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SKI

The cost of property in Austria’s most popular ski resorts

Ever dreamed of buying a chalet or apartment in your favourite ski area? A new ranking of property prices in Austria’s most popular ski areas shows that the west of the country is significantly more expensive than the east - probably because it tends to get better snowfall.

The cost of property in Austria’s most popular ski resorts
Lech am Arlberg.

Here's the top 15 areas, from the least to the most expensive. Prices given are the average cost of property in the area, per square metre (according to immobilienscout24). 

Sölden, Tyrol

Price: €3,750

This is where the Alpine Ski World Cup traditionally begins, at the end of October. Its population of around 3,450 is vastly outnumbered by tourists, of which 15,000 can be accommodated. It has 39 ski lifts, taking you to an elevation of 3,250 metres.

Obertauern, Salzburg state

Price: €3,811

Obertauern lies in the Radstädter Tauern mountains, between 1,630 and 2,526 metres above sea level. The community is separated into the two municipalities of Untertauern (Pongau) and Tweng (Lungau). It’s one of the most popular destinations for winter sports in Austria.

Flachau, Salzburg state

Price: €3,814

Flachau is home to alpine skier Hermann Maier, a four-time World Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist. Its numerous skiing facilities are part of the Ski Amade network of ski areas, one of the largest in Europe.

Alpbachtal, Tyrol

Price: €4,001

This includes the village of Alpbach, as well as Reith, Inneralpbach and the Wildschönau valley. Alpbach is known as the most beautiful village in Austria, dotted with traditional timber-clad chalets. It’s also the venue for the Alpbach European Forum, an annual two-week conference of leading figures from the worlds of science, business, the arts, and politics.

Schladming, Styria

Price: €4,260

This former mining town is now a popular tourist destination for winter sports. It has held various skiing competitions, including the Alpine World Ski Championships in 1982 and 2013. The local peak for winter sports is the Planai.

Zell am See/Kaprun, Salzburg state

Price: €4,275

This vast ski area is well known for its glacier, the Kitzsteinhorn. In 2000 the Kaprun funicular railway caught fire in a tunnel, and 155 skiers lost their lives. On the Kitzsteinhorn glacier you can ski and snowboard on snow-covered slopes for ten months of the year.

Zillertal Arena, Tyrol

Price: €4,318

The largest ski area in the Zillertal valley, extending from the village Zell im Zillertal via Gerlos to Wald-Königsleiten and Krimml-Hochkrimml. It has 143 kilometres of piste and 52 lifts that can transport 85,000 people every hour.

Brixental – Wilder Kaiser, Tyrol

Price: €5,072

One of the largest and most modern ski resorts in the world, located in in the northern Kitzbühel Alps. Nine villages provide direct access to more than 284 kilometres of ski runs. 

Saalbach – Hinterglemm, Salzburg state

Price: €5,320

A ‘ski-circus’ links these two villages, with lifts and runs on both sides of the valley. At the eastern end is a long-standing link to Leogang, in the next valley, and above Hinterglemm is a new link with Fieberbrunn.

Silvretta Montafon, Vorarlberg

Price: €5,455

This award-winning ski area features Black Scorpions (extremely steep slopes) and 37 cableways and lifts as well as 141 kilometres of prepared pistes.

Katschberg, Carinthia/Salzburg

Price: €5,677

Something of an insider tip among ski resorts in Austria. It has only 16 lifts, but has good snow coverage in the winter and two peaks. The border between Carinthia and Salzburgerland runs through the centre of town.

Kitzbühel, Tyrol

Price: €5,972

Famous for the Hahnenkamm, the scariest downhill race on the World Cup circuit. Each January the world’s finest skiers gather in this beautiful medieval town to compete on Der Streif, the name of the actual race course on the Hahnenkamm mountain. The best snow is usually in the last week of January and in February.

