It’s no secret that the ski industry on Europe has been under threat for some time. The most recent data available, from 2015, showed single-day skier visits down 2.5 percent in France and 5.2 percent in Switzerland, while overnight stays in these two destinations have been on a steady downhill slope since 2004.
Both cost (equipment hire, flight, accommodation and currency fluctuations) and climate change have been blamed for the crisis but developers are trying to find ways to reach new clients and keep them coming back.
Money has been spent on infrastructure and reviving existing resorts, which, according to The Spectator, has “created a more nuanced class of real-estate investment is emerging, capable of generating tidy returns for the careful buyer”.
Enness International, a specialist, high-end lending division of Enness, which caters for clients looking to acquire or refinance overseas property, specifically those located in Monaco, France, The Balearics and Switzerland, has reported an increase in demand for ski chalet finance.
Managing Director Hugh Wade-Jones commented: “With winter firmly upon us, many of our clients are taking to the mountains of Europe to enjoy another season on the slopes. From Courchevel to Klosters, winter resorts remain as popular as ever – but with the best lodges and hotels getting booked up early, we’ve seen an increased demand from clients looking to purchase a place to call their own.”
Mr Wade-Jones, who along with his business partner Islay Robinson opened a Monaco office earlier this year, added, “Typically, our clients want to truly make the properties their own by either refurbishing or securing construction finance in the Alps.”
There are several key considerations for those trying to arrange construction finance in the Alps, Mr Wade-Jones pointed out, starting with ensuring the money you plan to spend is actually adding to the value of the property. “The project cost needs to be in line with the gross development value, or GDV. It’s more challenging to secure a large sum for a purely aesthetic overhaul, for example, if it isn’t going to significantly change the value of the property.”
And while any keen skier knows, location is key, Enness has noted an interesting trend in which valuations have been strong in areas that haven’t been showing a recent history of good snow. “For skiing resorts, this seems worrying. Megève hasn’t seen good snow for several years, but valuations are still coming back as positive. This is a risky game. Spots such as Courchevel 1850 and Meribel are far better bets.”
Timelines should reflect securing the right permits and securing development finance, which in the Alps can be a challenge for clients from a range of nationalities. However, the process of purchasing ski property can move quickly with the right lender, who can, in some cases, arrange finance for 100 percent of both the purchase and construction.
Another potential pitfall, said Mr Wade-Joes, is Assets Under Management (AUM) requirements. “Generally, you’ll need to place at least 25 percent of the global loan amount – the gross loan – as assets under management – for the duration of the facility. The entirety of this amount typically needs to be transferred on day one of the loan.”
This is an expectation Enness feels is important to manage. “Clients from the UK and America are often less accustomed to placing AUM, so this can be a sticking point,” explained Mr Wade-Jones. “However, while we have managed to negotiate lower rates of AUM for clients in the past, this will be a requirement from European lenders most of the time.”
Article first published November 16, 2017.
[caption id="attachment_25293" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo: Instagram @theladymaid[/caption]
Breaking news! Her Serene Highness is feeling blue! No, not sad – how could anyone be sad on National Day, the grandest day of the year in the Principality? – literally BLUE.
Along with the rest of the Grimaldi family, Princess Charlene emerged from the palace in a cobalt blue velvet custom designed Akris coat with navy blue satin details. A bold move that garnered a few side eyes and had me humming the tune “she wore blue velvet”.
Underneath the Princess opted for a simple velvet shirt-dress accessorised with navy blue leather gloves a navy blue suede pumps.
[caption id="attachment_25292" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo: Instagram @royaladdicted2[/caption]
What really set the look off was a navy blue hat worn tilted to side like a society lady from eras past also designed by the house of Akris. Minimal makeup with a coral lip and simple diamond studs complimented this simple but stunning ensemble that the photographers couldn’t get enough of.
Stepping out of the Cathedral on the arm of Prince Albert, the sun accentuated the crispness of the velvet as excited watchers gleefully captured the scene on their phones.
Princess Charlene has been a supporter of Akris for some time now attending the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in London in a grey coat from the house and posing for her official engagement photos in a pale silk green gown.
Princess Charlene, this is one for the stylebook!
[caption id="attachment_25294" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo: Instagram @adelswelt[/caption]
Instagram sensation and style blogger Louis Pisano writes SuperficialLivingDiary.com. Article first published November 19, 2017.
[caption id="attachment_25147" align="alignnone" width="640"] Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella visit micro-creche A Farandola with Prince Albert and Princess Charlene on November 14. Photo: Eric Mathon/Palais Princier[/caption]
On Tuesday, November 14, the Prince Sovereign and Princess Charlene, accompanied by their children, the Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella (who turn 3 on December 10), visited the micro-nursery A Farandola, which has been open since early September.
Guided by the Director Aurore Suisse, they were accompanied by Mayor Georges Marsan, Chloé Boscagli-Leclercq, Communal Councillor for Early Childhood, and Didier Gamerdinger, Minister of Heatlh and Social Affairs, representing the Minister of State.
The micro-nursery is in the same building – "Les Villas Des Pins" – as the two other micro-nurseries, A Ribambela and A Riturnela, inaugurated respectively in 2010 and 2011.
With an area of 127 square metres, this state-owned apartment has been completely transformed to accommodate 10 young children. The work was made possible by a generous donor, Oleksandr Boguslayev, who wanted to provide financial support for a project for early childhood.
In his speech, the mayor sincerely thanked the donor, but also Isabelle Cellario, Head of the Social Action Service of the Town Hall, and Jean Ferry, Chief of the Communal Technical Services, as well as their respective teams, for their work on this project.
With this new micro-nursery in the Hector Otto district, the total capacity of the three facilities today is 30 places – a necessity with the forthcoming completion of the Engelin building, which will generate an increase in the number of requests for nursery places. One of the priorities of the Communal Council is to meet this growing demand.
While elected officials are primarily focussed on the long term solutions, it has been necessary to find intermediate solutions neighbourhood by neighbourhood. The micro-nursery system has helped to provide a rapid response pending the delivery of the next municipal nursery by 2021 with Testimonio II.