Despite the overall volume of UK holiday home buyers falling between 2009 and 2011, ski properties are bucking the trend.

According to research by Alpine Homes, ski properties are actually growing in popularity. Alpine properties now account for nine percent of the UK holiday home market overseas.

62 percent of people surveyed said they are now buying Alpine property for both lifestyle and investment reasons, citing a "bolthole on the piste" as the main driver followed by the potential to generate rental income.

Alpine destinations have increasingly opened up to summer tourism, enabling property owners and investors to benefit from a growing revenue stream of year-round lettings, Switzerland for example saw visitor numbers in 2010 reach 8.6 million, back to the levels seen in 2008.

The Swiss market has also benefitted from the decision of the Swiss National Bank earlier this year to cap the franc at SwFr 1.20 against the euro, which overnight had the effect of dropping the Swiss France 10 percent against the euro and around the same amount against sterling.

However, government restrictions on the housing market means that foreign investors in Switzerland are usually limited to buying in selected tourist area.