Property abroad: the Austrian Alps

It’s easier than ever to slope off to a Tyrolean town, discovers Laura Latham

Though Austria has many beautiful areas, one of the prettiest is the Tyrol. The region’s soaring Alpine scenery, quaint villages and glamorous resorts, such as Kitzbühel and St Anton, offer a fabulous package. It’s not surprising, therefore, that this is where many foreign buyers want to own property. However, until recently, it has also been one of the hardest places to find a second home. “Most clients want the Tyrol,” says Jessica Delaney, of the Austria specialist Investors in Property, “but homes there are like gold dust. There just isn’t enough supply to meet demand.”

Previously, the Tyrol’s stringent ownership regulations prevented foreign investors from buying second properties purely for personal use. The idea was to stop resorts becoming ghost towns full of empty holiday flats, so owners were required to rent them for up to five months each year. But change is in the air; not only has buying a second home been made easier but developers are earmarking forgotten resorts for an overhaul.

One of these is Brand, a small, attractive village, deep in the Brandnertal Valley, which is quiet enough to have allowed Keira Knightley to ski there undisturbed last winter. Here, one of the biggest construction firms in Austria, Jäger, is building quality properties and also funding the installation of new gondolas and the refurbishment of ski stations and trails.

In the village centre, pretty, wood-clad apartments with views to the slopes start at £236,000 for two bedrooms. Further up the mountain is the site of Ferienpark, another Jäger project. This self-contained leisure resort with direct access to the pistes and stunning views has properties for sale from £147,000. Birgit Jäger, who is overseeing the design of both developments, says: “The homes are reasonably priced when compared to similar resorts in France or Italy, even though this area of Austria tends to be more expensive because it is so near to the Swiss border.”

For hardcore skiers and hikers, Kühtai, near Innsbruck, offers a taste of what Jäger calls “real Alpine” terrain. One of the highest resorts in the country, the small village sits at an altitude of 2,020m, so winter snow is pretty much guaranteed. Further development is planned but, if you can’t wait, there are opportunities to buy into the Alpin Resort, a stylish “village” of traditional chalets housing well-designed and spacious apartments.

Properties here are pricier than at Brand, starting at £392,200 for two bedrooms, though the development is one of only two in the area currently available for outright ownership. Should you want to rent, there is an efficient on-site management service and current returns range between £195 and £350 a night in peak season. Another rare opportunity to buy lies in nearby Oetz, a picturesque town with a wealth of historic buildings. One of these is being restored into seven chic apartments, again for outright purchase and starting at £234,200. Interested parties should get their skates on though. Tyrol is so popular that such opportunities don’t hang around.



Investors in Property: 020-8905 5511; www.investorsinproperty.com

Austria: Buyer’s guide

* Most second homes in Austria are required by law to be rented out for between 130 and 150 days per year.

* Second-home sales incur capital gains tax of 34 per cent, unless held for at least 10 years.

* Allow about 8 to 10 per cent of the purchase price for fees, commissions and taxes.

* The nearest airport to Kühtai and Oetz is Innsbruck, about 35 minutes away. Brand is accessible from Friedrichshafen, Zurich and Innsbruck.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Suggested Topics
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions