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  • Writer's pictureJameson Farn

The Demand for French Riviera Properties Still Strong

With markets around the world seemingly all over the map in regard to real estate values, a recent report by Sotheby’s International Realty has stated that although the second home market in France is currently plateauing, demand is still high in the French Riviera. “The Covid period was exceptional for real estate in all of its markets,” says Sotheby’s International Realty France-Monaco Chairman and CEO Alexander Kraft, while noting strong growth in the second home market during that time.

This latter segment of the market is now reaching something of a plateau, says the report, a trend that is “probably as a result of the current economic crisis, difficulty in obtaining financing, rising interest rates and global political tensions”.

“This decline in activity is a normal phase of the market cycle after three record years,” explains Kraft, “and remains far less pronounced than among buyers of primary residences.”

Most of our clients at Experience The French Riviera tend to come from countries such as the UK, Dubai, the USA, and also Canada. And for many reasons, either they are seeking a safer country, currency exchange, or overall lifestyle change whether they are looking for a primary, secondary, or even retirement home.

Although France itself may be experiencing a slight slowdown, demand for villa rentals and secondary homes continues to stay strong.

Peter Illovsky, the president of Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty group that represents five agencies between Saint Tropez and Menton, has added his local knowledge to the report, explaining that “the Covid period brought strong activity characterized by a buying appetite focused on properties with outdoor space, sea views or proximity to the sea”.

Though not as hearty as during the health crisis, the market on the Côte d’Azur is playing to its natural strengths and, in many places, prices and demand continue to rise. Nice, for example, is seeing first and second-home prices on the rise, a trend that does not seem to be abating.

Nice, the capital of the French Riviera, featured prominently on a recent Sotheby’s list of locations to consider when buying a second home in the region, alongside Cannes, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, Saint Tropez, and the other towns found in its gulf.

We’ve noticed since last summer when the currency rate between the US and Europe went to par, we experienced a massive demand for secondary homes. And now prices are going up in Nice, around 10% over the past year, in Cannes they went up a similar 12%, but in Antibes, they went up 20%.

According to one of the local papers, Antibes are seen as "like Cannes but cheaper". The average budget for buying there is only €800,000 which is half the average €1.8m buyers in Cannes usually like to spend. This is attracting buyers that would have otherwise bought further up the coast.

The market for villas is also strong there, with Antibes having more on the market and an average price of €2.4M compared to Cannes average price of €3.8M. As a comparison, the Q1 this year an average house in France cost €407,000.

Taking into account the latest price increases, the price per square metre in Cannes is now €11,748, in Antibes €9,355, and in Nice €6,466.

We’ve always known the Cote d’Azur as being an international destination people want to travel to, and we’ve certainly met a lot of people who over the years, on their first visit then want to make the region part of their lifestyle, so we are not surprised to find out that demand is still strong here.


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