Real Estate French Market Overview
Macron’s victory in May 2017 injected a renewed vigour into France’s prime residential property market, and luxury real estate French Riviera. For domestic buyers, many of whom had sat on the side lines for several years, positive economic indicators backed up by the IMF, provided the impetus to move forward.
For international buyers, Macrons’ desire to lure international talent and restructure the economy has helped rekindle their passion for France, its culture and way of life. Even French citizens, who moved their lives and wealth overseas during Hollande’s presidency, are returning, drawn by attractive prices and Macron’s probusiness stance, amongst other factors. Currency changes and tax have also put France back under the spotlight. France is a comparatively affordable country in which to own a home due to its low purchase costs; taper relief on Capital Gains Tax; and a wealth tax that can be, partly mitigated with debt.
Brexit appears to have created some hesitancy among UK buyers below the €2m threshold.
Above this level the segment which represents the bulk of our transactions confidence is returning and budgets are rising as a result. On average budgets were up over 30% in 2017 when compared to a year earlier. with the Côte d’Azur, Provence and the Alps the key destinations for those with deeper pockets.
The Central Côte d’Azur, which also attracts those seeking a permanent residence, had a remarkable 2017. The technology park at Sophia Antipolis, home to 2,230 companies and 36,300 high tech jobs, abundance of international schools, proximity to Monaco and Nice airport are all key drivers for a market dominated by budgets between €1m and €4m. The inland area, typified by village like Grasse, Valbonne, Opio, Chateauneuf, Roquefort and Mougins, remains firmly underpinned by a steady stream of buyers from all over Europe, the Middle East and Asia seeking to capitalise on the current wave of optimism and previous price falls. This renewed optimism best demonstrated by a new generation of buyers now willing to consider off-plan projects and refurbishments.
Whilst the super-prime market remains subdued there are positive signs emerging and some notable transactions in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Saint-Tropez, Cannes and Cap Ferrat which bodes well for the market and the year ahead. Much of the recovery has in part, been supported, by more determined vendors willing to
acknowledge the new market norm and by virtue a desire to realise a quicker sale.
The confidence that began to grow in 2016 continues to gain momentum and as France celebrates a record 2017 with over one million sales across the “Hexagon” budgets, transaction volumes are likely to rise further still. Against a backdrop of benign interest rates, fledgling house price inflation, growing economic and political trust, France looks to attract global wealth that will allow the real estate markets to thrive through 2018 and beyond. Indeed, as global uncertainty prevails, France and its rich cultural tapestry remains an attractive and compelling investment and lifestyle choice.
Destination French Riviera
The French Riviera was shaped by 1920s fashion designers and artists and is the ideal place for shopping. There are luxury boutiques and many designers here, so you will definitely find what you are looking for between the Croisette in Cannes and the boutiques of Monaco and Nice. Sports fans are delighted by the proximity of the ski resorts (one hour away from Nice), the luxurious golf courses, the many walking routes and nautical activities.
In the Alpes-Maritimes and Monaco, 34 restaurants share 44 Michelin stars, proving that the Côte d’Azur also inspires the great chefs. There are countless gourmet restaurants run by famous chefs, such as Alain Ducasse, Joël Robuchon, Bruno Oger and Mauro Colagreco.
The Côte d’Azur is also full of international schools and establishments offering specialised classes in foreign languages. These include:
- The International School of Nice, offering a private education in English, leading to the International Baccalaureate (IB), recognised in over 120 countries.
- Mougins School teaches the British curriculum, with classes in English, leading to GCSEs for 16-year olds and to A Levels at 18. From the age of three, pupils of 35 different nationalities are taught exclusively in English.
- In Valbonne, the EBICA school takes pupils between the ages of three and 12.
- The Centre International is a secondary school with four international sections (Anglo-American, German, Spanish and Italian), leading to the IB.
- The Campus International de Cannes teaches higher eduction for foreign students in French language and civilisation.