Limitations on foreigners buying property in Valais ski resorts
Overview of property purchase by foreign buyers in Valais
Sales of ski property to foreign buyers in Verbier and other ski resorts in the Valais canton of Switzerland are restricted by a ruling made in November 2007.Strong demand for mountain chalets and ski apartments in Verbier and six other areas in Valais, Grimentz, Veysonnaz, Nendaz, Hérémence, Riddes and Val d’Illiez, had prompted the introduction of a moratorium on property purchase by foreigners at the end of 2006. The November 2007 ruling extends the limitations across the whole of the Valais canton.
What is the effect of the property ruling in Valais?
Under the November 2007 ruling foreign buyers without a Swiss permit are prohibited from applying for the authorisation needed to purchase property in Valais. Foreigners with a Swiss permit B or C are still permitted to buy property in Valais. The moratorium does not alter the Lex Koller rule, the federal law which generally regulates the sale of Swiss property to foreign buyers.
Why has the Valais ruling been made?
The ruling was made for various stated reasons. The Canton wishes to manage the strong demand for property in Valais from foreign buyers and try to reduce the so called “cold beds” phenomenon which is a concern of the Swiss tourism industry, particularly in Valais.
Are there any exceptions to the Valais moratorium?
There are several exceptions to the ruling. For example, a foreign owner can sell their property to a foreign buyer if they have owned the property for more than ten years.
In all cases buyers should be aware that the limited supply of available property in ski resorts such as Verbier usually carries a price premium.