The Côte d’Azur’s combination of history, culture, world-class beaches, stunning seascapes, gastronomy, good schools and international airport access makes it a perfect destination for overseas buyers.
By all accounts, the French Riviera property market is booming, boosted by low interest rates, price falls inland, and an increase in sales in coastal locations, such as Cannes, Antibes and Saint Tropez. Tim Swannie at Home Hunts reports that buyers are now getting more for their money in locations such as Biot, Opio, Roquefort-les-Pins and Châteauneuf de Grasse.
“Grasse, the world capital of perfume, is also a great area for investments,”
“The town is currently spending millions redeveloping the centre and there is a direct train line to Cannes and the rest of the Riviera.”
Home Hunts’ data revealed that the area’s most coveted locations are Mougins, Valbonne and Grasse; Cap d’Antibes and Cannes; Villefranche-sur-Mer and Saint Jean-Cap-Ferrat; and also Saint Tropez.
“Two medieval villages, Mougins and Valbonne offer authentic charm, good amenities and have a busy events calendar,”
says Amy Bault, a Riviera consultant for Home Hunts.
“These villages are very international whilst not being overrun with tourists in the summer. They are also close to several international schools.
“The Cap d’Antibes and Cannes are both around 30 minutes from Nice airport and have wonderful sandy beaches. Both areas are excellent for yacht lovers. Clients invest in these areas as they have the dream Riviera lifestyle on their doorstep. The bustling town of Villefranche-sur-Mer neighbours the forested peninsula of Saint Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
“These are popular areas known for their beautiful sea views and proximity to Monaco. With easy access to the beaches and ports, they offer an ideal investment for many of our clients. A quaint village, Saint Tropez offers a perfect blend of old-world charm and glamour. Property wise, there are a huge number of luxury villas, apartments and townhouses available in the area. Prices remain high as it’s a highly exclusive location attracting buyers from all over the world.”
Tim Clark of Leggett Prestige believes that the upcoming election in France will deliver a more proactive government and this has prompted the interest in high-end property to increase.
“Property asking prices are still a little on the high side in this segment,”
“however vendors are rarely in a rush to sell, but will entertain offers from serious clients.”
Bubble Palace, Cannes (Above)
Currently the second most expensive home for sale in Europe, this revolutionary property of approximately 1,200m² was designed by the architect Antti Lovag. It was built between 1975 and 1989 and purchased by the famous fashion designer Pierre Cardin in the early 1990s as a vacation home. Taking the form of a cluster of bubbles spread over six levels, the property is at the forefront of contemporary architecture. It includes a panoramic lounge, reception room and 10 suites decorated by contemporary artists. A stunning 500-seat outdoor auditorium overlooks the sea, facing the bay of Cannes, while gardens, ponds and a swimming pool create a clifftop paradise stretching over more than 8,500m² of grounds.
£276.7m / €319.5m / $335m
Michaël Zingraf Real Estate Christie’s
Ramatuelle, near Saint Tropez
Previously owned by the late singer and songwriter George Michael, this property is on a green, 6,000m² plot very close to the Pampelonne beach. It has been completely renovated and offers a great view of the sea. The ground floor includes a living room, dining room, kitchen and three en suite bedrooms. On the first floor is a master bedroom with walk-in wardrobe and bathroom, while at garden level there are two guest bedrooms with adjacent shower room/bathroom plus a caretaker’s apartment. Amenities include a fitness room, heated swimming pool, inter-connected sound system and air-conditioning.
£10.3m / €11.9m / $12.5m
John Taylor Saint Tropez
Contemporary villa in the heart of the most sought-after area of Cannes with an amazing sea view over the Bay of Cannes, from the Lerins Islands to the Esterel hills. The six-bedroom property is on flat land of 3,000m² with landscaped garden, swimming pool and summer kitchen. It includes an entrance hall, living room, dining room with wine cellar, fully-equipped kitchen and two-bedroom caretaker’s house.
£11.7m / €13.5m / $14.2m
Villa La Vague, Monte Carlo, Monaco
This freehold villa in a quiet and exclusive part of Monaco has spectacular, protected panoramic views across the principality to the Mediterranean Sea beyond. The existing property was built over 110 years ago in the Belle Epoque style of the late 19th century and has been placed under protective order by HSH Prince Albert. Current planning permission exists to alter and enlarge the current four storey, four-bedroom property into a completely refurbished, six storey, six-bedroom villa of 7,600 square feet with 2,400 square feet of terrace space. Morpheus, a leading London design house, has conceived plans in which the main focus of each floor is centred on the south facing windows and the sea views beyond.
£39m / €45m / $47.2m
Divided into a main house, guest accommodation and a guardian’s apartment, all elements of this property are internally linked but have their own self-contained entrances. The main house is in an elevated position overlooking the pool terrace and gardens on grounds extending to over three hectares. It is entered via a room opening out to nearly 200m² with defined zones for lounge, dining room, library and open plan kitchen with centre island. There is a feature insert fireplace and the entire zone has underfloor heating as well as a climate control system. Three large bedroom suites, a garage large enough for at least five cars and a cellar are also included.
£7.36m / €8.5m / $8.92m
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, near Monaco
Ideally located, this 400m² property has views over the bay of Villefranche and the Mediterranean Sea. Beaches are just a couple of minutes’ walk from the villa which is set in a large landscaped garden with swimming pool. It has been built over three levels with seven rooms including two reception areas and three bedrooms, an apartment for guests and caretaker accommodation. The property would benefit from refurbishment to recreate its original splendour and create the six bedrooms and bathrooms for which there is potential.
£11.2 m / €13m / $13.6m
In a totally private setting, this property on approximately five hectares has impressive views. It consists of a principal villa of some 600m², a guest apartment, separate guesthouse and staff quarters. The main villa includes a large living room with fireplace, a dining room, fully equipped kitchen and an office with fireplace and in-built humidor. All rooms open to the vast terraces and garden. The sleeping quarters contain the master bedroom suite, two further bedrooms both with en suite bathrooms. Upstairs are a further two bedrooms, an office, a playroom and storage. The lower level contains the cinema room, a billiard room with bar and wine cellar. Magnificent gardens feature a vast heated swimming pool, pool house with terraces and bar/summer kitchen, a full tennis court, football pitch, an open air theatre, skateboard track, helipad and parking for at least 30 cars.
£32.9m / €38m / $39.9m
Close to Pampelonne beach, this contemporary villa sleeps up to 12 guests and has a living area of 400m². It includes six bedrooms, six bathrooms, a terrace and swimming pool on a spacious plot of 2,000m² with on-site security and a concierge service.
From £22,780 / €26,316 / $27,620 per week