Back to France Property Angels
Search Properties

St Gervais, the history, the life & the property market

We take a look at St Gervais the gateway to the Chamonix Valley, a staging post for climbing Mont Blanc & home to thermal spring spas for hundreds of years. Today we find a thriving town with a buoyant property & holiday rental market.

St Gervais shares it’s name with two of it’s most significant geological features. It’s often called St Gervais les Bains or St Gervais Mont Blanc in reference to the thermal springs bringing warmed mineral water to the surface from deep below and the staggering peak of Mont Blanc above.

For over 200 years wealthy travelers visited St Gervais for the rejuvenating powers of the hydrotherapeutic waters & incredible scenery. Today the town has an elegance rare in mountain resorts as it retains much of the 19th century architecture of a town built around health & wellbeing in an age of ambition. Today, wellness holidays in St Gervais are increasingly popular with a plethora of health & beauty treatments available including the natural thermal spas.

The scenery is particularly beautiful, being at a confluence of glacial valleys with great extremes from the valley bottom to the peaks above. Visitors and residents enjoy staggering views of the natural alpine environment in all seasons.

The resort of St Gervais is committed to protecting it’s natural heritage, limiting the impact of it’s commercial success on the environment. The town Mayor leads this effort through his “Pure Mountain Campaign” which works to limit over development & reorganise tourism so as to have a more positive effect on the environment.

Steps already taken include the installation of eco-friendly “dry toilets” at mountain refuges as high as 4,362m (the highest in Europe) and using eco-friendly materials in their roads & construction projects.

This commendable initiative is supported by locals & the ex-pat community as the benefits to the resort secure it’s future in an ecological & commercial sense. Find out more about the Pure Mountain campaign.

As a ski destination St Gervais does very well. A town of four villages at intervals climbing the mountainside with the main town centre at 900m & the village of Le Fayet at 580m and with pistes soaring well above 2000m. Skiers & snowboarders access over 440km of piste of the Evasion Mont-Blanc ski area. The ski area is noted for it’s significant size & variability and yet being peaceful & rarely crowded.

An additional ski option is the 55 km of piste on the opposite side of town in Le Prarion and Les Houches, accessible by the Mont-Blanc Tramway, one of the oldest rack and pinion railways in the country. The TMB (Tramway du Mont-Blanc) departs from St Gervais les Bain allowing access to the famous ascent of Mont Blanc the “Voie Royale”.

This amounts to a mountain town with a timeless appeal supported by it’s unique location & history this value appears to be reflected in the property market of St Gervais.

Alpine property came under downward pressure through the financial crisis with significant falls in many resorts, St Gervais seems to have weathered the downturn with prices remaining stable. Local property specialists believe that the signs of growth are now firm & a steady increase in prices can be expected.

“St Gervais is very much on the ‘up’. It is a village that feels very french, and has a thriving population year round. From cruisey pistes to challenging off piste, the ski area, linking with Megeve, offers a huge variety for all the family, all with the stunning back drop of the Mt Blanc massif.
St Gervais is definitely a great place to invest in property at the moment, gaining fast in reputation, it hasn’t yet seen the big surge of investment in private properties that many other ski villages experienced before the financial crisis, so many properties have huge potential with just a small amount of improvement or renovation.” – Kate Scott, France Property Angel in St Gervais.

Property for sale in St Gervais varies in price quite significantly based on the location within the cluster of villages, central accommodation fetches the highest prices. Central apartments can fetch a higher rent in the ski season but can be limited in their outside space. This is of little consequence in the winter but in summer, holidaymakers tend to choose accommodation with a nice big garden which tend to be further from the centre.

Meilleursagents provide analysis on the average property prices in St Gervais. They suggest that the price of an apartment in St Gervais is between €2317 to €4742 per m2, with the average sale being around €3493 per m2. Chalets are averaging around €5500 per m2. Whilst these are averages there can be a big variance from the average for the most ideally located properties.

Those interested in property in St Gervais do best by working with a local expert to find the style of apartment or chalet that will perform best for the buyers needs. With the market looking strong & the excellent local environmental governance it’s certainly an attractive time to look at property in St Gervais.

Below you can take a look at some of the lovely properties currently available in St Gervais. Click on each picture to see more details.

Share this articleShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>