If you are looking to buy property on the French Riviera, here is the lowdown on locations that can give you more for your money.
While property sales show no sign of slowing down for Home Hunts, the forthcoming Brexit – Britain’s future departure from the European Union – is likely to slow down the number of British buyers purchasing in the EU in the months ahead.
Although the pound has dropped a little against the euro, exchange rates are still favourable and interest rates in France remain extremely low. However, despite this buyers are, understandably, looking for a good property deal more than ever before.
Despite the Riviera being one of the most coveted real estate locations in the world, there are still certain areas offering properties at lower prices than in the more popular locations.
If you are looking to buy property on the French Riviera, inland house prices in some areas can be up to 20% less than in some of the well-known towns inland, such as Mougins and Valbonne, and those closer to the sea. Others, such as Grasse, are providing irresistible investment opportunities.
Look inland for affordable dream homes
In 2015 and so far in 2016, the Riviera’s property market has been boosted by price falls inland. Perfect for clients who prefer to be away from the fast pace of the coastline, locations such as Biot, Opio, Roquefort les Pins and Châteauneuf de Grasse offer clients more for their money.
Whether it’s an extra bedroom, a larger swimming pool or more garden terrace for summer entertaining, many of Home Hunts’ clients are able to fulfil the criteria for their dream homes on the Riviera just by focusing their search on these areas instead of the more well-known resorts.
There are other advantages, too. “The beauty of a holiday home inland, aside from the financial savings, is that you can dip in and out of the coast, but not get caught in the busy summer traffic,” says Tim.
“You can relax by your pool, visit markets to buy local food and wine and enjoy days out to the sea or mountains. These smaller villages also offer a sense of community which many of our overseas buyers are looking for.”
Beautiful bastide village of Opio
Opio, a bastide village with a population of around 2,000 people is surrounded by olive trees and pines. A beautiful location, yet not far from Cannes, it can provide an authentic French Riviera lifestyle. It also offers a glorious micro-climate – the reason why it cultivates jasmine and roses for the perfume industry, of which the capital is the nearby town of Grasse.
“It is 15 minutes from the coast, 40 minutes from the nearest ski resort and under half-an-hour from Nice airport,” says Tim. “There are also three international schools nearby and a range of restaurants, from Michelin-starred to local pizzerias.”
Summer tranquillity in Roquefort les Pins
Roquefort les Pins is located right in the heart of the Nice-Antibes-Grasse triangle. It isn’t on the tourist map, which means it doesn’t become overcrowded during the summer, and has an excellent range of amenities. The crèche and selection of schools means that children can be looked after and educated from the age of three months through to sixteen years of age.
“Although its population has increased in recent years, it is still less well known than Mougins and Valbonne,” says Tim. “It also has a multi-cultural community, so overseas buyers and newcomers are able to settle in and make friends fairly quickly.”
Unspoilt charm in Biot
Biot, a charming and unspoilt medieval village, is located inland just five minutes from Antibes’s coastline. It offers easy access to major roads, has a good selection of shops and restaurants and is not far from Sophia Antipolis and the CIV International College in Valbonne.
“In Biot you can get a little more for your money than in Mougins or Valbonne,” says Tim. “Interest and sales have increased in this pretty village, which is close to beaches, as it has all the amenities a family could need.”
Sales up in Châteauneuf-de-Grasse
Châteauneuf-de-Grasse oozes Provençal charm and is situated just a few kilometres away from Opio. A perched medieval village offering breath-taking views of the local countryside towards the bay of Cannes, this village is a popular choice with buyers of both permanent and second homes.
“This charming village is becoming extremely popular with overseas buyers,” says Tim. “Just 5km from Grasse and 30km from Nice means it is well located for international travel while also offering a peaceful and tranquil Provençal lifestyle that is a short drive away from the sea.”
Grasse – a good investment for the future
Despite being the Perfume Capital of the World, Grasse attracts fewer tourists than other parts of the Côte d’Azur. Properties are less expensive here inland than in locations closer to the sea, yet, because it is just 30 minutes’ drive from Nice airport and Cannes’ golden beaches, it is also accessible and well positioned.
As millions of euros are currently being invested into the town centre, by 2021 the heart of Grasse will have been transformed, making it an excellent investment opportunity for those looking to buy property on the French Riviera.
“The redevelopment project in Grasse is not widely known to international buyers, but it is causing huge excitement locally,” says Tim Swannie, Director of Home Hunts. “It will completely change the centre of Grasse and on the Riviera this is the place that we are tipping to be the next big thing. This is why we highlighted it as one of the best locations for investment in France in our latest property insights report, INSIDE FRANCE.”
By the end of 2019, work on a five-screen cinema, new homes and parking spaces will be completed, and by 2021 the town will also include a new four-star hotel and shops, modern offices, gardens and large areas dedicated to public space.
If you are looking to buy property on the French Riviera, visit www.home-hunts.com to search Home Hunts’ impressive luxury property portfolio. To learn more about good investment opportunities on the French Riviera and to discuss your individual property needs, call a consultant directly on +33 (0)970 44 66 43.