Austria to vaccinate every adult in next 100 days

Austria is performing well in its vaccination programme when compared to other European states.

According to the Statista website https://www.statista.com/statistics/1196071/covid-19-vaccination-rate-in-europe-by-country/ , Austria is in 9th place in Europe with 19.5 percent of its population having been given at least one dose, just behind Denmark which is at 20 percent.

One reason is probably that it has not stopped using the AstraZeneca vaccine for certain age groups.

Last week Chancellor Sebastian Kurz promised every adult in Austria who wants to be vaccinated against the coronavirus will be given the opportunity in the next 100 days.

Kurz also said sport, restaurants and hotels will be able to open again in May, after over 65s are vaccinated.

In May all over 50-year-olds should be jabbed, and in June vaccination is to be opened to all age groups. (source: thelocal.at).

Welcome news for the tourism industry and the forthcoming Summer season.

Our operator all-suite.com is expecting a very busy July, August and September.

June could also start to get busy and in October they are expecting good business from the hiking tourists in Oetz and Fieberbrunn where the lifts run from 13 May to 26 October.

More and more tourists now prefer to stay in a well-spaced, self-contained apartment where they have the flexibility to cook instead of the old-fashioned 3 and 4-star family-run hotels which run the standard half-board service model in a riskier environment with more communal areas.

At Kristall Spaces, we are arranging meetings next week with property buyers from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK who are travelling for business purposes right now to invest in a property that supports tourism.

Please contact us today to arrange your property viewing in person or remotely via video.

11 January: visiting Tirol to see apartments & sign contracts

There is currently a lockdown in place in Austria until 24 January and we are advising prospective apartment buyers to wait until after this date to travel to Tirol.

IMPORTANT: if you travelling to see an apartment or sign a contract (mortgage or Kaufvertrag) then your visit is categorsied as a business trip because you are considering an investment in a “gewerbliche Ferienwohnung” which supports tourism in Tirol.  

In other words, you are not travelling as a tourist and it is easier to enter Austria.  

Please contact us to discuss this and we will advise you on the best way to make a visit e.g. some visitors crossing the border from Germany will be arriving by car to see an apartment and returning home on the same day, without a stay in Tirol.  

The situation for tourists:    

Our operator, All-Suite Resorts GmbH, is currently planning to open on Monday 25 January and they are considering two scenarios for February which is typically a very busy month for tourism from all the key markets.

There might be no customers at all except for Austrians because the restrictions are in place entering Tirol and returning home or there could be a deluge of arrivals. 

Arriving tourists would probably have to show a negative test to avoid quarantine or if they do not have a test then this could be arranged on arrival and the guest would have to stay in their apartment for up to 24 hours until they get the result.  

Tourists would have to comply with their home country rules and some of these might require a quarantine for 5 days followed by a test to release them. 

This might be an acceptable given the various holidays in key markets like Germany, the Benelux, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.  

The new “work from home” means the impact of quarantine is less disruptive on working lives.   

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. 

27 November: visiting Tirol & site visits

There is currently a lockdown in place in Tirol until 6 December.  Hotels are closed to leisure travellers/tourists; only business travellers are allowed to stay in hotels.

Some of our buyers have legitimate excuses to travel for business or for the purpose of making an investment in a “gewerbliche Ferienwohnung” which supports Austria’s tourism industry.

The Federal Government has ordered over 7 million tests to try and screen the entire population at 100 testing stations across the country before Christmas.

SITE VISITS – REAL & VIRTUAL

  • Kristall Spaces is still planning site visits in-person for buyers who are able to travel – observing all safety protocols
  • It is easier for buyers based in Austria to do site visits right now but some buyers are able to cross from Germany for 24hours to do the site visit and then they go home
  • Buyers from further afield can even fly into Munich airport to make a quick visit over the border before returning
  • Virtual visits: we are also doing visits over video with our customers – we can make a video call from the finished apartments or the shell of the apartments in Fieberbrunn for example
  • 3D tours: for finished apartments in Oetz, Sölden and St. Anton customers can walk around the last few apartments for sale (we have sold several apartments this way) e.g. https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=CnyP9pwmAEi

TESTING & SAFETY

  • The total number of infections in Tirol is falling
  • Most of the infections are in densely populated areas like Innsbruck – the valleys and ski resorts are not affected and, for example, there are 164 infections in the Bezirk of Landeck, the district which covers Ischgl and St. Anton
  • Our hotel operating company can arrange COVID tests with local doctors and have the cost charged to the bill for the stay in our apartments https://www.apartments-oetztal.com/en/latest/
  • The national testing programme will enable all the authorities to isolate infected people before Christmas
  • Andreas Steibl, the Director of Tourism in Ischgl says more than €700,000 had been invested in their hygiene and protection plan which “goes far beyond the government’s measures”
  • The Tirol state government and University of Innsbruck are monitoring Ischgl’s sewage works to identify any presence of the virus
  • Disinfection of all cable cars takes place several times a day using special cold fogging devices: within 1 minute 99.99% of viruses, bacteria and spores are eliminated (the active ingredient does not leave behind residue and is 100% biodegradable, non-toxic, pH-neutral as well as skin- and eye-friendly)
  • And a multifunctional scarf with a filtering face-piece comes free with the lift pass

WHERE TO SKI

  • The ski slopes in Austria will not be closing
  • Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger (ÖVP) makes the point that the virus does not spread on the ski slopes but mainly in closed indoor areas: “Das Virus verbreitet sich nicht auf den Skipisten, sondern vor allem auch in geschlossenen Innenräumen”
  • Ski lift openings: Oetz (11 Dec), Fieberbrunn (7 Dec), Ischgl (17 Dec), Leutasch cross-country started 20 November,  Sölden (11 Dec) and St Anton (18 Dec)

Please contact us today to discuss your visit to Tirol.

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

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.