By the Beautiful Sea, Prices are at High Tide
Volume XXI, Issue 29
I have been in Greece, on the island of Symi, this past weekend enjoying the seaside resort and a French friend’s wedding. While Greece has been more than delightful, it still doesn’t hold a candle (for me) to Corsica, France’s answer to the perfect island. By sheer coincidence, Meilleurs Agents just revealed the prices at all the resorts in mainland France, and in Corsica, too. Their objective was to discover the most expensive, as well as the least.
Their summary was the following:
• Property prices by the sea have jumped 12.8% in two years
• PACA (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) is France’s most expensive coastline
• Corsica records the second-highest price increase
• There is a slowdown on the Atlantic coast and in Brittany
• Occitanie is France’s least expensive coastline
• Property prices are still attractive near the English Channel
• The closer you are to the sea, the more your property is worth
Living by the sea is a dream for many French people, who hope to enjoy a better quality of life. And science is proving them right. According to a British study published in the journal Health and Place, people living near a coastline enjoy better physical and mental health. Less stress, better breathing, better sleep and a healthier immune system. So much for the benefits, plus a magnificent living environment (and the sound of the waves to lull you to sleep).
So it’s no surprise that, in the wake of the pandemic, property prices in French seaside resorts have been climbing. And climbing again. According to Meilleurs Agents, the leader in online property valuations, prices have risen by a further 12.8% in two years (including 3.4% in the last year)*. Over the same period (between July 2021 and July 2023), property prices rose by an average of only 6.6% in France.
It’s no longer a surprise to anyone: the PACA region’s coastline boasts the highest prices. On average, you can expect to pay €6,071/m² for your property. That’s an increase of 5.2% in one year and almost 14% in two years. Yes, the French Riviera sells! It has to be said that there are a number of prestigious destinations with international reputations, which are the stuff of fantasies. In Villefranche-sur-Mer, a symbol of the French Riviera, property prices exceed €9,700/m². These include Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, THE most expensive seaside resort in France (€16,955/m² on July 1, 2023, up 5.6% in one year). It is closely followed by other equally prestigious resorts: Ramatuelle (15,668€/m², +6.3%) and Saint-Tropez (14,219€/m², +7.8%). There’s no denying it: luxury real estate is not in crisis.
Corsica’s natural charm is the key to its success. Even though it remains much more affordable than the PACA region (€4,794/m² on average), Corsica has seen the second-highest price increase: up 5.3% in one year and 12.8% in two years. And in the most sought-after resorts, prices are soaring. This is particularly true in Zonza, less than an hour from Porto Vecchio, where property is trading at an average of €7,311/m². This represents an increase of 4.7% in one year.
“It’s interesting to note that the areas with the biggest price increases are also those with some of the highest prices on the market. These prestigious coastal areas, which are in high demand, attract a clientele less sensitive to borrowing costs, which maintains a bullish market dynamic”, analyzed Barbara Castillo Rico, head of economic research at Meilleurs Agents.
The Atlantic coast remains the second most expensive coastal region in France, with prices averaging €5,373/m². But there’s a but…the Atlantic coast is also experiencing a real slowdown: in fact, it recorded the lowest price increase of all metropolitan coastlines (only +1.8% in one year, compared with 12% in two years).
In fact, the most expensive seaside resort on the Atlantic coast, Lège-Cap-Ferret, saw its prices fall this year: -1.8% (€12,150/m²). And it’s not the only one. Several other resorts are stalling, such as Biarritz (-2.7%, €8,455/m²) and Lacanau (-2.2%, €4,784/m²). “We’re witnessing a multi-speed market. For exceptional locations and properties, which are now rarer, prices are holding up, and properties are going fast,” says Stéphane Meunier, manager of the Le Concept Immobilier agency in Biarritz. On the other hand, more generally speaking, lead times are getting longer, prices are being regulated and corrected, especially in less sought-after areas.”
Brittany is following the same trend, with a contained rise in prices: +2.6% in one year (€3,931/m²) versus +14.6% in two years. In Morbihan, La Trinité-sur-Mer remains the most expensive resort in Brittany (€6,235/m²), with a slight rise in prices over one year (1%). In Finistère, the situation is more tense: -2.2% in La Forêt-Fouesnant (€3,370/m²) and -1.7% in Fouesnant (€3,353/m²).
“Property prices on the Atlantic and Breton coasts are still outperforming the national average, but a certain lull is being felt. The market seems to be rebalancing after the boom of recent years. As a reminder, over the last five years, these two coasts recorded the highest price rises: +44% for the Breton coast and +40.6% for the Atlantic coast,” says Barbara Castillo Rico.
Occitanie is the least expensive coastline in France (€3,740/m² on average)! And this despite significant increases: +4.1% in one year and +12.3% in two years. Its most expensive resort is the famous Palavas-les-Flots and its €5,420/m² (We filmed a House Hunters International there last year.). Property prices here have risen by 2.6% in the last year. If you don’t have the budget, then head for Port-la-Nouvelle, where prices are more than half that: €2,323/m² (+0.3% in one year).
“The seaside resorts with the biggest price variations in one year are Canet-en-Roussillon (€3,947, +10.7%), and Le Barcarès (€3,145, +10.2%). Two towns near Perpignan,” added Meilleurs Agent’s head of economic research.
Despite significant price rises (+2.8% in one year and +10.6% in two years), the Manche coastline still offers good prospects for property purchases, with an extremely attractive average price: €3,967/m². But budgets vary from one départment to another, from simple to…quintuple. For example, Vicq-Sur-Mer, in the La Manche region of Normandy with an average price of €1,975/m² (-0.8% in one year), is a resort of just 1,000 inhabitants and is not only the least expensive on the coast, it’s also THE least expensive seaside resort in France! This is almost five times less expensive than Le Touquet-Paris-Plage (Pas-de-Calais), by far the most prestigious resort on this part of the coast (€9,117/m², -0.3% in one year).
A sea view inevitably costs more. All coastal areas combined, property prices rise by an average of 7.8%** if they are less than 20 minutes’ walk from the sea. These are the findings of a study by Meilleurs Agents. And naturally, the closer you get, the higher the prices. If, by chance, your property is less than a 5-minute walk from the beach, you’ve hit the jackpot, as its value soars: +22.1% on average. And if it’s a house, it’s even better: +22.8%, compared with +18.9% for an apartment.
*Prices and real estate indexes for Meilleurs Agents as of July 1, 2023.
**Compared to the same type of property located more than two kilometers from the sea.
• Prices along the French coast are still rising: +3.4% in one year and +12.8% in two years
• All coastlines combined, proximity to a beach within a 5-minute walk increases the value of a property by an average of +22.1%
• Corsica and the PACA region record the highest price increases: +5.3% and +5.2% respectively in one year
• The Atlantic coast recorded the lowest increase: +1.3% in one year. It is nevertheless the second most expensive coastal region in France (€5,373/m² on average), just behind the PACA region (€6,071/m² on average)
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat (Alpes Maritimes) remains France’s most expensive seaside resort. At €16,955/m², this is 8.5 times more expensive than Vicq-Sur-Mer in the English Channel, France’s least expensive resort (€1,975/m²).
It’s no wonder that Nice has become our most popular spot in France to buy or rent. We have a fantastic team of Search Consultants on the ground in Nice and environs that can find you just about anything. To learn more, visit our website. https://adrianleeds.com/our-services/
The Adrian Leeds Group®
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