Recall, if you will – although you’d probably rather not – the long, grinding days at the depths of the pandemic lockdowns. Remember the feeling of being trapped: the world having suddenly closed in, the persistent uncertainty and the lack of any excitement in store?
Now imagine the antithesis of all that. Picture wide-open skies, fresh air and an exciting and accessible landscape of sparkling white mountains, daisy-strewn meadows and evergreen forests. An overall feeling of health, fitness and opportunity.
The place you’re thinking of may well be the Alps. In the age of Covid, European mountain living has developed fresh appeal. As the first lockdown loomed in early 2020, many owners of second residences in ski resorts beat a hasty retreat from their main dwellings and headed for the hills. That was despite the mandated freeze on many of the customary Alpine delights, from skiing to spa days to fondue evenings.
As the second wave of Covid infections took hold in late 2020, ski resorts in France and Italy were forbidden from reopening. But while their cable cars and après bars stayed eerily empty, the local real estate markets were positively bustling. Amid a snow flurry of transactions, prices in certain locations saw gains.