The World’s Top 5 Most Exclusive Ski Resorts

Julia Schneemann | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Louis Vuitton Yurt
Louis Vuitton Yurt catering to HNWI in one of the top 5 most exclusive resorts, St. Moritz, Switzerland | Picture: Julia Schneemann

Engel & Völkers, globally known as the real estate agent for the most prestige properties, released their ranking of the world’s most exclusive ski resorts based on price per square meter. Ski properties for High Net Worth Individuals (‘HNWI’) are a lifestyle investment and a wise long-term capital investment, as demand outstrips supply in these prime locations. The pandemic has increased prices substantially in the last three years, as more and more HNWI have embraced the opportunity to work remotely.

“Premium properties in ski regions are among the most sought-after second homes, as well as the most desirable investment properties. They make excellent long-term investment opportunities, especially when the financial markets are volatile, as an effective hedge against inflation – as well as providing a retreat throughout the ski season and beyond,” Florian Hofer, Managing Director of Engel & Völkers Kitzbühel, was quoted in the report.

Here is their list in descending order. Prices in USD were left as quoted in the report and recalculated at the current Euro exchange rate while European currencies were translated at current exchange rates into USD to keep things up-to-date and as accurate as possible.

1st place: Aspen, CO, USA

In first place, we have Aspen, which will probably not come as a surprise to any SnowBrains reader. Prices for ski chalets in this resort’s prime locations regularly reach €76,000 per square meter ($7,340 per square foot). The vast majority of buyers in Aspen are Americans, with only 5% foreign buyers hailing from the UK, Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico. The US buyers are typically from California, Texas, New York, and Colorado.

Downtown Aspen
Downtown Aspen as seen from Little Nell | Picture: Aspen Snowmass Instagram Page

2nd place: Vail, CO, USA

The second highest prices can also be found in Colorado, more specifically, the ski resort of Vail. Prime properties in this resort can fetch €72,000 per square meter ($6,970 per square foot). The Vail real estate market is also dominated by US buyers but sees about 20% foreign buyers, primarily from Germany and Mexico. Domestic buyers typically come from the East Coast, Texas, and California.

Downtown Vail with the snow-capped mountains in the back | Picture: Vail Resorts Facebook Page

3rd Place: St. Moritz and Gstaad, Switzerland

The Swiss ski resorts St. Moritz and Gstaad are tied for third place, where prime locations will set you back €60,000 per square meter ($6,020 per square foot). St. Moritz has about 70% national buyers, while Gstaad has far fewer, with only about 40% Swiss nationals. Most buyers in St. Moritz are from neighboring Germany and Italy, while Gstaad’s 60% foreign buyers hail predominantly from Germany, the UK, and France.

St. Moritz
St. Moritz Bad, looking towards the Kempinski Hotel | Picture: Julia Schneemann

4th place: Kitzbühel, Austria

From here, square meter prices drop steeply, as ski properties in prime locations in Austria’s Kitzbühel are less than half of the top Swiss resorts. Prime properties here reach about €26,000 per square meter ($2,560 per square foot). Clientele in Austria is about 50/50 between domestic and other European countries, predominantly German, English, and Dutch buyers.

Beautiful Kitzbühel in the winter | Picture: KitzSki Facebook Page

5th place: Whistler, BC, Canada

Coming in at 5th place is Canada’s Whistler in British Columbia. Whistler buyers are mainly Canadian, and 15% international buyers, who hail primarily from the neighboring US and Hong Kong. Prime properties in Whistler can fetch €24,000 per square meter (CAD 34,500), roughly $2,340 per square foot.

Whistler Blackcomb, births Columbia, vail resorts, canada,
Whistler Blackcomb, BC | Picture: Whistler Resort Facebook Page

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