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Thinking of investing in real estate in The French Riviera? You're not alone!
Many people are captivated by the French Riviera's coastal elegance and dream of owning a luxurious villa or a chic apartment there.
Is it financially viable, though? Are property prices increasing in the French Riviera? How much does it cost? Is it better to invest in Nice or Cannes? What about the taxes? Which place will give me the best yields?
We've figured it out for you.
The Investropa team knows this market inside and out. Actually, we've compiled all our findings in one pack. Get it now.
In this article, we're happy to share useful information with you.
How is the real estate market in the French Riviera?
What's happening with the property market? Some say it's going up, others say it's going down. Our approach is distinct—we rely on fresh data and stats to reach the correct conclusions.
Types of properties
In the French Riviera, you can find various types of properties for sale, ranging from charming apartments and cozy cottages to luxurious villas and spacious estates.
These properties offer a mix of stunning coastal views, Mediterranean-inspired architecture, and convenient access to beaches and cultural attractions.
Whether you're looking for a cozy retreat, a stylish apartment, or a grand villa, the French Riviera offers a diverse range of real estate options to suit different preferences and lifestyles.
Buying vs Renting
(If you're purchasing for personal use and not for renting)
Whether you're dreaming of a luxurious lifestyle or a vibrant coastal experience, the decision to buy or rent a property on the French Riviera awaits you.
Buying a property in the French Riviera is better than renting because it offers the opportunity for long-term investment, potential property value appreciation, and a sense of ownership in one of the world's most desirable and picturesque locations.
However, if you prefer flexibility, go for renting.
Housing prices in the French Riviera
On average, according to the last data from National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), buying a property in the French Riviera would cost you around $11,000 per square meter.
Obviously, there is a significant spread. An upscale property on the French Riviera may have a higher price per square meter than a house in Nice. You'll get a more detailed in our pack for buying property in the French Riviera and in France.
To put things in perspective, it is similar to the property prices you can find in Paris currently.
Also, housing prices in the French Riviera are higher (139%) than in the South West France.
The most expensive places in the French Riviera are probably Cannes, Monaco, and Saint-Tropez, while the least expensive areas would be towns and villages in the hinterland such as Draguignan and Grasse.
First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that France currently stands out for its remarkable stability. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 30.9.
Don't ignore this when weighing the pros and cons of buying a property in the French Riviera.
Also, according to the IMF’s forecasts, France's economy is expected to soar by 6.7% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 1.3%.
If you want to invest in real estate in the French Riviera it's a good thing because when the economy grows, people tend to become wealthier, which usually results in higher housing prices.
Also, in France, the average GDP per capita has changed by 1.7% over the last 5 years. Though not substantial, there is still a positive trend of growth.
Looking for more updated data? We've done a big-picture study to find out if it's a good idea to purchase property in France right now.
Buying property in the French Riviera
Buying real estate in the French Riviera is difficult due to a lack of reliable and up-to-date information. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in the French Riviera and in France.
Within our pack, we've covered the entire buying process extensively. This includes a detailed breakdown of prices and yields based on the area, advice on negotiating prices, and information about obtaining a mortgage.
Now, we're providing you with a simplified version.
This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in the French Riviera:
- Research the real estate market in the French Riviera, focusing on preferred locations and property types.
- Secure financing or funds, considering French mortgage options if necessary.
- Engage a reputable real estate agent with expertise in the region.
- View potential properties, ensuring compliance with local regulations and zoning laws.
- Make an offer through a "promesse d'achat" (offer to purchase) document.
- Negotiate terms and price, taking into account "frais de notaire" (notary fees) and agency commissions.
- Sign a "compromis de vente" (preliminary sales agreement) detailing the property conditions and terms.
- Pay a deposit, usually 5-10% of the property price, to be held in an escrow account.
- Conduct property surveys and checks, including "diagnostics immobiliers" (property inspections).
- Complete the "acte de vente" (final sales contract) in the presence of a notary.
- Transfer the remaining payment, including taxes and notary fees, to the seller.
- Register the property at the "Bureau de la Conservation des Hypothèques" (Land Registry) in your name.
Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in France.
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Where to find a property
Explore these websites to find properties in the French Riviera.
- French Entrée - A comprehensive guide to buying property and living in France, featuring property listings, guides, and lifestyle articles.
- My French House - An award-winning property portal specializing in houses, villas, and properties for sale in France. They offer expert advice and a bespoke home hunting service.
- French Property - A leading online portal for property in France, offering a wide range of properties for sale and rent.
- Houses & Apartments - A leading real estate website offering a wide selection of apartments and houses for sale in various locations in France.
- Realestate.com.au - Providing a wide range of properties for sale and rent, along with information on new homes, agents, lifestyle, news, and commercial properties.
