Bellevue Best Property Agents 2018

Kristall Spaces has been awarded the Bellevue magazine Best Property Agents 2018 seal of approval.  Only a select group of international real estate agents are awarded this title.

Branson Atterbury, Marketing Director at Kristall Spaces AG commented: “We had a compelling proposition for the Bellevue panel of judges.  We are the developer, agent and operator and thus provide a rare, end-to-end service: construction, marketing in German, Dutch and English, legal and financial advice to buyers and maintenance and a rental service on behalf of owners. Our key personnel are court sworn experts for the Bundesministerium für Justiz in planning, construction, engineering and property consultancy.”

It is this end-to-end proposition that allows us to understand all parts of the value chain and makes us even more effective at advising customers on acquiring their dream lifestyle investment.

Kristall Spaces AG has a current pipeline of developments worth in excess of €100m and an impressive portfolio of projects including:

  • All-Suite Resort Fieberbrunn (Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang / Kitzbühel Alps) All-Suite Resort Karwendel
  • All-Suite Residence Kühtai
  • Silva Peak Residences, Ischgl
  • All-Suite Resort Paznaun, Ischgl
  • All-Suite Resort Ötztal
  • Residenzen Gasthof Zwieselstein, Sölden
  • Mountain Spa Residences, St Anton
  • Mountain Lake Resort, Zell am See
  • Residenz Zwieselstein, Sölden
  • Residenz Sölden

Buying new build property in Austria

Austria is already the first choice for affordable ski properties, higher rental yields and authentic hospitality when compared to France and Switzerland but how does one decide on the type of property to buy: new-build or resale?

Here are some options to consider:

New-build or off-plan property in Austria normally comes with a higher price tag per m² and will further increase in value as soon as you take ownership.  Typically, we see a 4 to 5% annual growth on our ski apartments and this can be higher in some locations in Tirol thanks to scarcity restrictions to avoid the “cold beds” trends found in France and Switzerland.  According to the UBS Alpine Property Focus 2017, St Anton delivers best growth in the Alps at 8.2%.

So, you might have to increase your budget for a new-build but here’s a few reasons why it’s worthwhile.

New developments present an opportunity to buy into the project early increasing your chances of securing one of the best units at the lowest price and improving capital appreciation.  Note that developers can increase their prices year-on-year and as the project gains interest demand starts to rise.

Importantly, smart new build projects are carefully chosen by a developer for their location and access to ski lifts / pistes and restaurants and can command a rental premium over resale properties.

New property buyers aren’t in a chain and there is less reliance on the current owner / vendor which means less chance of the sale falling through.

Buying off-plan offers attractive payment schemes which don’t exist with resale properties: you pay for your apartment in stages.  The trustee will notify you in good time when each stage payment is due so you have time to prepare the transfer of funds – no need to transfer all at once.  This can be particularly advantageous when using a currency service.

There is also flexibility when dealing with the developer over factors such as parking spaces and choice of furniture packs and when there is joint ownership of the operating company for your apartments, it is possible for the developer to guarantee rental returns for a period during the operating agreement e.g. guaranteed 4% return on net purchase price for first 5 years.

When you buy off-plan in Austria, you get a certain amount of control over the interior of the apartment.  There is range of interior themes and styles to choose from and because you are dealing with the developer it is possible to make minor changes to the floor plans in the early stages of the project.

All new properties built in Austria use state-of-the-art, energy efficient methods and materials that you will simply not find in resale buildings.  Greener energy solutions, more efficient heating systems and some of the highest recycling standards in Europe not only reduce your carbon footprint but lower bills.

All Kristall Spaces’ developments use automatic central heating systems with air or water sourced heat pumps.  Energy is also captured from the spa and bathrooms areas to generate warmth in the underfloor heating systems via heat exchangers and our ventilation systems use the same heat recovery principles to pump fresh air into the apartments at the correct room temperature.  All this results in monthly heating cost savings for owners when compared to oil or gas and delivers a greener, more sustainable solution.

