Tuesday 19 November 2019 2:29 pm

Negative interest rates help drive up demand for Swiss ski chalets

Switzerland’s ultra-wealthy are snapping up ski chalets as a way of protecting their money against a backdrop of negative interest rates.

As the skiing season draws near, rich Swiss residents are turning to Alpine resorts to store their capital rather than letting it depreciate in the bank.

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Questions have been mounting over Switzerland’s monetary policy experiment, which began five years ago when the National Bank took interest rates into negative territory.

The move, aimed at preventing their currency from appreciating too much, has seen high net worth individuals flock to property as a safe haven for their capital.

According to new research from Knight Frank, the downward direction of interest rates is a key driver behind the rising demand for prime properties in the snowy Swiss and French alps.

In its latest report on ski property, Knight Frank said that Val d’Isere has taken the poll position in annual growth, with values rising 2.9 per cent in the year to June.

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All six fastest-growing areas in the rankings are occupied by French resorts this year, most located in The Three Valleys.

Val d’Isere’s lead was explained by an imbalance of supply and demand, with the resort seeing a moratorium on new development and trengthening demand – at 1,850 metres Val d’Isere boasts one of the longest ski seasons.