Also, know that we have included contacts of real estate agencies, property lawyers, moving companies, expats communities and more in our pack for buying property in France.
Which properties for which budget?
As mentioned before, the average price per sqm in the French Riviera is $11,000. A 1-bedroom property with an area of 60 square meters would cost approximately $660,000, and a 2-bedroom property with an area of 85 square meters would cost approximately $935,000.
However, the cost of properties will fluctuate depending on both their characteristics and their location.
High-end locations in the French Riviera generally have more expensive properties. A condominium in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat might cost you around $1,260,000, while an apartment in Èze could be priced at $1,170,000.
Some spots will be friendlier to your wallet. You may find a condominium in Saint-Raphaël for $360,000, or one in La Seyne-sur-Mer priced only at $300,000.
Find a more detailed breakdown in our full pack for buying property in France.
- Coastal erosion risks: Properties near the shoreline might be vulnerable to erosion due to the Mediterranean's dynamic coastal environment.
- Unstable hillsides: Some areas have properties on steep hills, posing potential risks from landslides and geological instability.
- Bureaucratic delays: French administrative processes can be lengthy, affecting property transactions and permits.
- Rental restrictions: Local regulations may limit short-term rentals, impacting potential rental income for investors.
- Flood-prone areas: Certain regions are prone to heavy rains and flash floods, making property selection crucial.
- Historical property issues: Older properties might have hidden maintenance problems or restrictions due to their historical significance.
- Limited expansion opportunities: Strict urban planning laws could hinder property modifications or expansions.
- Seasonal infrastructure availability: Some remote areas might have limited year-round amenities and services.
We don't want this to happen to you, so we have included a full checklist for your property investment in our pack of documents. Avoid these mistakes and save a lot of money.
Everything you need to know is included in our France Property Pack
Living in the French Riviera
Living in the French Riviera offers a luxurious and relaxed lifestyle with stunning natural beauty, mild climate, and a vibrant culture.
Cost of living
The cost of living in the French Riviera is generally higher than other parts of France, but it is still relatively affordable compared to other tourist destinations in Europe. Prices for groceries, rent, and other necessities are all higher than the French national average.
Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in the French Riviera:
- Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the trendy "Le Marais" neighborhood of Nice: $1,800 per month.
- A meal at a local restaurant with "Salade Niçoise," a classic dish with fresh local ingredients: $40.
- Monthly transportation pass for the "Lignes d'Azur" trams and "Vélo Bleu" bike-sharing system: $80.
- Utilities (electricity, water) for a small apartment in the historic "Old Town" of Antibes: $110 per month.
- A glass of "Vin de Bellet," a rare and prestigious wine produced in Nice: $12.
- Entrance fee to the "Musée Picasso" in Antibes, featuring the artist's works: $15.
- Monthly membership at a luxury gym in the upscale "Cannes La Bocca" area: $60.
- A bottle of "Chartreuse," a famous herbal liqueur produced by Carthusian monks: $30.
Since we want to present information clearly, we've made a table that explains the different areas in the French Riviera. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.
Nice is a vibrant coastal city with beautiful beaches and a lively cultural scene, making it an attractive destination for tourists and property investors alike.
High demand from tourists, excellent amenities, and well-developed infrastructure.
Property prices can be high, and certain areas may experience seasonal fluctuations in demand.
Cannes is renowned for its annual film festival and luxurious lifestyle, offering high-end properties and a glamorous atmosphere for investors seeking prestige.
Prestigious reputation, strong rental demand during the film festival, and a prime location on the French Riviera.
Properties may come with a premium price tag, and the real estate market can be competitive.
Saint-Tropez is a chic resort town attracting the rich and famous, providing exclusive properties and a vibrant nightlife for investors looking for upscale opportunities.
High-end clientele, limited supply of exclusive properties, and strong potential for high rental yields.
Heavy reliance on seasonal tourism, limited accessibility, and potential price volatility.
Antibes offers a mix of historical charm and modern amenities, with a beautiful old town and a significant expatriate community, making it attractive to international investors.
Appealing to both tourists and residents, good transportation links, and a variety of property options.
Some areas can be crowded during peak tourist seasons, and finding suitable investment opportunities might require thorough research.
Monaco is a tiny yet glamorous city-state with a tax-friendly environment and a luxurious lifestyle, attracting high-net-worth individuals and investors from around the world.
Tax benefits, high demand for luxury properties, and a prestigious reputation as a playground for the wealthy.
Limited land availability, extremely high property prices, and stringent regulations on property ownership.
Grasse is a picturesque town known as the perfume capital of the world, offering a tranquil setting and potential investment opportunities in charming Provencal properties.
Unique market for perfume-related tourism, serene environment, and potential for historical property investments.
