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

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

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

Property in the Ötztal, the valley of superlatives

There is no disputing that the Ötztal is one of the most renowned and favourite regions for skiers and all-round winter sports, however, this idyllic and longest valley in Tyrol (65 km) also attracts large numbers of visitors during the summer.  With 45% coming in summer, Oetz is almost as busy as the winter and areas like Sölden and Obergurg welcome just over 2 million visitors every year, of which half a million come in the summer.  So why do they call it the valley of superlatives?  

The Ötztal has the second highest mountain in Austria, the Wildspitze (3.768 m), the highest glacier area in the Eastern alps, the highest parish Obergurgl/Hochgurgl (2.150m) not to mention the Stuibenfall, the highest waterfall and the Piburger See, one of the warmest mountain lakes in Tyrol! 

 Click image to enlarge.

Here, anyone (young and old) can find extensive possibilities to explore the unspoiled high mountain regions or the mystical deep gorges plus enjoy the famous Tyrolean cuisine.

The Ötztal valley, shaped by glaciers and being a first-class hiking region, has a lot more to offer than challenging mountain tours and idyllic family hikes.  One of many highlights is the Area 47 by Oetz, which will be open to action sports enthusiasts daily from 27th of April.  Rafting, canyoning, cave tours, indoor motorsports, one of the highest rope courses as well as a water arena with extreme water activities like wakeboarding, blobbing and a outdoor ski ramp into water leave no wishes unfulfilled.  More fun and thrills are guaranteed when rafting in the wild waters of Haiming, Oetz or Sautens.

 Click image to enlarge.

For those who prefer a more relaxed approach and like to immerse themselves into culture and the high alpine history of Tyrol, we recommend the archaeological open-air park “Ötzi-Dorf”. Let yourself be taken back 5.000 years into the Neolithic period of the famous Ötzi Iceman.  Visitors can experience the lives of hunting and and farming during that time first hand.  Next to the Ötzi-Dorf and situated on a 5.000 m2 area at the foot of the Stuibenfall, there is the birds of prey park.   The spectacular flying demonstrations of various raptors and birds of prey really makes for a unique and unforgettable experience.  In addition, one can learn more about Tyrolean falconry.

Worth a visit: between 18.04. and 21.10.2018, visitors can admire the lit waterfall (Stuibenfall) at night between 20:30 and midnight from observation platforms in Niederthai and Umhausen.

On rainy days, one can seek out the Aqua-Dome Thermal Spa in Längenfeld to unwind and totally relax in various open air pools (e.g. the river basin or sport pool) surrounded by views of the mountains.  Then there is “Noah’s Ark of the Alps” which guarantees endless fun for children.

More opportunities and activities await when one heads towards Sölden, Zwieselstein, Obergurgl and Vent.

Sölden offers a 700 km bike freeride and downhill paradise.  The Bike Republic Sölden provides the ultimate adrenaline kick for all mountain bike enthusiasts.  Shaped lines, nature trails, enduro trails and pump tracks attract bikers off all ages and levels. 

Wetter days can be spent at the “Freizeitarena” in Sölden.  Facilities include a swimming pool, a sauna, a gym and several tennis courts.

In Zwieselstein there are many wonderful walks, for example through the dramatic “Kühtrainschlucht” to Sölden or up to the “Brunnenberg” to the “Lenzenalm” and last but not least, and especially for those with a sweet tooth, the cosy 300 year-old “Sahnestüberl” (cream parlour) with it’s reputation for the best cakes.

Definitely worthwhile is also a trip to Italy from the convenient starting point in Zwieselstein.  The Timmelsjoch-Hochalpenstrasse takes travellers from Obergurgl to the pretty spa town Meran within one and a half hours, and takes in some of the best views in Südtirol. 

Highly promising is also the high alpine panoramic trail from the Tiefenbachferner (glacier) from an altitude of 2.800m to the village of Vent.  Hikers climb above 900m in altitude with spectacular views of the Ötztaler and Stubaier Alps.

An absolute must for every mountaineer and anybody staying in Zwieselstein is the 3.100 m local peak known as the Nederkogl (3.163m).  The hike does not require any ropes nor a guide but it still represents an exciting challenge and offers unbeatable views.  Extremely popular among the locals, it  takes between 3 and 4 hours from the Lenzenalm and takes you past the crystal clear Nedersee.  From Zwieselstein to the Lenzenalm, the walk takes about an hour.  Good boots, spare clothing and sure-footedness are essential.  It is recommended to start early in the morning to avoid the hot midday sun and perhaps be able to admire the sunrise from over the mountain tops!  The whistling of the marmots accompanies on the way and once in a while you even catch a glimpse of them and then higher golden eagles and chamois are not uncommon as well as wonderful flora, including alpine roses, gentian and edelweiss.  Once you reach the summit, depending on temperature and wind speeds, there is time to relax and enjoy the view into the Ötztal valley and over to the Tiefenbachferner (glacier) and of course sign the visitor book.  During the descent, it’s tradition to stop at the Lenzenalm for a “Brettljausen” of Speck, cheese, homemade bread as well as an ice-cold Austrian beer.

