Prime properties in France’s Côte d’Azur have become more appealing as international wealthy buyers increasingly shop for euro-denominated assets, according to a Savills report Tuesday.
A popular vacation spot also known as the French Riviera, Côte d’Azur currently has a high inventory of luxury homes, enabling buyers to pick from a wide range of selections and negotiate prices down, typically a 10% to 30% discount, according to Savills’s 2018 report on the Mediterranean region.
“Thanks to an improved national economy, demand is returning to the Côte d’Azur. However, stock levels are high, meaning it is a buyer’s market,” said Paul Tostevin, associate director of Savills World Research, in the report.
“The region offers a desirable lifestyle but also the benefits of city living with high-end retail, restaurants and a full social calendar,” added Alex Balkin, head of Savills French Riviera. “This makes it appealing to a new wave of young, globally-mobile high-net-worth individuals looking for high specification homes that are ready to move into.”
For homes priced above €10 million (about US$12.34 million) in Côte d’Azur, most buyers are from Russia, Eastern Europe, Belgium, Scandinavian countries, U.K. and Middle East, according to the report.
The prime Cote d’Azur residential market peaked in 2008 and slowed significantly after the global financial crisis. Similarly to other prime markets such as London and New York, prices in Côte d’Azur picked up in 2011, driven by new wealth from emerging markets, but it slowed again in 2012 with the election of Francois Hollande, and after 2014 due to the stalling French economy, the report said.
The 2017 election of Emmanuel Macron has marked a turning point, Mr. Tostevin said, as the new government has brought stability and improved international standing, but no reprieve on the country’s property tax, whose threshold remains unchanged at €1.3 million (US$1.6 million) for home purchases as it was under the old wealth tax.
Presently, prime prices in Côte d’Azur have plateaued and are close to the levels seen in 2006, ranging between €25,000 to €30,000 per square meter (about US$2,867 to US$3,440 per square foot).
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