The Financial Times have published an interesting article today about the French Riviera property market, focussing particularly on the popular villages of Mougins, Valbonne and the world capital of perfume, Grasse, a little further inland from the coast. The FT spoke to Home Hunts director, Tim Swannie earlier this week to discuss the market in these areas.
France has been slowly lifting restrictions for more than a month now and it has been possible to move around the country freely for several weeks. The property market, having been closed down for many weeks, has sprung back into action and, in many areas, it is busier than it has been for several years. The Paris market was extremely busy before the lockdown and it has immediately picked up where it left off, with many properties selling within days, sometimes even before they go on the open market.
There has been a huge amount of interest in more rural properties however, particularly from wealthy buyers who have been stuck in their city apartments during lockdown. The ever-popular coastal locations such as Cannes, Nice, Antibes and Villefranche remind in high demand, but this article focuses on this current trend of those looking at rural locations. The journalist takes a particular interest in Parisian and Monaco based buyers who have been looking at properties in the French Riviera back country. As the feature says “Potential buyers are inquiring about properties inland, where prices are lower and space and privacy are plentiful. Most in recent weeks have been about the large estates in the French back country — around Valbonne, Mougins and Grasse — selling for between €2m and €8m”
As well as speaking to Home Hunts and some of our French Riviera immobilier partners, they also spoke to a Home Hunts client who lives in Monaco and bought a property with Home Hunts which is close to Valbonne – “Since lockdown started, Charles Allen and his family have been cooped up in their three-bedroom flat in Monaco, the sovereign city-state on the French Riviera. “Living in an apartment has its limits and it became quite tense at times,” he says. Last summer, Allen — who did not want to give his real name — had bought a villa on the edge of Valbonne, a small French village half an hour’s drive from Cannes. It cost a fraction of his Monaco home and had plenty of space, including a large garden and a pool.”
The article goes on to say – “Since May 11, when French estate agents could again show properties to prospective buyers, the highest proportion of inquiries for new Riviera homes outside Monaco has come from residents of Monaco and Paris, according to both Fredrik Lilloe of Knight Frank’s Cannes office and Tim Swannie of local agent Home Hunts. “Monaco residents have been holed up in apartments for the past 10 weeks and now want to find a home with a bit more space, where they can work from home if they need to,” says Swannie. Like Allen — whose primary residence will remain in Monaco — these buyers do not want to move out of the city-state and surrender their tax advantages, says Swannie. They would like another home to use at weekends”
There are several stunning French Riviera properties featured in the article, including the above property in Cannes from Home Hunts, Click the image to see more details of the villa, which is a former flour mill and has beautiful views of the sea.
Borders opened across Europe this week and France is open for business, Home Hunts have a very busy schedule over the coming few weeks with most buyers coming from Germany, UK, the Netherlands and Belgium, they also have several Swiss and Scandinavian clients booked in for visits in June and July, it looks like it is going to be a busy summer!
You can Read the article here in full from the Financial Times. There are some comments within the article about property prices – “The Covid-19 pandemic has led to some reductions. One of Swannie’s sellers, a Briton in her seventies who is worried about continuing travel restrictions from the UK, dropped the price of her home near Cannes by 12 per cent recently to secure a sale. Three weeks ago, the seller of a nine-bedroom house on 17 acres in Grasse, on the market with Home Hunts, cut the price by €1m to €8.9m. Buyers will need a healthy income to afford the running costs: tending the gardens costs €200,000 a year, Swannie estimates.”
If you are thinking about becoming the owner a property on the French Riviera or elsewhere in France, please feel free to contact us at any time, details below. We are happy to help with any questions you may have about the French property market or just about life in France generally.