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A high level of service, an unrivaled number of hotels with five stars or Palace ratings, and myriad glamorous shops make Courchevel 1850 a hit with the global super-rich.

It is not uncommon to see people arrive by helicopter or private jet. The resort has fur coat shops, and a beer often costs around €18 (US$21). Despite the prices, for some, it’s the only place they’ll consider, Mr. Aris said.

The highest and most expensive of the four Courchevel villages, is the Three Valleys, said to be the world’s largest (and arguably the best) ski area.

Overall, 1850 is among the world’s most expensive property markets, with buyers paying an average of €12 million to €16 million (US$14 million to $19 million) for a 600- to 800-square-meter chalet, or €20,000 to €25,000 (US$24,000 to US$30,000) per square meter for an apartment, according to Olivier Roche, CEO of Courchevel and Megève Sotheby’s International Realty.

Top-end mountain homes cost more than €20 million (US$24 million). It is possible to buy a chalet for between €8 million and €10 million (US$9.5 million and US$12 million), though it would probably require modernization and won’t be centrally located, Mr. Roche said.

So, who buys here? About 70% to 80% of buyers are not residents in France, Mr. Roche said. “The British are the top investors, the Russians come second, and Brazilians, Swiss and Spanish are prominent buyers,” he said. “There has been growing interest from buyers from Saudi Arabia and Gulf states.”


Around 10 years ago, Russian oligarchs were pouring money into mountain homes in 1850, Mr. Roche said.

“Five years on, the market became more difficult. Now it is seeing signs of recovery,” he said. “The number of people buying and renting properties in 1850 has increased over the past 12 months, compared to the same period last year, and the Russians have started buying large chalets again.”

Chalets are the most dominant type of property. Regulations that limit the size of new developments to a maximum of 1,000 square meters in the Courchevel area have led to a dearth of new apartment schemes.

Mr. Aris added: “It is continually investing in itself with the new Aquamotion water park between Moriond and Village, new ski lifts promised elsewhere and a continued desire to keep itself at the top of the game by replacing older, less attractive buildings with state of the art residences and hotels.”

According to the Knight Frank report, investment in both ski and non-ski infrastructure in Courchevel is causing an increase in interest in the market.

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