The words “French Riviera” instantly conjure images of crystal blue waters, fashionable shops, and luxurious homes. It’s also one of the most expensive places to live in, with per-square-meter prices ranging from €19,000 in Cannes to €48,000 in Monaco.
Nevertheless, demand for properties remains robust despite the sky-high prices and today’s challenging real estate market. What can buyers expect in the future for French Riviera homes for sale?
France’s real estate market ground to a virtual halt during the early days of the “confinement,” as the lockdown was called locally. But the sector quickly rebounded after restrictions were eased, with the country registering record-high interest in property investment in May.
Part of the reason, the Notaries of France says, was the stability that real estate offered compared to other financial instruments. Of course, property prices dipped as demand waned, but there were no precipitous drops in value unlike with stocks.
One can expect that both property demand and prices will remain steady in the French Riviera, reflecting the real estate market at large.
Rural gets the spotlight
The hottest properties in the French Riviera have always been seaside. But with huge popularity comes a huge population. A testament to this is Monaco, the most densely populated sovereign state in the world.
With people holed up at home for weeks on end, the bustling French Riviera may have started to feel a bit constricting for some residents. An article from Financial Times reports a spike in inquiries for rural properties just outside Monaco, Nice, and Cannes.
In areas like Valbonne and Grasse—both just a short drive from the coast—one can get a bigger house for a much lower price. Indeed, space and privacy have become top considerations for buyers as families now have to live, work, and study from home.
Monaco residents, for example, can maintain a home in the city-state and continue receiving tax privileges, while simultaneously having a more spacious property just outside of it.
Price drops create a golden opportunity
Even the gilded French Riviera can’t entirely escape the ramifications of a global pandemic on property prices. A report from TheLocal.fr found that, for the most part, property prices are still growing nationwide—albeit barely.
While this trend might have some property owners worried, it does create a favorable environment for buyers. For instance, Marseille saw only a 0.4% growth in property values during the lockdown. Nice and Montpellier, meanwhile, saw zero and -0.5% growth respectively.
With the slowing growth in property prices, real estate in the French Riviera will be even more attractive. Buyers have a golden opportunity to own a piece of the Côte d'Azur at a price they could not get even a few short years ago.
Remote work as the new normal
Working from home has been touted as the future of employment, but the global pandemic has accelerated that future to today. No longer shackled to their desks, people don’t have to be bound to the cities where they work—they can be just as productive anywhere in the world.
And if you can work anywhere in the world, why not do so at the stunning French Riviera? Stephen Moroukian, head of product and proposition for Barclays Private Bank, noted that affluent Britons are exhibiting robust interest in the area.
In a piece by MansionGlobal.com, Moroukian said: “Whereas before they would have purchased the second home [in the French Riviera and use it] for six or eight weeks of the year, it’s now the other way around. The London home is the one you’d use for a fraction of the year.”
In other words, the French Riviera presents an enticing opportunity for high-net-worth individuals to mix business with pleasure.
Brexit ups the ante
Continuing from the last point, the U.K. has always been one of the biggest markets for French Riviera properties. After all, the popular resort destination is just across the English Channel and there are no visa requirements for entry. But there’s another reason that’s spurring interest in Côte d'Azur: Britain’s impending exit from the European Union.
While Britons are still allowed to purchase properties in the French Riviera, there are fears that Brexit might result in entry restrictions and new tax levies. As such, British buyers are trying to secure a property before the Brexit transition period ends on December 31, 2020.
There’s never been a year quite like 2020, but one thing remains clear: the future of real estate in the French Riviera is bright.
If you’d like to invest in a home there, the team at Spark & Partners will be more than happy to help. Whether you’re looking for luxury villas, deluxe mansions, or French Riviera apartments for sale, our team will help you locate the perfect property. To get started, contact us at +377.97.777.000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send a message here.