New properties in prime Austrian ski resort locations that come with a rental obligation when owners are not staying there themselves are exempt from VAT.  You can save a whopping 20% on the sales price when you opt for one of these apartments.

New properties come with building guarantees.  For example, we negotiate with tradesmen and suppliers 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.

Please see our generic FAQ about buying and owning property in Austria or why not Contact us for advice on your Austrian property search.

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.

The Top 5 Places to Eat in Saalbach Austria

It’s the slopes that make or break a skiing holiday, but you’re not going to be skiing all the time. A ski resort needs a range of other facilities, not least great places to eat.

The Saalbach-Hinterglemm has over fifty restaurants of various kinds. Most are excellent, but which are rated the best five in and around Saalbach?

Westernstadl Altachof

Westernstadl AltachofOn the mountain just out of Saalbach to the west, the Westernstadl Altachof is a country and western themed restaurant, but done with a style and humour that saves it from being tacky. The menu, mainly Austrian cuisine, is varied and well cooked, and the waitresses combine efficiency with charm and humour. The tables are well enough spaced to keep noise at a reasonable level, and an added bonus is that you can watch the horses in an adjoining stable while you eat.


MaisalmOn the mountain to the north of resort, the Maisalm has outdoor seating with warm sheepskin covers on the chairs, allowing you to enjoy the stunning vista of the surrounding mountains and valley. Offering a mixture of Austrian and Italian food, it has everything from cheese and cold cuts to pizza, strudels to stockpot, all served quickly by friendly staff in traditional dress. They also serve a local beer that’s highly recommended.

Panorama Alm

As its name suggests, this is up on the slopes with beautiful views out over the valley. The Panorama Alm is run by a local couple with an emphasis on being family friendly, and it offers a children’s play area and a garden containing a small lake, as well as a museum of local farming tools. You can sit out on a terrace to take advantage of the view, and both the food — Austrian cuisine — and the service are excellent.

Panorama Alm Saalbach

Schattberg Stube

Located at the top of the Schattberg lift, this is a cut above many lift-top restaurants. Offering table service, self-service and a bar area, its mainly Austrian food is excellent, and the restaurant gives all-round views of the Alpine scenery. Both service and value for money are good, whether you have a full meal, a snack or just a drink. Being easily accessible from the village, though, it’s very popular, so you need to arrive reasonably early for a table in the evening.

Schattberg Stube

La Trattoria

Austrian food is excellent, but if you feel the need for a change, La Trattoria is a great Italian restaurant in Saalbach village. It offer a wide range of Italian dishes, from pasta to steaks to pizza, as well as Italian wine. The service is fast and unflapped, and the restaurant has a friendly atmosphere. It’s often crowded in the evening, so it may be advisable to book in advance.

La Trattoria saalbach

Cross-Country Skiing in Austria

cross country Austria
It’s hardly surprising that most people who come to the Austrian Alps in winter head straight for the slopes with their skis or snowboard. Hurtling downhill is certainly the most thrilling and fulfilling of all winter sports, but those who like variety might want to try some of the other options on offer, such as cross-country (or Nordic) skiing.

Cross-country skiing is often overlooked, but it has a lot to commend it. A more measured discipline, it combines endurance training and sustained exposure to the clear mountain air with a chance to appreciate the stunning Alpine scenery at high levels. As an added bonus, you can ski across country even when there’s not enough snow for the slopes.

Cross-country trails can be accessed from most resorts, usually with transport available to and from the start and finish, if necessary. Here is a small selection.


Sölden has five varied trails of between 1 and 7 km, two rated as easy and the others as intermediate. The routes across Alpine meadows and through picturesque hamlets give great views of the stunning Őtztal scenery. You’ll also find access easy to longer trails of up to 50 km.

St Anton

St Anton has been building up its cross-country network and now has over 40 km of local trails, with individual routes ranging between 1.5 and 22 km. Most are rated as easy, with the St Christoph and Verwall trails as intermediate. The resort also offers floodlit cross-country skiing on a 2 km route between dawn and 8.30 am.