Lower rental demand compared to major cities, limited economic diversification, and fewer international amenities.
Eze is a medieval hilltop village with stunning sea views, attracting discerning investors interested in exclusive properties with a unique charm.
Exceptional views, a sense of exclusivity, and a peaceful atmosphere.
Challenges related to property renovations, limited space for new developments, and potential seasonal fluctuations in tourism.
Life in the French Riviera
The French Riviera is an economically prosperous region, known for its tourism industry and its vibrant business environment. It is home to many luxury resorts, luxurious shopping, and other high-end services, and has one of the highest GDPs of any region in France.
What expats usually like the most in the French Riviera is the stunning Mediterranean coastline, with its picturesque beaches and vibrant cities like Nice. They also appreciate the relaxed atmosphere and excellent cuisine, from Michelin-starred restaurants to typical Provencal dishes.
The access to healthcare in the French Riviera is generally good, with a wide range of public and private healthcare services available.
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Renting out in the French Riviera
This section is for you if you're interested in purchasing property not for personal residence, but rather for the purpose of renting it out to generate rental income.
According to the data reported by Wikipedia, the home ownership rate in France is 65%, which is average.
When people buy in the French Riviera it's usually to live there, and not to rent out (or at least not to long-term tenants).
If you decide to rent out long-term, you might want to target affluent professionals and retirees who are looking to enjoy the Mediterranean climate, luxurious lifestyle, and cultural attractions of the French Riviera.
Here is a little summary table we've made for you.
|Property type and area
|Profiles of potential tenants
|What they are looking for
|Expected monthly rent in $
Apartment in Nice
Sea views, cultural attractions
$1000 - $2500
Villa in Cannes
Luxury travelers, event attendees
Privacy, proximity to Cannes Film Festival
$3000 - $10000
Studio in Antibes
Students, young professionals
Beach access, vibrant nightlife
$800 - $1500
Country House in Saint-Tropez
High-end travelers, celebrities
Luxury amenities, exclusivity
$5000 - $20000
Now, you will probably ask us about the yields. Unlike other places, it's hard to provide an average rental yield for the French Riviera. The area is very diverse. For example, rental yields in Saint Tropez are quite different from those in remote villages.
Finally, if you want to rent long-term in the French Riviera, be aware that the rental income tax stands at 45-50%, which is quite high.
You could also decide to rent short-term to tourists visiting the French Riviera for its beaches, culture, and nightlife. Additionally, you could rent to business travelers attending conferences or meetings in the region.
If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in Nice, Cannes, or Antibes, which are all popular tourist destinations in the French Riviera. Additionally, the towns of Mandelieu-la-Napoule, St. Tropez, and Menton are also great areas to find short-term rental properties.
Currently, there are approximately 1,025 active Airbnb listings in the French Riviera, reflecting a highly dynamic and bustling short-term rental market. The average daily rate stands around $145, which is quite high.
You have the opportunity to generate a nice additional income stream then. According to online testimonials and analytics platform like AirDNA, Guesty and Inside Airbnb, people who offer short-term rentals in the French Riviera can make around $1900 per month. Also, the average occupancy rate is estimated at 62%.
Is it worth buying real estate in the French Riviera then?
Buying property in the French Riviera is a fantastic idea if you have the financial means and a long-term investment mindset. This stunning region offers a luxurious lifestyle, picturesque coastal views, and a vibrant culture.
It's a place where you can indulge in a high standard of living while potentially watching your property's value grow over time. The stable French economy and positive GDP growth forecasts bode well for property appreciation.
Moreover, if you plan to rent out your property, the French Riviera attracts a diverse group of tourists, professionals, and even celebrities, making it possible to generate substantial rental income, especially during events like the Cannes Film Festival.
However, it's not the right choice for everyone. The French Riviera comes with a hefty price tag, with property prices averaging $11,000 per square meter, making it less accessible for those on a tight budget.
Seasonal fluctuations in demand can affect rental income, so if you rely heavily on short-term rentals, it may not be the most stable income source. Additionally, France has relatively high property taxes, which can eat into your rental income or ROI. There are also bureaucratic hurdles to navigate, and the administrative processes can be time-consuming.
Moreover, some areas are susceptible to coastal erosion and other property-specific risks, which can lead to maintenance headaches and potential property devaluation. In essence, while the French Riviera is a dreamy destination for property investment, it's a dream that's best suited for those with deep pockets and a patient, long-term vision.
Make sure you understand the real estate market in the French Riviera
Don't rush into buying the wrong property in France. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement or advice. While we strive for accuracy, we do not guarantee the completeness or reliability of the information, including text, images, links, or other elements in this material. Following the content and analyses presented here does not assure specific outcomes. For guidance tailored to your individual circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a professional, such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor.