Refuse disposal
  • Building insurance
  • Caretaker services
  • Snow removal
  • Cleaning of common areas
  • Chimney sweep
  • Heating maintenance contract
  • Lift maintenance contract
  • Maintenance of common areas
  • Internet
  • Cable TV
  • Auditing costs
  • Sinking fund for future maintenance

At the end of the year, individual calculations will be made for each apartment according to actual usage.  If you have overpaid, you will be refunded and if you have underpaid you will be invoiced for the balance.

What is the Administrator’s role and who appoints them?

The Owner appoints the Administrator to carry out the following roles:

  • Reception and/or concierge services
  • Accommodation Administration and Management
  • Supervision of the wellness facility

The total Administration costs of the building are divided proportionately according to the size of each owner’s property.

What is the role of the Rental Operator?

The role of the rental operator is to market the apartments, maintain a booking system, handle guest deposits, organise check in/check out, keys, cleaning and fresh linen, oversee quality control within the apartments and the payment of tourist tax to the authorities.  They also publish the rental income and distribute it to the owners.  The accounts are audited annually for complete transparency.

What kind of rental income can I expect?

The rental yields vary depending on the apartment size, number of bedrooms and floor.  Please refer to the rental income projection document for guidelines.

How are the rental rates decided?

The rental operator compares rates of similar establishments within the resort, as well as information from the local tourist board regarding occupancy rates.  Rental rates are published annually in advance.

Who will do my accounting?

We have negotiated a very reasonable tax package with an Austrian accountancy firm specialising in tourism residences.  You can engage the tax advisors at the time of purchase.  They will register you for VAT in Austria, advise you on tax issues during the purchase process and handle your VAT and Tax returns in the future.

How does the local tax system work?

The local authority charges tax on the land of the building, a proportion of which will be paid directly by you, as a part owner of the freehold.  The Land tax is a nominal sum and the council will issue you an invoice annually.

Do I have to inform the rental operator when I want to use my apartment?

Yes, please inform the rental operator in writing, a minimum of 5 months before the start of the winter season.  In order to make a success of the rental scheme, the operator needs sufficient notice to market the apartments.

What about spontaneous visits?

The rental operator will always try to accommodate the owner assuming the apartment is not already booked.  This may result in you having to stay in an alternative apartment.

Do I have to pay to stay in my apartment? 

Owners may be obliged to pay a small administration charge during weeks of personal usage.

What if I want to spend several weeks in my apartment outside the main winter season?  Is this allowed? 

Yes, please inform the rental operator in writing 2 months before arrival. Occupancy rates are lower outside of the winter season and short-term visits are generally not a problem.

Last 2 apartments for sale in Galtür

The Silva Peak Residences in Galtür are getting very close to completion and handover in time for the first guests to arrive on Saturday 19 December.

Silva Peak Residences outside

Apartments 5 and 17 are under close consideration and should potential viewers need any reassurance then below is a selection of photographs from the interior of 17.  The quality of these apartments is impressive: from the spec of each unit to all the general areas such as the sauna and steam room.

Below is the enthralling view from the balcony in apartment 17 above the roof tops and up to the Predigberg which lies to the South East and looks down onto the Jamtal.

Silva Peak Residences 17 Predigberg

Here is the view to the Greiskogl with the church spire in the foreground.  This photo is taken from the master bedroom in apartment 17.

17 View Silva Peak Residences

And here is a photo of the high spec kitchen with all Miele appliances.  Apartment 17 is a 61m² luxury apartment with two double bedrooms, one with an ensuite bathroom with Hans Grohe units and shower.  There is a second communal bathroom which contains a large Hans Grohe bath.  The living area is open plan with kitchen and dining area and sofas, one of which is a large fold down double sofa bed.

Best of all is the view through the floor to ceiling windows which lead out onto the private balcony with a mesmerising view of the mountains.

The price is €432,305 which includes an underground parking space.

 

Kristall Spaces sponsors the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017

Kristall Spaces is proud to announce that we are now an official sponsor of the Special Olympics World Winter Games, to be held in March 2017 in Austria, joining brands such as Audi, Coca-Cola and Microsoft. We’re very excited to have the chance to contribute to a world-class event promoting the combination of winter sports, social responsibility and of course Austria.

Kristall Spaces sponsor - Special Olympics

The Special Olympics

Special Olympics International (SO) was founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of the late President Kennedy, to open up sports competition at the highest level to people with intellectual disabilities. The first summer games in that year were followed by winter games in 1977, and the Special Olympics International was recognised by the International Olympic Committee in 1988 as part of the Olympics movement.

It’s continued to grow, and is now a truly worldwide movement. We at Kristall Spaces thoroughly applaud the opportunities it offers to often-marginalised people in all sports, although of course our particular passion is for winter sports.

The 2017 World Winter Games in Austria

It’s not surprising that Austria is a favourite host for the World Winter Games. Besides having world-class Alpine ski facilities and a comprehensive winter sports infrastructure, it’s one of the few countries where top skiers, skaters and snowboarders receive the kind of adulation normally reserved for footballers.

The Games, running from 14th – 25th March 2017, will be based in Graz, Schladming, Ramsau and Schladming-Rohrmoos, with 3,000 athletes from 110 countries taking part. They’ll incorporate all the iconic elements of the Olympics, including the torch and spectacular opening and closing ceremonies, at Schladming and Graz respectively. In between, the athletes will be competing in eight disciplines, including Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing and snowboarding.

Before then, the Pre-Games 2016 will run from 10th – 15th January 2016 at Schladming, Ramsau and other venues. Though effectively a dress-rehearsal for the World Games, this is a significant event in its own right, with winter sports specialists from all over Austria and beyond competing. Featuring most of the events in the main games, the Pre-Games will be contested by 1,000 athletes, including delegations from countries like Qatar and Jordan that aren’t traditionally associated with winter sports.

The Wider Impact of the Games

The impact of the Special Olympics goes beyond the events, though. A schools programme, throughout Austria and beyond, has the aim of raising awareness of the potential of intellectually disabled athletes and developing inclusive sports in schools. SO also runs the Healthy Athletes programme, not only offering advanced healthcare for participants in the games, but also undertaking research and education on the special medical needs of people with intellectual disabilities.

Kirstall Spaces sponsor logo - Special Olympics

And, of course, Kristall Spaces will be joining other international sponsors of the Special Olympics World Winter Games in spreading the word about the event and the movement worldwide. We’d love to see you at Schladming on 14th March 2017 for the opening ceremony.

Perfect time to own and rent ski property in Austria

Official figures released by the Tirolean tourism office reported increased visitor stays in Tirol for the period November 2014 through end April 2015.

During this winter period, total arrivals (or guests) coming to Tirol totalled 5.6 million guests which is 4% increase year on year and these 5.6 million guests contributed 25.9 million overnight stays which is also up 2.1% year on year. Source: Tirol Werbung

Property for sale in Austria - visitor numbers

A key factor was the increased number of German visitors to the region. Whilst the German numbers increased by only 4.4%, this country provides half of all the tourist visits from all nations.

At the same time, guests from the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK all contributed to the growth in numbers and this is corroborated by Kristall Spaces’ own data when conferring with the operators of our previous and current developments: all apartment owners and their operating companies are seeing healthy rental returns.

Interestingly, Chinese visitors delivered a 55% growth year on year when it comes to total numbers of guests.

As predicted, Russian numbers have suffered and the statistics point to a 35% decrease in both guests and overnight stays.

Other nations posting increased visits were the Belgium, Italy, Czech Republic and Poland – Italy by as much as 10%.

What type of accommodation are they choosing increasingly?

Rented apartments – like the ones Kristall Spaces builds for ownership with a flexible rental and management model.

Another good reason to invest in Austrian property today.

Luxury apartments for sale in Oetz

Kristall Spaces will soon be announcing the sales and marketing phase of an exciting luxury apartment resort in Ötz, a bi-seasonal tourist destination in the Ötztal valley just 20 minutes from Innsbruck.

Highlights:

  • 45 one, two and three-bedroom luxury apartments
  • 500m² spa in sunny location
  • 100 metres from Acherkogelbahn (a new 8-man gondola ski lift)
  • Underground parking
  • Restaurant and bar
  • Managed by a renowned global, international operator
  • 2 rental models: flexi and fixed with guaranteed returns up to 5%
  • Construction begins in 2016 to be finished in 2017

Ötz is a dual-season tourist resort with approximately 400,000 overnight stays per annum.

The town has long been associated with winter and summer alpine sports and has a unique atmosphere that blends tourism, breath-taking nature and its own rich heritage, including museums and galleries.

