With 300 days of sunshine to enjoy and reduced property prices of up to 20%, where are the best places to live and buy property in the South of France?
The three areas in the South of France proving the most popular with Home Hunts’ clients looking to buy property in the South of France are Languedoc Roussillon, Provence and the Riviera. These areas offer some of the most stable, “safe haven” locations in the world, but also up-and-coming locations where properties in proximity to some of the most expensive addresses in the world can be snapped up at more economical prices.
Buy a slice of Provence
For many looking to invest in property in the South of France, it is the Provence coast that is the ultimate location. Resorts such as Bandol, Hyères-les-Palmiers, Saint Tropez, Fréjus and Saint-Raphaël continue to be highly sought after with Saint Tropez still leading the race for attracting the world’s rich and famous.
In terms of up-and-coming locations, villages on the south side of the Alpilles – between Avignon and Arles – are increasing in popularity. The picturesque villages of Mouries, St-Etienne du Grès and Fontvieille (near the countryside surrounding Saint Rémy de Provence that Van Gough so passionately painted) have become firm favourites with those looking to buy property in the South of France.
“The Alpilles has performed well even in a difficult market over the past few years,” says Barbara Abeille, consultant for Provence. There is culture on offer in larger towns, such as Avignon and Nîmes, and excellent transport links to international airports and the TGV.”
Lovely and lush Languedoc
Languedoc is made up of five departments, four of which are on the Mediterranean coast: Gard (30), Hérault (34), Aude (11) and Pyrénées Orientales (66). Its capital, the city of Montpellier, offers a young, vibrant atmosphere, and other major cities in the region are Nimes, Narbonne and Perpignan.
“People wishing to buy property in the South of France choose Languedoc as it hasn’t been taken over by mass tourism and therefore it feels like a really rustic French region,” says Albert van Creveld, a consultant for Languedoc. “Prices are economical, the scenery is wonderful, as is the weather of course”
Buyers looking to make the most of their investment should explore the towns and the areas around Narbonne. “Narbonne has developed a great infrastructure and will have its own TGV station in the next couple of years,” says Creveld. “This development, along with its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea and moderate climate, is currently attracting many new residents.”
Reduced prices on the Riviera
The Cote d’Azur has a population of over two million and its capital, Nice, is home to France’s third busiest airport (after Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly). With more than 100km of coastline and beaches, it attracts 11 million tourists each year – and has some of the most sought after addresses in the world. Valbonne, Mougins, Villefranche-sur-Mer and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat are highly coveted and Cannes and Cap d’Antibes continue to be extremely popular with Home Hunts clients who wish to buy property in the South of France.
“The bay of Villefranche has been voted many times as the most beautiful bay in Europe and Cap Ferrat is one of the world’s most sought after, and expensive, addresses,” says Tim Swannie, Director of Home Hunts. “But a good up-and-coming location to invest in is Grasse as it’s not as expensive as other back country Riviera locations.”
With property prices dropping around 20% since 2008, the Riviera is more accessible now than before, especially when taking into consideration the favourable exchange rates and low interest rates.
“Properties here have become a very good investment opportunity,” adds Tim. “Rental yields are high, as with 300 days of sunshine, the Med at your feet and the Alps just behind, it really is a year-round destination.”
For more information about these three hotspots, view Home Hunts’ insights report INSIDE FRANCE. To search for property in the South of France, visit www.home-hunts.com, and to speak to a consultant directly, call +33 (0)970 44 66 43.