Covid-19 and investing in property in Tirol

Following consultation with our partners and advisors who work across the construction and tourism sectors in Tirol, please find below the status of our operations in Austria.

CONSTRUCTION 

  • Government guidelines published today permit the reopening of construction sites under strict conditions and at the discretion of the construction companies  www.tt.com/artikel/30725737/einigung-baustellen-laufen-mit-strengen-schutzmassnahmen-weiter
  • Discussions are ongoing between the developer and our contractors with a view to reopening our building sites promptly
  • Unless business conditions deteriorate (supply chains), we anticipate no change to our handover schedule

All-Suite Resort Fieberbrunn – ready to pour concrete:

OPERATOR ACTIVITY 

  • Our operator business, All-Suite Resorts-Österreich GmbH, expects no impact on the 2020-21 Winter season
  • We anticipate a strong rebound for tourism in Tirol once the Covid-19 crisis abates in the Autumn
  • All-Suite Resorts is taking bookings for this Summer season: customers may cancel their bookings at no cost up to 24 hours before arrival
  • We predict that EU based tourists (Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, UK and Czech etc) will favour arrival by car or short-haul holiday destinations for the foreseeable future

PROPERTY SALES 

  • Although we have received fewer enquiries this month we have made 3 apartment reservations
  • We are confident site visits will resume in Tirol from May
  • The Kristall Spaces team is working remotely and progressing buyer transactions and conclusion of contracts with our lawyers
  • Our mortgage advisors continue to arrange finance with Austrian banks on behalf of buyers

Please keep safe and healthy and don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.  We look forward to updating you on progress in due course.

Contact: Branson Atterbury, Marketing Director on +44 20 3735 8790

February: peak profitability in Austria

Winter is here in the Austrian Alps with all resorts receiving a good supply of snow this week – up to 76 cm in some places.

www.bergfex.com/stanton-stchristoph/wetter/berg/

There was already a decent base of snow but the extra top-up is welcome as the ski season starts to peak and the resorts fill up for the February holidays.

Sölden currently has a respectable 102 cm in the valley and 368 cm on the mountain which compares to 420 cm on the mountain in mid-February last year during some of the heaviest snowfalls on record.  Fieberbrunn, for example, had 451cm of fresh snow in just 15 days!

So, great conditions in all resorts as we enter the busiest period when overnight rates are at their highest during the Fasching and Winterferien periods with Dutch / Belgian (Krokusvakantie) and UK half-term holidays all taking place in February too.

As tourism numbers continue to grow in Austria after another record season last winter (+3.8% in arrivals), all apartments are fully booked out and a positive impact will be felt for next year’s bookings as many families will be quick to secure their winter holiday in 2021 later this month.

Rental rates for our apartments can be 3 to 4 times higher during these weeks for owners when compared to the cheapest, shoulder weeks in the season.

Please see below a summary on our projects: 

All-Suite Resort Ötztal – 14 dual season apartments ready to occupy. 2 swimming pools. 100 metres to the ski lift. Up to 40 cm of snow forecast to fall this week.  3D tours are available for each apartment.

All-Suite Resort Fieberbrunn – Completion December 2020. 16 out of 36 apartments left: 2, 3 and 4 bedroom apartments.

All-Suite Resort Paznaun – 7 minutes on the ski bus from Ischgl.  Selling fast.  Infinity pool, spa and restaurant onsite. Construction starts Spring 2020 with handover June 2021.

Sölden / Obergurgl – two 3-bedroom apartments available in Haus Christiane from 636,000€. Dual aspect with 3 balconies & view towards the Nederkogl 3,163m. Special zoning: can be used as a second home or rented to tourists.

St. Anton – last apartment available: 2-beds, 80.15m² for €799,000.-  (includes 1 underground parking).  Here is a 3D tour my.matterport.com/show/?m=2yM3JdqUrW3

All-Suite Resort Leutasch – in the planning phase. 10 minutes from “Olympic” Seefeld.

If you are interested to hear more about our ski properties in Tyrol and/or would like to arrange a site visit and meet with one of our consultants, please do not hesitate to contact us:

AT: +43 676 962 7712

NL: +31 6 48 92 32 43

UK: +44 20 3735 8790

Clear advice on Brexit for UK buyers

UPDATED 10 February 2020.  There is some confusion and sadly misleading information being given to UK citizens about buying property in Austria at the moment.