Eight trails wind through the beautiful Tyrolean mountainscapes around Ischgl, ranging from 1 to 18 km and rising as high as 2036 metres. All abilities are catered for, with everything from easy routes to some that are much more demanding.

A_big_1tann_wi_106_langlaufenTirolZell am See

The mountains around Zell am See and Kaprun have 55 km of cross-country trails, some at high levels, catering for all abilities. A special offer here is the chance to ski the 6 km of the Tauern SPA Loipe at night, enjoying the snowscapes under starlight.

On all these routes, you can just turn up and ski them at your own time and pace, but most resorts will offer training courses in cross-country skiing. Some also offer taster sessions for the biathlon (skiing and shooting), whether you want to approach the discipline seriously or just enjoy being James Bond for the day.

You’ll want to spend most of your holiday on the slopes, of course. But perhaps it would be worth taking at least one day off to experience the pleasure of skiing across country.

Top 5 Events in Saalbach This Winter

As if the magnificent skiing weren’t a good enough reason to head for Saalbach’s slopes this winter, there are plenty of major events to enjoy. Here are just a few of them.

Snow Mobile

For a thrilling spectacle of speed over the snow, the Snow Mobile Grand Prix at Saalbach is a must-see event. Two dozen teams race for the championship title over an 850 metre track in front of a capacity crowd of 20,000, and there are concerts and outdoor parties when the races aren’t on.


Rave on Snow

You can enjoy the excitement of the most sophisticated city nightclub out on Saalbach’s ski slopes. Rave on Snow is the biggest outdoor winter music festival anywhere, with seventy DJs playing electronica, house and rave music from some of the best music producers in the world. The party carries on all night.

rave on snow

Torch Run

There may be no Winter Olympics this year, but you can still welcome the New Year in classical style. The Torch Run is an iconic part of the Saalbach winter, and you can join the crowds just before midnight to watch the torch go past. A firework display welcomes the New Year as the run finishes.


Ski World Cup

In February, the Ski World Cup comes to Saalbach. You can watch the world’s top skiers tackle the downhill and SuperG events, aiming to rack up points for the ultimate accolade of World Cup Champion. For the 21st and 22nd February, the eyes of the entire winter sports world will be on Saalbach.


AMS Ski Championship

Skiing, snowboarding and cross-country all feature in the AMS Ski Championship in Saalbach for four days during the last week of March. The top professionals in each discipline will be competing for substantial prizes, and there’ll be spectacular opening ceremonies to enjoy, as well as live music. This is a great way to wrap up a season that’s packed with quality, even by Saalbach’s high standards.


European Central Bank reduces rate of interest making Austrian property investment all the more attractive

In an effort to keep low inflation from derailing the Eurozone’s economy, the European Central Bank has surprised financial markets this September with a cut in interest rates and new stimulus plans.

Speaking at a press conference after the announcement of the rate cut, ECB president Mario Draghi said the Bank expected to see “a prolonged period of low inflation” and reiterated a pledge to keep rates low for the foreseeable future.  After the rate cut was announced, the Euro fell against the Dollar and Sterling making a purchase of property in Europe even more attractive.

The European Central Bank cut interest rates and announced a program to pump money into the economy and stimulate lending by buying bundles of bank loans.

It may not be a coincidence that we have seen a change in stance in the last 12 months by Austrian banks which have shown a high interest in financing up to 60% of the purchase price of ski property investments by foreign buyers.

If a potential investor is shrewd, they could secure a property now with Kristall Spaces at Spring 2014 prices with only a 1% fully-refundable reservation fee (no buyer’s commission fee) with the first 15% stage payment not due before the spring of 2015.

Furthermore, we have seen an apartment bought for €300k in our recently completed project in Zell am See be remarketed for €350k within 12 months and the buyer only paid 60% of the price before making the decision to sell.

That equates to a €50k uplift on a €180k capital investment in just 12 months.

Please get in contact with us today and find out how you could earn up to 15% IRR on one of our Austrian ski properties.