It is the quintessential Tirolean setting.  Its late Gothic parish church is surrounded by some of Tirol’s finest scenery including the Piburger See (one of the most beautiful locations in Austria to picnic and swim), the Auer Klamm gorge and some of the highest waterfalls in Austria.

Apartments for sale in Oetz - Kristall Spaces
Oetz has one of the strongest summer seasons in Tirol.

It sits on the banks above the Ötztaler Ache river which runs all down the valley from Obergurgl and Sölden which boast some of Austria’s highest peaks including the Wildspitze 3,770m and two glacier skiing areas.  Once the snow retreats, there is even a high mountain pass that offers trips from Obergurgl over into the Passeier Valley and Merano in the province of Südtirol, Italy.

With so many summer and winter activities on offer plus its excellent transport connections (its own train station), Oetz represents a wonderful lifestyle investment as a rental property with free owner usage.

In winter, it offers many skiing possibilities: either walk 100 metres from your apartment to the new 8-seater gondola lift connecting to Hochoetz (30km of pistes, 11 lifts including 2 gondolas) or take a short bus ride up to Kühtai (41km pistes), Austria’s highest skiing village at 2,020 m.

Apartments for sale Oetz - Kristall Spaces
The Acherkogelbahn starts 100m from the apartments.

Or even try out some glacier skiing on the Rettenbach and Tiefenbachferner glaciers in Sölden.  Out of all these destinations, you can be sure to find top quality skiing and boarding conditions.

Then in summer, you will be awe-struck by the range and quality of activities that are available from rafting, canyoning, glacier safaris and high rope courses to mountainbiking, archery, climbing or simple relaxing and some of the finest wellness facilities in the world.

There are many options to participate in professionally guided and instructed classes and groups.  Many visitors are glowing in their references and testimonials about how well run these activities are run and how charming their Austrian hosts are.

If you’re looking for completely unrestrained excitement then take a look at Area 47 www.area47.at/en best described as where nature and the high-tech combine to produce an extraordinary experience for all.

Luxury apartments for sale in Oetz
The apartments are a 3-minute walk to the new 8-man Acherkogelbahn.
If you would like to know more about owning a luxury apartment in Oetz just 100 metres from the ski lift, then please Contact us today.

First impressions of Kühtai

The drive up to Kühtai reminded me of Maine in the States: snowy roads and a small river running by the roadside; but it was the sense of being in the wilderness that really fires the imagination. I expected a moose to run across the road at any moment and yet we were only 10 minutes from the Oetztal Bahnhof. No wonder those Habsburgs liked the hunting round here so much.

My host for the day was a Kühtai connoisseur (a Chemistry teacher from Innsbruck who was born on skis in Sölden and thanks to his Tirol ski pass can pick any of the top resorts for a day’s skiing when he fancies). He and his pals favour Kühtai because “the snow is the best” as soon as you come off the very first lift (no uphill trek needed to find quality pistes); the atmosphere is never showy and for the abiding fact that your personal space is never invaded. I distinctly recall following him down from the top of the Dreiseenbahn to the foot of the Gaiskogelift and not once did I adjust my line or speed to avoid other skiers. “So, it’s true what they say: it really does feel like being in your own private ski resort,” I thought to myself.

The snow was excellent too. We only started skiing at 2:00pm but it was still cold and smooth as we flew down the pistes. No slush or sudden moguls here or those annoying piles of snow where skiers have scraped all the loose snow into a mini snow drift leaving a sheet of ice as a run-up. In fact, the piste is so consistent that you will see various ski teams (US and Austrian) training by the side of the slope.

And hardly any snowboarders sat around in groups philosophising over Jägermeister and Limp Biscuit. They’re all in the K-Park: supposedly Austria’s biggest half pipe with a series of big air kickers and gnarly looking bits of metal sticking out for them to slide over or do whatever they do. I quite fancied one of enormous kickers – maybe I would pluck up the courage to have a go later in the day.

kuhtai jumps

We skied down into the snow bowl in which the resort is positioned surrounded by white peaks which mostly lead to nowhere. We had been skiing on the North facing slopes and so ventured across to the South side where the night skiing had been the night before. No queues anywhere by the way as I reminded myself that this was a Thursday afternoon in March, so still high season.

