Buying real estate in France?

We've created a guide to help you avoid pitfalls, save time, and make the best long-term investment possible.

Buying a property in the South of France: a complete guide

Last updated on 

All sources have been thoroughly verified for credibility. Furthermore, a local real estate expert has reviewed and approved the final article.

property investment the South of France

Yes, the analysis of the South of France's property market is included in our pack

Thinking of investing in real estate in The South of France? You're not alone!

Many people are enchanted by the South of France's glamorous lifestyle and dream of owning a luxurious villa or a stylish apartment there.

Would it be a good investment, though? Are property prices increasing in the South of France? What is the price per sqm? Should I buy property in Nice or Saint-Tropez? And the taxes? Where can you get a yield above 7%?

We've got it all sorted. No worries.

The Investropa team has extensively researched this market. Actually, we've gathered all our findings in a pack. Get it now.

In this article, we're happy to share useful information with you.

How's the property market in the South of France?

Confused about the property market's status? Everyone has their views. As for us, we prefer stick to new data and stats for clear conclusions.

Types of properties

In the South of France, you can find a diverse range of properties for sale.

These include charming villas with stunning sea views, cozy countryside cottages surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, historic townhouses nestled in picturesque villages, and modern apartments in vibrant coastal towns.

Whether you're looking for a peaceful retreat, a vacation home, or an investment opportunity, the South of France offers a variety of options to suit different preferences and lifestyles.

Buying vs Renting

(If you're buying for yourself and not to rent out)

Whether it's the sunny Mediterranean climate or the laid-back lifestyle that has drawn you to the South of France, you might be deciding on buying or renting a property.

Usually, buying is better than renting in the South of France due to the favourable climate and attractive property prices.

But, if you prioritize flexibility, renting is the way to go.

Housing prices in the South of France

On average, according to the last data from National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), buying a property in the South of France would cost you around $8,000 per square meter.

There are big differences, obviously. A waterfront property in the South of France might have a different price per square meter than a villa in Cannes. We actually give you a more detailed breakdown in our pack for buying property in the South of France and in France.

To give you a better idea, it means that, instead of purchasing a flat in Manhattan, you can obtain 2 properties in the South of France.

Also, housing prices in the South of France are 6% cheaper than in Lombardy.

The most expensive places in the South of France are probably Nice, Cannes and Monaco, while the cheapest are likely to be rural areas and small towns.

the South of France Property Price per Square Meter


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.

Remember this important aspect when thinking about whether it's a good idea to buy a property in the South of France.

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 intend to invest in real estate in the South of France it's a good thing because, as the economy grows, people's incomes (usually) increase, motivating them to invest in real estate, which causes a rise in property demand and 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 South of France

It is challenging to buy property in the South of France due to the difficulty of obtaining reliable and up-to-date information. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in the South of France and in France.

Buying process

In our pack, we've explained the entire buying process in detail. We've provided clear information about prices and yields based on the area, guidance on negotiating the price, and options for securing a mortgage.

Now, we're offering you a simpler version, step-by-step, to make it easier for you to grasp.

This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in the South of France:

  1. Research the market and select desired locations like Provence or Côte d'Azur.
  2. Engage a licensed real estate agent with expertise in the region.
  3. Visit properties and shortlist based on local amenities and regulations.
  4. Conduct due diligence, including the "Diagnostic Immobilier" report.
  5. Negotiate the purchase price and terms, considering French property law.
  6. Sign a preliminary sales agreement (compromis de vente) detailing conditions and timeframe.
  7. Pay a deposit (usually 5-10% of the property price) to secure the property.
  8. Arrange financing, if needed, and get a mortgage offer from a French bank.
  9. Complete paperwork with the notary, including "Acte de Vente" draft.
  10. Transfer the balance of the purchase price to the notary's escrow account.
  11. Sign the final deed of sale (acte de vente) at the notary's office.
  12. Register the property in the French Land Registry (Bureau des Hypothèques) and pay applicable taxes like Transfer Tax and Notary fees.

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.

Make a profitable investment in the South of France

Better information leads to better decisions. Save time and money. Download our guide.

buying property in the South of France

Where to find a property

Explore these websites to find properties in the South of France.

  • 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.
  • - Offering 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 South of France is $8,000. A 1-bedroom property with 60 square meters would cost approximately $480,000, and a 2-bedroom with 85 square meters would cost around $680,000.

Obviously, property prices will change based on both the property itself and its location.

Top-tier locations in the South of France typically mean higher property valuations. A residence in Saint-Tropez might be around $1,940,000, whereas a condominium in Cannes could be priced at $850,000.

However, some places cost less. You may find a property in Arles for $370,000, or you could come across one in Fréjus priced only at $310,000.

We give more details about property types and areas in our full pack for buying property in France.