Here is a quick steer based on unambiguous advice provided by our retained lawyers in Innsbruck who help our EU and non-EU based customers buy apartments in Tirol, Austria: according to Paragraph 3(3) of the TGVG 1996, during the transitional period, United Kingdom nationals are covered by the fundamental freedoms under the exit agreement Austrian citizens for the purposes of the Tyrolean Land Transfer Act.

In summary:

  1. There is no change and UK citizens can still buy property in Austria as a natural person just as they always have done;
  2. The UK left the EU but the withdrawal agreement ensures the transition period until 31 December 2020 and during this time the current status quo will continue i.e. UK passport holders can continue to buy property in Tirol;
  3. Tyrolean Provincial Government is also eyeing up the possibility of an extension to the deadline of 31 December 2020;
  4. Once a UK buyer is in Austrian Land Registry, you cannot be taken out so there is an argument to move forward and buy now before 31 December 2020;
  5. Tax treaties between the UK and Austria are negotiated separately between us and not under the control of the EU so there will be no change in that respect;
  6. It is possible that after 31 December 2020, there will be an agreement that enables UK citizens to buy in Austria just like they can do now – there could be a special case made for the UK (after all, we are their 4th most important tourism market and highest spenders per capita);
  7. There are also 3 times more Austrians living in the UK than Brits in Austria and the Austrians are keen to keep things the way they are and avoid any reciprocal changes;
  8. Finally, if Austria does decide to categorise UK citizens as a ‘3rd country’ property buyers then we can create an EU company for you to buy the property and the major shareholder can be of any nationality (this point of law is often misunderstood); we have been using this SPV approach for years for non-EU buyers from the US, New Zealand, South Africa and Norway etc

Please do not hesitate to contact us or call on +44 20 3735 8790 for advice without any obligation.

September 2019 update – all projects

There has been some snow in the Alps.  There was half a metre on the glacier in Sölden earlier this month and the long-range forecasts are predicting another cold winter.  Will we get 451cm in 15 days like last year in Fieberbrunn? Here is an update on our projects going into the Autumn.

Sölden – we have 2 projects for sale here: one project with 8 apartments left and rare zoning (can be a main or second residence or rental) completion December 2020 AND another project which we will complete end October 2019 – 2 apartments left and if you buy now you could have the keys for December and start to earn from the highest rental income weeks.

Ötztal – ready to occupy.  Completed in July 2019.  Dual season apartments with 2 swimming pools. 100 metres to the ski lift.  Some of the best returns in Austria: the operator forecasts up to 8% return on capital invested when taking out a 60% mortgage or a guaranteed 4% return on net purchase price for first 5 years.  25 minutes from Innsbruck airport.   12 apartments left.  Perfect time to become an owner in the run-up to the Winter season.

Fieberbrunn – 40% sold so still a good choice of apartments.  270km of pistes – will soon connect with Zell am See.  High capital growth location. The operator forecasts up to 7% return on capital invested when taking out a 60% mortgage or a guaranteed 4% return on net purchase price for first 5 years.  Highest snowfall in Tirol.  Excellent off-piste skiing.  Dual season: 47% of all visitors to Fieberbrunn come in summer (higher rental income).  Completion December 2020.  Construction resumes October 2019.

Ischgl – we have been taking non-binding reservations but now we will make formal reservations with all the contracts ready for customers to sign.  Unique opportunity – no other apartments like these are available in Paznaun. 60% of the price of property in Iscghl centre whilst only 7 minutes on the free ski bus.

Other news:

