The Snow Gauge

Running the rule over the ski & snowboard industry since 1995

Hot property: $42k for a snow apartment

Posted by on Jun 29, 2017 in Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, United States, World | 2 comments

snow apartment

It’s on snow. It’s a minute walk to a ski run. It’s only one bedroom but set-up to sleep six people. It has two bathrooms. It looks neat and tidy.

It’s up for sale at $A42,000.

So what’s the catch?

It’s in Bansko, Bulgaria.

Before you scoff, it is actually one of the more popular resorts in Eastern Europe and a hit (some would say too much so) with Brits who can get flights there for as little as 60 pounds.

There are 14 lifts including a gondola, a lively apres scene and some $100 million pounds spent on the place over the past decade. Oh, and did I mention there are a few Brits there too?


Looks pretty serviceable for $42,000. Bulgaria, anyone?

This particular place was advertised for sale on the Facebook Group Ski & Snowboard Scotland. Check it out here if you are interested.

It did however also get me thinking about the price and availability of apartments and houses around the world in ski areas and their associated towns. Outside of Europe here’s what I came up with:


After what seemed to be years of stagnating prices in our alpine areas and towns, the market looks to be moving again and available options seem limited.

From all reports trying to buy an apartment in Jindabyne is tough going at the moment and I have seen many people on noticeboards outlining their frustrations at places being sold before they are even listed.

A good example of the price movement is some of the renovated loft apartments at Alpine Gables which came onto the market in August 2015 for $165,000. By August the next year there was a sale of $183,000 and by November $195,000. That’s up 18 per cent.

Alpine Gables

Renovated Alpine Gables property

According to Domain there are six active listings in Thredbo under $A500,000 at the moment with the cheapest a one-bedder in Diggings Terrace for $350,000.

Across the border there are 50 active listings between Dinner Plain, Mt Hotham, Falls Creek and Mt Buller. Prices don’t look to be as stiff as NSW with a renovated Mt Buller one-bedder from $155,000 and a two-bedroom apartment at Falls Creek’s Village Bowl Court for $219,000.

New Zealand

Much has been made of the Queenstown boom with plenty predicting a bust (the rental market is off the hook) but as such a popular place to go I wouldn’t count on it. Expect to pay north of $NZ500,000 for a decent two-bedder in walking distance to downtown. This is up for grabs at $NZ599,000.

Personally I’d go to somewhere like Lake Hawea about 15km from Wanaka. Not a bad view below eh? Asking: $NZ420,000.


Lake Hawea – dem views huh!


North America

There’s such a range of properties and prices it’s impossible to make generalisations about the ski property market place. At its simplest you’ll pay more for a big and popular resort like a Vail or Whistler. I’m seeing pretty average two bedroom townhouses there for $C600,000.

Solid mountain towns like Truckee (North Lake Tahoe) and Frisco (Colorado) still aren’t cheap but will get you more bang for your buck. This place in Truckee looks great but will set you back $US689,000.

To get your real value though you probably want to head to a smaller mountain community like Fernie or Rossland (Red Mountain) in BC. I can vouch for the latter having lived there. You can pick up a three-bedroom, two bathroom condo like this for $C299k.


Rossland Condo


I’m surprising no one when I say Niseko is expensive these days but you can pick up a new two bedroom apartment for around $A420,000.Something like this is obviously not ski-in ski-out but would be on the Lower Hirafu shuttle route. Expect to add north of $A150,000 for something similar near the lifts.

I’ve seen some crazy prices in some of the little known ski areas (cabins for $20,000 in government auctions for example) but there’s definitely a little buyer beware there.

For something within walking distance of lifts in a decent commercial area, there’s this in Goryu Hakuba. A nicely renovated two-bedder for around $A200,000.




  1. how much are lift tickets in Bulgaria ? Seem to be about AUD$50/day ? Do they have 7 or 14 days prices ?

  2. Need to check out Mammoth Lakes/Mammoth Mountain real estate prices, some great deals, quite a few Aussies own here already, seven month ski season every year, California sunshine, 12-15 metres of snowfall, member of the Mountain Collective…….

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