11 February 2007: Ski Special feature in The Sunday Times and Times online quotes FMP.

Highflyers on the piste

Demand for ski pads in the Alps is soaring, led by young British investors. Helen Davies meets some big spenders in Chamonix.

Our quote from the feature:

Paul McCulloch, co-founder of French Mountain Property, based in Landry, confirms that the City's recent run of big bonuses have been behind the surge in demand for properties in the French Alps. "These buyers are all looking for a sound investment," says McCulloch. "Some want a lifestyle bolt hole in the Alps, others are looking to maximise their investment by using the property to entertain clients, and/or by renting it out to holidaymakers."

McCulloch believes homes in the area are viewed as sound investments because they can be accessed quickly: there are good transport links between London and Geneva and Lyons.

"Some of the dedicated ski nuts will study weather reports every day during the season," he says. "If there's a big dump of snow, they'll shuffle meetings and jump on the first plane out. If all your ski gear is in your chalet, you have a season ski pass and a car permanently parked in the long-term car park at Geneva, you'll cut your time in queues and maximise your time on the slopes."

McCulloch adds that there is a premium to be paid for properties at a higher altitude, particularly during winters with poor snow. For that reason, too, Chamonix is an attractive proposition. The town attracts just as many visitors in the summer as well as in winter: Mont Blanc is, after all, Mont Blanc.