Holiday homes: Investment opportunity on the Swiss slopes

PUBLISHED: 16:00 21 February 2015 | UPDATED: 17:33 26 February 2015




Londoners keen to invest in property where the thrills come from hurtling down the slopes rather than financial risk have a rare opportunity to buy into a new development in the Swiss Alps.

Chesa ArausChesa Araus

Powder Byrne Properties is launching Chesa Araus, a collection of nine luxury apartments for sale now in the Swiss resort of Arosa, due for completion in 2016.

Low mortgage rates (as little as 1.6 per cent for 10 years) and 100 per cent Swiss franc mortgages available, this could present an attractive prospect for investors, while if the prospect of buying abroad is daunting, Powder Byrne will sort the paperwork for customers.

Chesa ArausChesa Araus

Nick Williams, properties manager at Powder Byrne Properties said: “We introduce clients to the bank, and we’ll arrange the contract, because contracts in Switzerland are very different to contracts in the UK.

“We take away the hassle of having a second property.”


The company does leave ample opportunities for clients to get involved in what many people regard as the fun parts of owning a second property: choosing furnishings and finishes for the high spec, contemporary two- and three-bedroom flats, although they will source materials and deal with local suppliers on behalf of owners.

And, if decorating is really not your thing, they’ll also take that pressure off your hands.


Williams said: “We also offer a turnkey, holiday-ready package. We’ll take inspiration from a client’s property in the UK and work with what we notice from that.

“We saw that one client had a lot of baths in their home in London, so we made sure there were a lot of baths in the new property. They also liked reading so we included lots of books and bookshelves to store them on.

Chesa ArausChesa Araus

“All the owners have done since then is add a few more pictures and books; they’ve still got the same bed linen we picked for them.”

According to Williams, this high level of design and comfort is one of the reasons Chesa Araus can be described as a rare opportunity, because the type of luxury building expected in a central London development is not common in Swiss holiday properties.

Chesa ArausChesa Araus

Many of the company’s previous clients are based in north London and the new development is two hours from Zurich airport, while Camden residents can take the scenic route on the train via St Pancras. Williams also recommends the 10 or so hour drive with an overnight stop in Champagne to stock the cellar.

The new development boasts what the company describes as the “best boot room in the Alps” complete with honesty bar, custom boot warmers, local stone finishes and luxurious showers.

Boot roomBoot room

In addition, supply of new apartments in Arosa is scarce because development in the area is tightly controlled in order to preserve the charm of the local area.

Powder Byrne insists on each property being made available for rental each year, although this is kept to a minimum in order to minimise wear and tear.

Williams says that only a few weeks’ rental during high season will cover the majority of running and financing costs for apartments, allowing owners to ski virtually free. Rentals are managed through Powder Byrne so are secure and free of bureaucracy for owners.

“A property at Chesa Araus is an asset that will see consistent capital appreciation,” said Williams. “As a country we see Switzerland being more and more like Monaco in the future.

“With a relatively small outlay, you’ll have an investment that will more or less pay for itself with just two or three weeks’ rental in high season.”

Chesa Araus properties are now on sale off-plan with prices between CHF 995,000 - CHF 4,000,000 (c. £650,000 - £2,600,000) and will be completed by early 2016.


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