It was like being in our own ski resort: there were even fewer people on this side! The runs down from the Hochalterbahn were pretty much ours. And the views were spectacular as we chatted over a Weizenbeer looking back down into Kühtai.  I was now talking up trying one of those kickers: the ones were you have to be traveling at over 60kms to get enough speed to make it over the 6-metre lip between the end of the ramp and the landing so steep it looks like the start of a speed skiing course. The science teacher explained these facts. Also, that I was 43, not wearing a helmet and he didn’t fancy hanging out in Innsbruck hospital.

So, overall impressions were very, very good. I have skied in countless, medium sized resorts and I was trying to compare Kühtai but it’s unique. There is a lot skiing of here and the runs are really smooth and nicely pisted. No grim moguls waiting round the corner – just wide motorways. I loved the fact that I felt like I had the piste to myself and there is definitely a different tempo here compared to the bigger, more famous resorts. It’s more relaxed and yet it’s only 35 minutes from Innsbruck and that’s a major attraction if you are looking for an Austrian property: quick access to the airport means you can land and be on the slopes the same day like I did.  It’s also close to the hospital if you get carried away in the K-Park.

22% more Brits looking for property for sale in Austria (year on year)

Kristall Spaces’ data points to a significant rise in interest among UK buyers looking to buy property for sale in Austria, driven by Euro’s continual slide against the Pound.

The Pound is at a 7-year high and buying an Austrian property now for around €400,000 saves UK buyers circa £20,000, compared with January 2014.

Austria’s gain is neighbouring Switzerland’s loss meanwhile: online customer searches for Swiss property has dropped 15% according to Kristall Spaces research thanks mainly to Switzerland’s decision to unpeg its currency from the Euro.

A UK buyer wanting to acquire an apartment or chalet in Switzerland is going to get 13% less for their money now than they would have at the beginning of the year.

Liz Cass of Kristall Spaces says, “Our marketing experts analyse and compare data from different sources including Google’s real time search tools and we are seeing a healthy upsurge in online customer behaviour in the UK which mirrors the reaction to events in Europe such as quantitative easing to rescue flagging European economies.

property for sale in austria - Liz Cass - Kristall Spaces

“We’re also hearing from one or two savvy UK buyers wanting to secure an apartment at current rates with the uncertainty of an election coming closer. On the whole, they know they are getting a better return than buying in France or Switzerland and they particularly like the Austrian way of doing things.

“Our properties are typically managed by the original families who have been welcoming skiers to the area for generations. They really do understand the personal touch when it comes to service and looking after guests. You don’t always get that in ski resorts in other countries and for this reason customers like to come back to Austria time and again.”

Please contact Liz  today to find out about the different developments we are building in 2015 and selling directly to buyers without any sales agent fees.

Swiss Franc good for business in the Austrian Alps

The Central Bank of Switzerland recently ended its 3-year plan to cap exchange rate gains of the Swiss Franc versus the Euro resulting in an almost instant switch of customer demand from Swiss property and Swiss ski resorts in favour of Austrian destinations, for both Austrian property buyers and holidaymakers.

In the run-up to 15 January 2015, the SNB had pegged the Swiss currency to adhere to patterns in Euro behaviour but after several falls in the Euro, the Bank lifted the enforced exchange rate and allowed investors to pile in sending the currency up by as much as 30%.

The move has created a sizeable impact on the Swiss ski industry and overseas ski property investors looking for their dream alpine ski property.

Many buyers have been put off by the dramatic rise in property prices and are finding much better deals in markets like Austria which has always offered better value for money than the French or Swiss Alp resorts (grounds costs are lower and rental yields higher).

Moreover, the traditional Austrian atmosphere is another factor cited even by French and Swiss visitors to Austria thanks to many of the original local families still running their hotels and Gasthofs offering a level of personal service and hospitality seldom found in other European resorts.

Kristall-Spaces-Galtur-Silva-Peak-Residences-West-view-3-Feb-2015

Snowy view in Galtür today – the Türtschers will manage the Silva Peak Residences on behalf of owners.

A few other reasons for UK customers to choose Austria over France:

  • 73% of Austrians speak English versus 39% of French;
  • Average restaurant price in Austria – 40€ versus 50€ in France;
  • The average price of a beer in Austria – 4€ versus 8€ in France;
  • 1 minute of mobile phone usage costs 0.07€ in Austria versus 0.24€ in France.

2020 Kühtai Apartments Now Available to Investors

Venture Plus AG and Kristall Spaces are proud to announce a stunning new build of holiday apartments in Kühtai, Austria’s highest ski resort. This is a unique opportunity to invest in ski property in one of the most snow-sure resorts in Austria.

