Sebastian Deckker


Pieds-ˆ-terre on piste

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I have just returned from a trip to the Alpine village of MegŒve, situated in the heart of the Haute-Savoie, in the shadow of Mont Blanc, where I successfully introduced my three-and-a-half-year-old goddaughter to the pleasures of skiing. It occurred to me, while out there, that there has never been a better time to head for the hills and buy a place in the mountains.

According to the International Residential Department of FPDSavills (020 7824 9030), 'a nervous stock market and low interest rates have led many people to look at alternative investments, especially in overseas property offering both pleasure and profit'. Olivier Beumer, an associate, comments that much of this interest is focusing on the traditional 'short-haul' second-home markets, where the arrival of the euro, cheap mortgages and easy access via the Channel Tunnel, the TGV and low-cost flights have made owning property abroad easier than ever before. Beumer explains, 'France no longer feels