  • Tourism numbers continue to grow in Austria after another record season last winter (+3.8% in arrivals)
  • More UK flights to Austria: Jet2 has announced Innsbruck as a new destination for this winter and added new flights from Birmingham, London Stansted and Manchester as well as additional flights to Salzburg from Birmingham, Leeds Bradford and Stansted during the February half-term
  • Brexit: there are no changes right now in how a UK citizen buys property in Tirol and even if the UK leaves without a deal on 31 October, it will take months for the laws to change in Austria if UK citizens are required to buy apartments using company
  • Merging the Pitztal and Sölden glaciers: as we await the final decision of the Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung (UVP) in January 2020, surely every skier’s heart is beating that bit faster!
  • New € 60 million Silvretta Spa and swimming pool complex being built in Ischgl https://www.ischgl.com/en/More/Project-Silvretta-spa
  • Season opening dates:
    • Sölden: 6 lifts already open on Rettenbach glacier / Obergurgl opens 14 November
    • Ischgl opens 28 November
    • Fieberbrunn opens 29 November
    • St Anton opens 29 November
    • Oetz opens 13 December / Kühtai opens 29 November
  • Our associate operating company, All-Suite Resorts, has appointed leading international hotel consultancy Linser Hospitality www.linserhospitality.com to work on standards and consistency for all All-Suite Resorts projects, starting with All-Suite Resorts Ötztal.

Contact us today or call on +44 20 3735 8790 to discuss any aspect of buying property in Austria. 

Branson Atterbury, Marketing Director

Or why not read our FAQ on buying and owning Austrian property

All-Suite Resorts appoints Michelin Star COO

As our associate operator company, All-Suite Resorts Österreich GmbH, prepares to open All-Suite Resort Ötztal on 7 July, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Jürgen Weitzer as the new Chief Operating Officer for All-Suite Resorts Österreich GmbH.

Jürgen has had a distinguished career working for some of the most prestigious names in hospitality including El Bulli, Alain Ducasse and Gordon Ramsay, not to mention earning his very own Michelin Star on two separate occasions https://www.linkedin.com/in/juergen-weitzer-17946642/

Jürgen will oversee operations for All-Suite Resorts in Oetz, Fieberbrunn, Paznaun & Karwendel and develop the new aparthotel concept which in keeping with customer demand is moving away from the traditional Tirolean half-board business model towards a freer and more individual experience that today’s traveller seeks.

This desire to create their own more memorable experiences has resulted in a significant rise in the number of holidaymakers choosing Gewerbliche Ferienwohnungen or professionally managed apartments which is the fastest growing accommodation category in Austria with an 18% increase in bookings in Winter 2018 (source: Urlaub in Ferienwohnungen boomt https://tirol.orf.at/news/stories/2904521/)

Guests rely more on technology: with the opening of Delis, All-Suite Resorts’ new bistro and in-house shop, guests are no longer tied to a faceless half or full board experience and will be able to order breakfast, lunch or dinner in the restaurant, to be delivered to their apartment or by the swimming pool.

And the menus are quite a departure from the traditional fayre found in Tirol with emphasis on a wide choice of lighter and international cuisine … but the old favourites are in there too with some clever variations like the Tiroler Gröstl made with octopus.

The unspoken objective is to become the best restaurant in Oetz and hopefully the Ötztal valley.  Download Delis All-Suite Resorts sample menu.

More control and freedom: ingredients including organic fruit and vegetables can also be sourced through the Delis app and delivered to the apartment when guests want to cook in the privacy of their own kitchen / dining room.

“Today’s traveller wants more control and ‘me time’. The new aparthotel proposition pioneered by All-Suite Resorts gives customers more flexibility and breaks from the tradition of the standard hotel model,” said Jürgen Weitzer.

“I am delighted to be part of the story and help roll out these initiatives across the All-Suite Resorts locations: Oetz first and then Fieberbrunn, Paznaun and many other locations to follow. Flexibility and innovation is at the heart of our business,” he added.

About All-Suite Resorts Österreich GmbH:

All-Suite Resorts is a new but highly professional team with vast experience of international hotel operation, sales and marketing and rental management.  Their collective background experience spans leading hotel industry consultancies such as www.michaeler-partner.com to international hotel chain operation (e.g Falkensteiner) as well as numerous hotels and restaurants in Tirol.

It is their responsibility to deliver the maximum possible profit for apartment owners through careful occupancy management (i.e. renting to the highest possible number of guests in the most expensive / high demand holiday weeks) whilst ensuring a first-class customer experience.

Expert partners include hotelpartner-ym.com for yield management, Limendo (in-house Bistro / shop app) and Mindpark.at for demand generation.

Record snowfall in Tyrol

Back in late January 2018, nobody thought that the Austrian snowfall of 100 cm in 48 hours could be topped but this year, the Avalanche Warning Service (Lawinenwarndienst Tirol) is talking about the best snow conditions since measurements began in 1937.

In some parts of Tyrol, where they usually expect 6 to 7 metres of snow each season, they already have 5 metres.  Take Fieberbrunn for example at 962m where 451cm of fresh snow fell in 15 days.

While some of the press and social media are dramatising the wintry conditions and reporting a near state of emergency, hotel and restaurant owners and the ski lift companies underline the importance of these conditions: they grew up with snow like this, they can easily cope and it’s how it should be!


Current snow depth report in key Austrian resorts compared to mid-February last year:

St Anton
2018: 140 cm Valley / 415 cm Mountain
2019: 95 cm Valley / 345 cm Mountain

Hochoetz  
2018: 40 cm Valley / 220 cm Mountain
2019: 290 cm Valley / 260 cm Mountain

Fieberbrunn  
2018: 100cm Valley / 200 cm Mountain
2019: 110 cm Valley / 220 cm Mountain

Sölden
2018: 20 cm Valley / 325 cm Mountain
2019: 108 cm Valley / 420 cm Mountain

Ischgl
2018: 100 cm Valley / 170 cm Mountain
2019: 70 cm Valley / 150 cm Mountain

As the snow falls and the number of tourists coming to the Austrian Tirol continues to grow by 6% per annum, new beds are provided by developers such as Kristall Spaces and local councils can continually enhance their offer for the visitors.  

Further investment in infrastructure such as the additional lifts and ski runs between Kühtai and Hochoetz (55 Million Euros), the connection between the Pitztal glacier and Sölden’s glaciers or even the new TUI hotel in Fieberbrunn demonstrates confidence in the Austrian ski industry which has not had a recession in the last 100 years: a real safe haven for property investors.  (Over the past 15 years, more than 6 Billion Euros have been invested in new ski lifts and in the development of ski resort connections).  

If you are interested to hear more about our ski properties in Tyrol and/or would like to arrange a site visit and meet with one of our consultants, please do not hesitate to contact us:

AT: +43 676 962 7712

NL: +31 6 48 92 32 43

UK: +44 20 3735 8790

Austria – 10 reasons why

Thanks to the Austrian tourist board for this great blog on why skiers (and property buyers) choose Austria.

What really stands out for us and our buyers about Austria are the following:

State of the art infrastructure: everything works in Austria and there is a real sense of balancing tradition, nature and modernity.   We have the latest lifts, top of the range snow-making facilities and meticulous planning which you don’t always see in neighbouring countries.  This is achieved through careful debate in the current Regional government of Tirol which consists of a coalition between the conservatives (ÖVP) and The Green party.  Together, they are able to reach careful consensus and sign off new ski lift ventures like the future Oetz / Kühtai lift connection and the forthcoming link between Sölden’s glaciers and the Pitztal glacier to make the world’s largest glacier ski area.

Value for money: Austrian ski property prices are 28% below other alpine countries but price growth is higher at 8% (source: Savills).  Day-to-day living expenses e.g. lunch on the mountain and skiing are cheaper compared to France and Switzerland.

Nobody takes skiing more seriously than the Austrians: skiing is to an Austrian what football is to the rest of us. Third generation ski instructors will teach you to ski and guide you down routes they have skied all their life.  And did you know that 73% of Austrians speak English compared with only 39% of French?

Austrian Gemütlichkeit & après-ski: in many Austrian ski resorts, the local families have not been priced out by wild boom (and bust) property prices and so you can expect to be welcomed and looked after by locals in cosy surroundings where the beer and sing-along music starts in the afternoon. And because the average price of a beer in Austria is 4 Euros versus 8 Euros in France – it won’t break the bank.

Read further here https://www.austria.info/uk/things-to-do/skiing-and-winter/10-reasons-to-ski-in-austria

Kristall Spaces voted Winner in Best Residential Development in Austria

5 September 2018: Kristall Spaces is delighted to announce that All-Suite Resort Ötztal has just been voted Winner in category of Best Residential Development in Austria at the International Property Awards 2018/19.

More information will follow at the Awards Ceremony in London on 25 October 2018 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel https://propertyawards.net/

 

Fieberbrunn tourism and investment on the rise

Encouraging news from the Fieberbrunn tourism office regarding visitor numbers this summer: up 7.3% so far this year thus outperforming the average rise of 5% across the whole Tirol region.  Good to remember that the winter season here posted an 8% increase in visitors too.

