As property markets in Sydney, Canberra and the NSW South Coast continue to sizzle through the COVID-19 pandemic, buyers are now looking to the Snowy Mountains for a hot holiday retreat.
Cashed-up buyers are driving record sales in both the Victorian and NSW alpine regions, providing the perfect time for owners of many tightly held properties to list.
While lockdowns have limited visitor access to popular resorts such as Perisher, Thredbo and Mount Hotham, it hasn’t stopped investors splashing out on residential and commercial offerings.
Perisher’s iconic Marritz Hotel is one of the oldest commercial lodges in the Australian alps and it has just been listed for sale along with the neighbouring Salzburg Apartments, both owned by the Mulpha Group.
Castran managing director John Castran has specialised in selling alpine properties for four decades, and he said he’s never seen the market so hot.
“There’s no doubt COVID-19 has been good for the property market across Australia, particularly regional areas, and probably even better in the alpine region,” he said.
“I have been selling in alpine country for 40 years and I’d definitely say the sun, moon and stars have aligned.
“More property has sold in alpine Victoria during the past 12 months than in the previous 10 years.”
Mr Castran said since hitting the market last week, he has received incredible interest in the Marritz Hotel and Salzburg Apartments, which offers a rare commercial opportunity in the heart of Perisher Valley.
He is expecting the hotel to achieve in excess of $4.8 million, while the 11 three-bedroom apartments are likely to fetch between $1.2 million and $1.5 million each.
Located within Kosciuszko National Park, the Marritz Hotel is one of the oldest commercial alpine lodges in Australia, and was built in the 1960s using European skilled labour following the completion of the Snowy Hydro project.
The 70-bed lodge – complete with staff accommodation, restaurant, bar and suspended concrete indoor heated pool and spa – is within 200 metres of the Front Valley and Skitube Terminal.
The Salzburg holiday apartments are being offered for individual sale for the first time, offering buyers a unique opportunity to secure a premium apartment just a short stroll to the Skitube.
Mr Castran said with the current level of interest in the region, he expects to attract premium buyers, but has so far not had any overseas interest in the property.
He said with prices going through the roof, some long-time owners are taking advantage of the hot market to sell up their investment or commercial properties with many tightly held homes and apartments hitting the market for the first time in years.
“We’ve got some older owners getting out of the market, while others are looking to downsize or upsize,” said Mr Castran.
Most of the buyers are aged between 35 and 50 years, and around 15 per cent are cash buyers seeking holiday retreats or investment opportunities.
While Canberrans and Sydneysiders are snapping up properties in Perisher and Thredbo, Mr Castran said the region is also pulling fly-in buyers from Queensland and Western Australia.
The Mount Buller, Mount Hotham and Falls Creek areas are attracting buyers from Victoria and South Australia who are in a “feeding frenzy” for alpine properties, he said.
Mr Castran said with COVID-19 restricting overseas travel, many buyers are looking to invest their travel money or disposable income into holiday properties on the coast and now, it seems, at the snow.
With most snowfield properties located within national parks and on public land, he said alpine properties are “incredibly finite”, with no opportunity to expand existing resorts.
“There’s very little supply, with incredible demand, which is seeing prices skyrocket in the alpine region,” said Mr Castran.
Working with Colliers on the sale of the properties, Mr Castran can be contacted on 0411 502 424.