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Princess Diana's favourite ski resort: Get a piste of the action with a chalet in Lech



Lech, once Princess Diana's favourite resort, is a magnet for the rich and famous, but you don't have to be either to grab a piece of the action at a new development in the über fashionable Austrian ski resort.

Wald am Arlberg Chalets were built by developer Reinhard Wolf, a native of Lech, who previously completed the Aurelio hotel for a Russian billionaire, where room prices are a dizzy £5,800 a night.

By contrast Wald am Arlberg Chalets is a collection of 56 ski chalets and apartments where prices now start at £144,600 for a studio, with two/three-bedroom apartments selling at £347,000.

About 50 per cent of the project is already sold or reserved. With interest rates stuck firmly in the gutter, people are looking elsewhere for investment opportunities. One popular opportunity is the buy-to-let market, you or if you have the funds available you buy a property and then get an income from the rent. With property prices still rising, it's an opportunity that offers a degree of security whilst still returning good returns on your investment. However, its not without its pitfalls. The following link offers answers to questions such as What Does Direct Line Landlord Insurance Cover?.Wald is a sleepy village of traditional chalets clustered around a tiny onion-tower church.

It is easily close enough to Arlberg's extensive ski area for you to be on the slopes by 9am via the nearest lift at Stuben.

This is one of the last developments in the area to enjoy Second Home status.

With rare exceptions, all new chalets in Austrian resorts must be rented for part of the year, a rule designed to prevent villages becoming ghost resorts in the summer.

"There is no equivalent to this project in Lech or St Anton," says marketing manager Tom Joyce of agent Pure International.

"For the sake of a 15-minute drive, prices fall from £2,200 per square foot to £340 per square foot."

Austria has invested heavily in its ski resorts, a major part of its economy.

The Arlberg ski region extends to more than 200 miles of the most perfectly groomed pistes in Europe, designed to flatter even modest skiers.

Add to that the comfort of heated modern lifts that magically blend with the beautiful mountain landscape and it is easy to see why the area draws families back season after season.

The four main residential buildings at Wald am Arlberg enjoy a sunny, south-facing site on the mountain slope.

Facilities will include a reception area, restaurant and spa house in two new buildings.

Charges for services are estimated at £750 a year and the only catch is that if you have a car, you must buy an underground parking space costing £20,000.

The development is 45 minutes from Innsbruck airport, served by easyJet, and Pure International can arrange mortgages with a local bank based on a loan-tovalue of 60 per cent.

Interest rates are around three per cent.

Pure is also marketing two projects in the heart of the tiny village of St Christoph am Arlberg, the winter base for the Austrian ski team.

Arlberg 1800 Residences will include apartments from two to five bedrooms.

They will be linked to the town's renowned Hospiz Hotel and its facilities, which later this year will include an art gallery and concert hall.

Priced from just over £700,000 these do not enjoy second homes status and must be rented out for part of the year, but is this really a penalty?

At the nearby Skyfall project, similarly top end, one owner enjoyed an income of £37,500 for a week last Christmas.

In the meantime Reinhard Wolf is looking for a partner for another residential project in Lech, after a Hong Kong tycoon pulled out.

"The guy transferred 28 million euros (£20million) but could not prove where the funds came from, so my bank sent it back," he says ruefully, a clue to just how keenly priced the Wald am Arlberg Chalets are.

For more information please visit pureintl.com/+442036954095 

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