 Click image to enlarge.

In Zwieselstein, the road forks into the Venter and Gurgl valleys, each on it’s own worth visiting for different reasons: Vent as a quiet and charming insider tip and Gurgl as the internationally known resorts of Obergurgl and Hochgurgl.

In Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, der Diamant der Alpen, the choice for walkers and climbers seems infinite with an astounding 21 glacier-topped mountain peaks higher than 3000 metres … but not to worry if this seems a little daunting as viewpoints like  “Top Mountain Star” (3.080 m) or the “Hohe Mut Alm” (2.670 m) can also be reached via cable car.

The true, rustic Tyrolean village character lies in Vent, where highly recommended is a family trip to the “Rofenhöfen” where one crosses a long suspension bridge with views down the “Rofenschlucht” gorge.

Those who want to be on top of the world, should try paragliding or tandem flying in Sölden starting from the “Mittelstation” on the “Gaislachkogelbahn”.  Further up, you get to the prestigious “Ice Cube” Restaurant where you can indulge in culinary highlights à la James Bond.

New this Summer (July 2018) will be the 007 Elements James Bond theme park, a cinematic installation, which will give exciting insights into the making of the films.

To plan as many activities at different venues as possible we recommend the great deal of the Ötztal Card which saves you money, time and hassle.  The Ötztal card can be purchased for 3, 7 or 10 days and helps you organise various local activities in a stress-free and cost-effective way.  They included free public transport offers and connections to most venues.

In 2018, Kristall Spaces will be building property for sale in Obergurgl and Sölden.  There are still 3 apartment left for sale. 

100cm of fresh snow in 48 hours

After one of the snowiest Januarys on record in the Alps with ski resorts in Tirol seeing 100cm of snow falling in just 48 hours, the outlook for February and the busiest skiing weeks of the year looks excellent.

Thanks to the snow storms of January which left road and rail access to St Anton, Ischgl and Kühtai cut off, there is a superb base in the ski resorts in Tirol.

The Lawinenwarndienst Tirol (Avalanche Warning Service for Tirol) cannot recall snowfall like this since 1999 and despite some blue skies in recent days, temperatures have dropped and there will be more wintry weather to come.

Current snow depth report in key Austrian resorts:

St Anton  140 / 415 cm
Hochoetz  40 / 220 cm
Fieberbrunn  100 / 200 cm
Sölden  20 / 325 cm
Ischgl  100 / 170 cm

Clearing snow in the Ötztal:

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.

Kristall Spaces Projects Update – Ski Properties in Tirol Winter 2017/18

Please click the links below for more information on each project.

St Anton – completion date December 2017.  Ready to occupy.  Over 70% sold out.  Award-winning ski-out apartments.   Some of the best views in the valley.  St Anton delivers best growth (8.2%) in UBS Alpine Property Focus 2017.

Kühtai – 2 apartments left. Ready to occupy now. Highest customer satisfaction in Kühtai on Booking.com: 9.6 Exceptional.  Ski in and out.  Highest ski apartments in Austria – 2,020 metres.  35 minutes from Innsbruck airport.

Ötztal – dual season resort. 100 metres to the ski lift. Full pricing and availability. 8% return on capital invested when taking out a 55% mortgage or a guaranteed 4% return on net purchase price for first 5 years.  25 minutes from Innsbruck airport.   Prices from 215.000€.  19 apartments sold.

Sölden – revised pricing post tendering.  Adjacent to family-run Gasthof Zwieselstein.   Guaranteed 4% return for the first 5 years.   Sölden and Obergurgl-Hochgurgl now offer a joint lift pass for 3+ days. 4 apartments left.

Fieberbrunn – 270km of pistes – will soon connect with Zell am See. Prices from 225.000€. 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.  Some of the highest snowfall in Tirol.  Excellent off-piste skiing.  10 apartments reserved.

Ischgl – prices start at 5,000EUR per sq metre.  Full pricing available in April 2018.  Contact us today for a preview of the plans.  Already taking unbinding reservations.

Karwendel – pricing available in April 2018.  Contact us today for plans.  No rental obligation.  One of the most beautiful places you will ever visit.

Kristall Spaces develops and sells ski property in Tirol and now we manage and rent apartments on behalf our owners through our operator business, All-Suite Resorts.