Property on French Riviera still popular with foreign buyers

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Property on French Riviera still popular with foreign buyers

Highly mobile, wealthy individuals with properties in London often have a portfolio of prime properties in other key locations across the world, including southern France, according to an international outlook report from Beauchamp Estates. These include popular second home locations such as St Tropez, Cannes, Cap d’Antibes and Cap Ferrat on the French Riviera where there are more than 71,000 foreign owned holiday homes.

There was a 15% increase in second homes in the area between 2003 and 2009, according to figures from the regional tourism committee and there has been a change in the origin of buyers. Russian speaking buyers are currently dominating the second home market and buyers from the UK, France, the Middle East and Scandinavia are also prominent.

The report points out that demand from across the world for top end properties keeps prices in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) region stable and high. Prices in this part of France are on average 82% more expensive than the national average and along with Paris have seen some of the highest increases in the country.

Between the first quarter of 2000 and the first three months of 2007, property prices in PACA increased by 144% compared to 111% across the country as a whole, according to the French statistical institute INSEE. House prices increased by 129% and apartment values have risen at a faster rate of 155%.

The Beachamps Estates report says that prices declined slightly by around 3% between the end of 2011 and the middle of 2012 as buyers waited for the outcome of the French Presidential Election although now the French Riviera market is proving popular again. Also, in Monaco tax advantages and a secure financial environment attract buyers from all over the world and prices are among the highest. Cannes is one of the top destinations in the south of France because of its prestigious lifestyle and leads the luxury market on the Riviera, the report points out.

The report concludes that prime property investments in the most desirable corners of the world help to safeguard liquid assets. This is also a hedge against uncertainty and through letting their properties owners are also able to cover costs and generate additional income. ‘High net worth individuals with properties in London often have a portfolio of prime properties in other prime locations across the world,’ said Gary Hersham, Beauchamp Estates director.

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