Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Daily Telegraph - Don't forget your ski poles... and golf clubs

Daily Telegraph 15th May 07
If you want a ski chalet, why not buy one that will offer lots to do in the summer? Nicola Venning investigates the dual-season holiday home

Winter skiing enthusiasts needn't allow their cosy chalets or alpine apartments to gather dust over the summer months. Nor should they miss out on valuable rent returns on a holiday property once the snow has melted. Smart property purchasers are thinking "dual season" and are opting for overseas resorts which offer year-round activities - from ice-fishing and snow-mobiling in winter to kayaking and golf in summer.

If moose burgers appeal more than Michelin stars, you'll love wild eastern Canada. The Humber Valley Resort in Newfoundland, a five-and-a-half-hour direct flight from London Gatwick, offers elegant, spacious (between 2,200 and 7,126 sq ft) homes on roughly one-acre plots along the wide Humber (a class A salmon river), Deer Lake or 18-hole golf course. Average winter temperatures are -5C during the day and there is plenty of snow.

Nearby, Marble Mountain's intermediate ski resort has a 1,700ft drop and 34 long runs; and the snow-shoeing, ice-fishing and snow-mobiling are more than matched when the resort metamorphoses into a summer playground (average temperature 20C): kayaking, iceberg watching, hiking in the national park, golf and fishing are just a few of the possibilities. "You have a significant asset in your holiday home and to get two bites at it (winter and summer)," says William Thompson, director of Newfound Property International (www.newfoundproperty.com).

Humber Valley resort, which only has 160 homes, has seen prices double in the last four years, but they are now stabilising. Three- to five-bedroom, clapboard-style houses with wrap-around decking are built to order from approximately £284,000 to £742,000. Around 80 more houses are planned this year. Of the original 24 apartments built only six remain unsold.

Pros: Canada currently has 9·5 per cent capital growth per annum; local government is encouraging investment in the area and similar resorts are planned, for example Timberland Golf Resort via Assetz (0845 4300020, www.assetz.co.uk); the houses in Humber Valley Resort are sensational; Newfoundlanders are very welcoming.

Cons: The running costs of these large homes, particularly with hot-tubs, are high (£6,000-plus per annum); the rental market is slow, though the resort is now marketing itself more aggressively; culturally and gastronomically limited.

Full story - click here

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