St. Anton, Tyrol

Price: €6,420

Rated among the top five resorts in the Alps, St. Anton is located in Austria’s Arlberg region, one of Europe’s snowiest areas. It has 340km of pistes, 200km of off-piste itineraries and over 55km² of challenging off-piste terrain.

Lech, Vorarlberg

Price: €6,421

Princess Diana used to ski here and other past visitors include the Jordanian royal family, the Dutch royal family and Monaco’s Princess Caroline. It shares its ski area with the smaller village of Zürs and Warth-Schröcken and is reliably snowy.

Ischgl, Tyrol

Price: €6,538

Known for its quality pistes and its vibrant nightlife. Ischgl’s famous start- and end-of-season Top of the Mountain concerts attract an A-list of international stars. This season opened with a concert from German band PUR and will close with Italian superstar Zucchero.

 

For members

PROPERTY

EXPLAINED: Is the construction ‘boom’ over in Austria?

Austria has seen a property and construction boom in the last few years. Will inflation dampen new investment in the sector? And what will it mean for the property market?

EXPLAINED: Is the construction 'boom' over in Austria?

Austria has seen an increase in residential construction in recent years. In 2021, the activity in residential construction was the highest since the 1980s, according to data from Statistik Austria.

Around 71,2000 flats were built across the country in 2021, which exceeded the already high level of the two previous years by 5 percent and is the highest result since the beginning of the 1980s, the data institute said. 

The provinces with more activity were Vienna (23 percent of all completed apartments were built there), followed by Upper Austria (19 percent), Lower Austria (17 percent) and Styria (14 percent). However, the province of Tyrol, in Western Austria, had the highest construction activity per inhabitant, according to the data.

FOR MEMBERS: Is now a good time to buy property in Austria?

Based on annual average population figures, about 7.9 apartments per 1,000 habitants were built in 2021 overall. 

The highest rates were registered in Tyrol (9.0), followed by Upper Austria and Styria (both 8.8). The numbers in Vienna include only new homes in new buildings – not any renovations to add apartments to already existing blocs.

Rising costs and fewer new buildings

However, inflation has also been felt in the construction sector, according to a separate report by Statistik Austria.

“In October 2022, construction costs for residential buildings were +7.6  percent, significantly above the October figure of the previous year, but down slightly by 0.3 percent compared to the previous month of September,” said Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas.

The Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) currently expects the completion of new homes to stagnate this year and decline by 2 or 3 percent in 2023, according to Der Standard.

The reasons are inflation, higher construction costs, delivery problems and the new stricter lending guidelines that prevent some people from being able to borrow and finance a home, Wifo economist Michael Klien told the daily. 

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How Austria’s new property buying rules could impact you

Austrian housing researcher Wolfgang Amann told Der Standard that, from 2024, the stricter rules would have more impact leading to a “massive drop” of 24 to 30 percent in the completion of single-family homes. 

From August 2022, anyone applying for a mortgage in Austria is subject to new rules related to equity and terms and conditions for loans, as The Local reported.

The most significant change to house-buying rules in Austria is that there is now a mandatory deposit of 20 percent of the value of a property, including additional costs. Previously, banks were simply issued with recommendations about a minimum deposit.

Additionally, the monthly loan instalment may not exceed 40 percent of the monthly disposable net household income, and the financing term may not exceed 35 years.

So, what will happen to the property market?

Peter Marschall from Marschall Real Estate in Vienna told The Local: “In one scenario, the political situation is not so bad and property prices and demand go down a bit but not dramatically.

“In the worst case scenario, the war in Ukraine is still ongoing or getting worse, the economy is bad and bankruptcies are increasing.

“The question is, how bad will it get? I hope not as bad as some people predict, but it’s difficult to see into the future right now.”

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What will happen to Austria’s property market in 2023?

Justin from Amazing Austria told The Local that he expects prices to fall across the entire property market in Austria next year. However, it might increase transactions in some segments.

Justin said: “Predictions for 2023 are that the market will definitely slow at the lower end.”

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