A Property Buyer’s Guide to Cannes

Photo of La Californie in Cannes

Cannes is one of the world’s most prestigious locations for luxury real estate, appealing to affluent buyers and property investors around the world.

There’s no other place quite like Cannes, a city that’s dynamic, romantic and international all in one. Thought of as a top European social hub, Cannes welcomes international tourists almost all-year-round, with crowds thinning out for just a short time from December to February.

People from all over the world are eager to buy a home in Cannes, whether they want to relocate there permanently or buy as a second home for holidays, and bringing in a rental income the rest of the time.

Once a humble fishing village, Cannes has become one of the French Riviera’s most prominent towns, playing host to the famous Cannes Film Festival each year, along with other conferences and events such as Cannes Lions, MIPIM and MIPCOM. And when celebrities, industry leaders, and other A-listers visit Cannes, they often look for a lush home they can stay in for a short-term rental.

Known for its glamour and prestige, Cannes offers wealthy property buyers a sophisticated lifestyle that is unmatched anywhere else.

Where Is Cannes? What Makes It Such a Prime Location for Luxury Properties?

Cannes is located in southeast France on the French Riviera, in the Alpes-Maritimes department of the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region.

Nice, the largest city in the region, is 30 kilometres southwest, and Cannes is also close to the Italian border, with the nearest crossing point only 50 kilometres away.

Its position on the coast means Cannes has beautiful beaches and a desirable Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters. By investing in a waterfront penthouse or villa, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the sea and the picturesque coastline from the moment you wake up.

Cannes is a small city compared to the country’s other metropolitan areas, such as Paris and Marseille, and that limited space is another reason why property here is in such high demand.

Despite being petite, Cannes is easy to access, making it possible to travel to and from your home here whenever you wish. There are reliable transportation links in the area, including the international Nice Cote d’Azur Airport and high-speed trains that run to other major European cities.

Where Are the Prime Residential Areas in Cannes?

There are a number of residential areas in Cannes that are revered for their luxury property and close proximity to amenities and attractions. For a quieter, calmer setting, consider the towns and villages near Cannes which make it close enough to visit whenever you want but further removed from the centre of activity.

La Croisette

Photo of La Croisette in cannes

Possibly the most prestigious and coveted location in Cannes, La Croisette is a waterfront boulevard with boutiques, hotels and restaurants, as well as stunning properties for home buyers. Homes here run the gamut, including high-end apartments and penthouses, waterfront townhouses, and historic Belle Époque villas.

La Californie

Photo of La Californie in Cannes

On the hills that overlook Cannes, you’ll find Le Californie (also referred to as “California”). Homes here have fantastic views of the city, the sea and the mountain range, and gated communities offer the utmost privacy and security. You can often find large villas here that provide a tranquil escape from the bustle of the city.

Le Cannet

Photo of Le Cannet in Cannes

Elevated in the hills north of Cannes is Le Cannet, known for having a charming old town with Provencal architecture and lots of history. A variety of properties can be found here, from modern apartments to historic houses.

Super Cannes

Photo of View of Super Cannes

Another exclusive hillside neighborhood is Super Cannes, with sprawling estates, mansions and villas, many in gated communities. Homes here often feature cinema rooms, terraces, infinity pools and private gardens.

What Types of Luxury Properties Are Available in Cannes?

Cannes property has a broad range, catering to families of all sizes and buyers with specific preferences and lifestyles.

Apartments and Penthouses

Luxury apartments in Cannes can be found in both modern and historic buildings, and they tend to have concierge services, reliable security, underground parking, and fitness and wellness centres.

Cannes’ exclusive top-floor penthouses give homeowners a vantage point that’s experienced by few. These residences often have expansive indoor space, state-of-the-art amenities and finishes, and terraces or rooftop gardens for inhaling the fresh sea air.

apartment in cannes

Gated Estates

For maximum privacy and escape, consider a gated estate in Cannes. Set on a large stretch of land, these properties typically have multiple buildings, including guest houses and staff quarters, along with lavish extras like helipads and tennis courts.

Historic and Waterfront Villas

If you love Cannes’ cultural heritage, consider a restored villa dating back to the Belle Époque era or earlier. These properties have grand and ornate architecture, furnishings, and other details.

Cannes also has villas set right on the waterfront, often with private beaches and direct sea access, not to mention unparalleled views of the coast. These homes are usually spacious inside and outside, many with their own pool, garden, and dock.

Photo of historic villa in cannes

What Legal and Financial Considerations Should You Be Aware Of?

Exploring homes in Cannes to find the right one is exciting, but there are legal and financial issues to consider, too.

The Property Buying Process

Once you’ve found the home of your dreams in Cannes, you’ll make an offer in writing to the owner. If accepted, you and the owner will sign the initial contract, you’ll pay the deposit (5% to 10% of the purchase price), and then you’ll wait through the mandatory 10-day cooling-off period.

Next is the conveyancing process, which usually lasts around 10 weeks. During this time, the notaire will check into various details about the property, such as getting planning permission or finding out about outstanding debts.

Lastly, you’ll make the final payment on your home to the notaire, and you and the seller will sign the deed, which officially makes you the owner of the home.

We have a complete guide to the property buying process in France. We recommend that you consider working with a buyer’s agent to make the entire process easier to understand and navigate.

what is a notaire in france

Financial Considerations

When it comes to how you’ll purchase your Cannes property, your options are either paying in full with cash or securing a French mortgage. You’ll want to consider interest rates and exchange rates to get a full picture of how much you’ll end up spending on your purchase.

There are several other payments, fees and taxes to be aware of, too. For example, if you’re taking out a mortgage, you’ll need to pay a deposit, which is usually 25% to 30% of the purchase price.

The notaire also charges a fee, which is approximately 7%. Also, all residential property in France is subject to land tax and local tax, but the amount varies based on your location.

How Can You Maximise Your Investment in Cannes Real Estate?

For investors who want to earn an income from their Cannes property, there are specifics that will maximise your investment.


While certain areas in and near Cannes are removed from the hustle and bustle, that’s not an ideal setting for a rental property. Focus on the top locations in Cannes, like La Croisette, Super Cannes, and waterfront locations. These are the most desirable settings for rental property.


It may be necessary to renovate your property to add value. Modernising or upgrading your home can boost its appeal to renters while also increasing its resale value should you decide to sell in the future.

Upgrades with a high return on investment include bathroom and kitchen remodeling as well as adding energy-efficient features. Improving curb appeal, installing smart technology, and adding holiday-specific amenities, like a pool area, will also make your property more enticing.


When you have a rental property in a prime location in Cannes, you can capitalise on the annual events that bring tens of thousands of visitors to the area. Centre your marketing around the Cannes Film Festival and other events to appeal to short-term renters who would prefer to stay in an apartment or villa rather than a hotel. Your renters may even want to stay at your home each year moving forward.

Final Thoughts: Is Cannes a Good Place to Live?

Cannes is one of the world’s most sought-after destinations for home buyers as well as jet-setters, offering an elite way of life specific to the area. With a beautiful setting on the Mediterranean coast, access to other popular cities, and world-renowned events each year, Cannes is a property buyer’s dream, whether their goal is to live there full-time or manage an investment property that brings in rental income.

Since buying a home in Cannes is such a huge investment, it’s important to move forward confidently and with expert guidance. With numerous types of properties and prime locations in Cannes, navigating the real estate market is difficult if you’re unfamiliar with the area or the French buying process.

To consult with a luxury real estate expert and find your new home in Cannes, contact Home Hunts today.

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