"The rules restricting foreign ownership makes Switzerland more desirable to some purchasers because it's perceived as more exclusive and a challenge to get into," says Isobel Rostron, founder and director of Aspect International, a buying agency that specialises in property in the Alps.
Chalets in French speaking Switzerland are very similar in design to those in the French Alps, although they tend to be of a better quality build.
The further east you go, the more the architectural trend veers towards the use of traditional stone and reclaimed wood.
Interiors tend to be neutral, using stone, wood and glass throughout with an emphasis on understated luxury.
Right now, the discreet and low-key village of Villars is about the most popular location with overseas buyers, reckons Rostron
"It's a real mix of old and new, most in the Graubünden style with white rendering and more curves than in places like Verbier," says Isobel Rostron of property search company Aspect International.
But so does Rostron
, who as a search agent has no vested interest in the area.
"People will be more cautious [about buying] but they're also looking to the future," she
"There is some lovely turn-of-the-century architecture, rare for a ski resort, offering elegant apartments with high ceilings and large windows," says Isobel Rostron, director of property company Aspect International, "and several new developments have been built in the last few years, largely in keeping with the town or in the traditional style - no nasty high-rises."...
...Rostron also points to renovation projects, such as Villa Gentian, with apartments sold as raw spaces for €2,800 per sq metre (2009), which the developer will then finish with buyer input at a cost of about €700 per sq metre...
also sees resiliency.
"Consider Les Collons and Veysonnaz in Switzerland," advises Isobel Rostron of Aspect International.
"Chamonix is the top French performer for Isobel Rostron
, a property-finder in France and western Switzerland. 'Chamonix, like Villars [in Switzerland] the other place that stands out for me is more than just a ski resort; it's also a working town with an international flavour.
, of the buying agent Aspect International
, says: "The same property may be marketed at different prices by different agents, so be sure to consult as many local agents as possible.
advises: "Try and rein in any outlandish options.
Your idea of a dream home hidden away in some backwater of La France profonde might not be anyone else's.
The French tend to prefer new homes, which means that you may not be able to recoup the money you have spent renovating a dilapidated maison de caractère unless another Brit comes along."
Ski property expert Isobel Rostron
takes a look at what's hot and what's not in the ski property market.