Kristall-Spaces-Kuhtai-2020

Austria’s highest resort

At 2020 metres above sea-level, Kühtai nestles among the peaks and mountain lakes above the Ötztal valley — yet it’s only 35 minutes from Innsbruck airport. With snow on the higher pistes for most of the year, the resort has invested heavily in tourism, including a planned installation of a 100MB WiFi system, and it was voted by ADAC as Europe’s best value for money ski destination, as well as winning the SkipassIndex for 2013/2014.

2020 Apartments

The new 2020 apartments (named after Kühtai’s altitude) are being designed by one of Austria’s leading architects, with construction due to start in April. Designed for the luxury market, they’ll be ski-in, ski-out properties located centrally in Kühtai, with current prices ranging from €286,000 for a two-bedroom ground floor unit to €641,500 for a large, three-bedroom penthouse apartment.

All the apartments will be luxuriously fitted out, with traditional furnishings and underfloor heating beneath the Swiss parquet floors. Kitchen and bathroom fittings will be by designers such as Hans Grohe, Miele and Siematic, while they’ll be completely up to date with smart TVs and wireless LAN. Triple-glazed, floor-to-ceiling windows will allow you a perfect vista of Kühtai’s breath-taking scenery.

A unique investment opportunity

It isn’t often that this kind of opportunity becomes available in one of Austria’s top resorts. The authorities keep very strict control over holiday homes, and Venture Plus AG and Kristall Spaces have carefully acquired permission for a new build in such a premier location.

Kühtai’s winter sports season starts earlier than most other resorts and lasts a long way into the year.  There’s no shortage of snow at 2020 metres!  Whilst the summer offers visitors the chance to enjoy the breathtaking Alpine scenery with a range of activities suited to all ages, so there’s demand for holiday apartments all year round. Kristall Spaces will not only manage the apartments, but also arrange rentals through renowned tour operators.

With VAT rebates available on the properties and strong annual capital growth rates, they not only guarantee a good return on investment through rentals, but are also almost certain to appreciate in value.

You can reserve an apartment by putting down a deposit, but several have been sold already, and the rest are likely to follow quickly. Check out the details for a wonderful investment opportunity!  Download Brochure.

Your Chance to Invest in Premium Austrian Ski Property

The Austrian authorities are careful about granting permits to build ski property in their top resorts, and demand is high when there is an opportunity. But Kristall Spaces has achieved a rare coup by obtaining permits to build in several resorts, including Saalbach, Galtür/Ischgl and Kühtai.

New luxury apartments

These two and three bedroom luxury apartments are brand-new builds, and Kristall Spaces is offering them as excellent chances for investment, since the scarcity caused by planning restrictions ensures that capital growth is high. Our new units are always heavily subscribed even before we start building, and it’s unheard of for any to remain to be sold by the time the project is complete. There are few better investments — with the current exchange rate, even holding sterling is less attractive to UK investors.

Top properties in top Austrian resorts

The resorts earmarked for the new developments are among the most attractive in Austria, chosen for guaranteed long winter sports seasons, together with wonderful golf courses and great opportunities for walking and alpine sports in summer. We offer properties that are central with private parking, and many with ski-in, ski-out locations.

  • Kühtai — only 35 minutes from Innsbruck airport, we offer ski-in, ski-out apartments in this beautiful, high-altitude resort.
  • Galtür — quite apart from the family-friendly skiing in a beautiful, tranquil setting, it’s only 10 minutes on a free bus to the more glamorous Ischgl, from where you can ski over the border into Switzerland.
  • Saalbach — just an hour from Salzburg airport, our properties in Saalbach offer ski-in, ski-out in winter and excellent golf courses in summer, guaranteeing a 5-year rental return of 5%.

A great investment

Our properties in these resorts are built, designed and furnished to exacting standards, each with at least two bedrooms, a large bathroom and a balcony. Kristall Spaces makes all the arrangements through the best tour operators for year-round rental, and the facilities on offer ensure the apartments will be in high demand both summer and winter. And, as if the opportunities weren’t enough, you can even claim a VAT rebate on your property.

Kristall Spaces will soon be announcing new projects in other Austrian resorts. For now, though, you can check out more about our apartments, priced from €280,000 to €334,500, in Kühtai, Galtür/Ischgl and Saalbach.