The summer season in Fieberbrunn is already well developed with 47% of all annual visits taking place outside the winter season and the tourist office has great plans to develop this business further in conjunction with Kitzbühel and Saalbach.

It’s thanks to these dual season visitor numbers that the All-Suite Resort Fieberbrunn will be able to deliver 180 days occupancy per annum which is 15% higher than the officially published average for Tirol being 156 days.

The Fieberbrunn lifts run right up 28 October with a break in November giving the lift company one month to prepare the winter opening on 1 December, a week earlier than previous seasons thanks to a 7 million Euro investment this summer to the snowmaking on the Streuböden ski area.  The Streuböden lake has been extended to capture more melt water and new high-capacity pumps and additional snow cannons will be able to recycle the water and cover the entire ski area in just 7 days in preparation for the opening of the winter season and busy Christmas and New Year holidays!

More welcome news is the forthcoming 15 million Euro investment in the Buchensteinwand ski area, famous for its iconic Jakobskreuz.  The Buchensteinwand ski area can be accessed from Hochfilzen and currently has 8 lifts, 22 km of runs and one of the biggest children’s ski areas in Tirol, the Bobo-Kinderpark.  The renowned Pletzer group will be developing the snowmaking systems and lifts and creating extra facilities to cater for winter and summer visitors.

Austria’s biggest skiable area: very soon, Fieberbrunn will also connect with Zell am See via Saalbach Hinterglemm and Viehofen creating 347km of interlinked skiing and overtaking the Arlberg as Austria’s biggest ski area.  The concrete foundations for the lift have already been laid and it’s anticipated the connecting lift will be installed in the coming year.

Key facts about All-Suite Resort Fieberbrunn:

  • 36 luxury freehold apartments: 1, 2, 3 and 4-bedroom with large balconies
  • Fully furnished with a choice of interior designs
  • Onsite bar / restaurant & spa (sauna, steam room), underground parking
  • Up to 8% return on capital invested when taking out a 55% mortgage or a guaranteed 4% return on net purchase price for first 5 years
  • 1 double bedroom apartment from € 225,000 Net Sales Price excl. parking
  • Snow-sure: highest snowfall in the whole of Tirol for the last 40 years
  • Thanks to its backcountry skiing, Fieberbrunn is a mecca for serious powder skiers and for this reason it is on the Freeride World Tour with the likes of Chamonix and Verbier
  • Completion date of Winter season 2019

All-Suite Resort Fieberbrunn apartments: this type of accommodation (commercially rented apartments) are the fastest growing category of accommodation in Austria – up a colossal 18% according to ORF http://tirol.orf.at/news/stories/2904521/

So, you can be reassured that you are buying into a well-thought-out business model.

E-bikes and the Summer tourism boom

Tirol is currently enjoying another record summer season with Mediterranean temperatures, clearer air with fewer particles and many fresh mountain lakes to cool off in.

The winter season visitor numbers increased again (6.6% increase in Oetz) and this summer is on track to be another record year with estimates suggesting a 5% increase in the Ötztal and even higher in the Arlberg – circa 10% in St Anton.

Music to our ears and our buyers who will profit from renting out their apartments to the growing number of visitors opting for commercially rented apartments – rising at 18% year on year.

One thing that is noticeable this year is the sheer number of tourists hiring out e-bikes even in the most traditional winter locations like Sölden (will receive nearly half a million visitors this summer) and St. Anton (our Mountain Spa Residences development is fully booked right now – 5 apartments left for sale).

Up here, mountain and hybrid e-bikes are main choices as riders of all ages and abilities can now take on the high altitude and steeper climbs thanks to powerful lithium batteries which help propel them to the top of the mountain without collapsing a lung.

The sense of achievement is terrific, and you can do the hard, uphill slog again and again or go further and make a full day out of it going from hut to hut.

Is it cheating? Not really when you consider the work-out is longer and the higher altitudes you can reach means the effective oxygen content drops from 21% to 14% increasing your cardiac output.

No wonder Austria now ranks third for e-bike market share behind the Netherlands and Belgium but in front of Switzerland, Germany and Denmark (source: VCÖ).  More Austrians now own an e-bike than a second car.