Mistakes to avoid

Here are the main pitfalls specific to buying a property in the South of France:

  • Overlooking the risk of buying a property on unstable or erosion-prone land near the Mediterranean coastline.
  • Ignoring restrictions on property renovations in historic villages, which may limit your plans.
  • Failing to account for the complexities of the French inheritance laws, "forced heirship" rules, and estate planning implications.
  • Underestimating the impact of local property taxes, such as the "taxe d'habitation" and "taxe foncière."
  • Neglecting to investigate potential issues with water supply and drainage systems, common in some rural areas.
  • Not considering the impact of the Mistral wind, which can be strong and disruptive in certain regions.
  • Being unaware of the impact of seasonal tourism on the area's infrastructure and amenities.
  • Relying solely on English in property transactions, as it's essential to understand French contracts and legal documents.

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.

real estate France

Everything you need to know is included in our France Property Pack

Living in the South of France

The South of France offers a wonderful lifestyle with its sunny climate, stunning scenery, and vibrant culture.

Cost of living

The cost of living in the South of France is slightly higher than the national average, but the quality of life is generally quite high and the region boasts a variety of attractions and activities.

Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in the South of France:

  • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the picturesque "Vieux Nice" neighborhood: $1,300 per month.
  • A meal at a local restaurant with "Socca," a savory pancake made from chickpea flour: $10.
  • Monthly transportation pass for "Lignes d'Azur" buses and trams in Nice: $55.
  • Utilities (electricity, water) for a small apartment in the charming "Le Panier" area of Marseille: $90 per month.
  • A glass of "Riviera Rosé," a refreshing local wine: $8.
  • Entrance fee to the "Palais des Papes" in Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage site: $12.
  • Monthly membership at a fitness center in the vibrant "Le Suquet" district of Cannes: $50.
  • A bottle of "Châteauneuf-du-Pape," a prestigious red wine from the Rhône Valley: $30.

Areas and spots

We want to show data in an easy-to-understand way. So, we made a summary table that shows the different parts of the South of France. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.

Place Description Strengths Weaknesses


Nice is a beautiful coastal city with a vibrant culture and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea, making it a desirable location for property investment.

Strong tourism industry, pleasant climate, and excellent transport connections.

High property prices, limited space for new developments, and occasional overcrowding during peak tourist seasons.


Marseille is a bustling port city with a rich history, offering a diverse real estate market that caters to various budgets and preferences.

Expanding economy, growing tech sector, and potential for high rental yields.

Some neighborhoods may have higher crime rates, and urban development challenges in certain areas.


Cannes is famous for its annual film festival and luxurious lifestyle, making it an attractive destination for high-end property investments.

Exclusive and upscale properties, strong rental demand during the festival season.

High entry barriers due to premium prices, limited availability of suitable properties.


Avignon boasts a rich historical heritage, picturesque surroundings, and a charming ambiance, making it appealing to investors looking for unique properties.

Steady demand from tourists, potential for vacation rentals, and preservation of historic architecture.

Seasonal fluctuations in tourism, limited growth prospects compared to larger cities.


Aix-en-Provence is a quaint university town known for its cultural scene, beautiful architecture, and relaxed lifestyle, attracting both local and international property investors.

Highly regarded educational institutions, strong rental demand from students and tourists, and proximity to major cities.

Limited space for new developments, property prices can be higher due to the university's influence.


Toulouse, also known as "Pink City" due to its unique brick architecture, is a major aerospace and technology hub, offering diverse investment opportunities with a mix of historic and modern properties.

Thriving job market, growing tech industry, and affordable property prices compared to other major cities in France.

Weather can be hot in summers, some areas may have urban development challenges.


Bordeaux is renowned for its world-class wineries, beautiful architecture, and a lively cultural scene, making it a sought-after location for wine enthusiasts and property investors alike.

Strong wine tourism, increasing popularity as a destination, and well-preserved historic properties.

Higher property prices in certain neighborhoods, potential flooding risk in some areas.


Lyon, the third-largest city in France, offers a mix of historical landmarks, culinary delights, and a vibrant urban lifestyle, making it an attractive investment choice for those seeking a balance between tradition and modernity.

Dynamic job market, UNESCO-listed old town, and strong rental demand from students and professionals.

Competition for prime properties, some areas experiencing higher pollution levels.


Montpellier is a lively university town with a young and diverse population, offering a mix of historic charm and modern amenities, making it an appealing destination for property investors.

Growing student population, Mediterranean lifestyle, and relatively affordable property prices.

Hot summers, limited availability of large-scale property development opportunities.


Saint-Tropez is a glamorous resort town known for its luxury yachts, sandy beaches, and exclusive properties, making it an attractive choice for high-end property investors.

Prestigious reputation, strong demand from wealthy tourists and celebrities, and excellent potential for luxury vacation rentals.

High property prices, seasonal fluctuations in tourism, and limited property availability.

Life in the South of France

The South of France has a diverse economic landscape, with a mix of traditional industries such as agriculture and tourism, as well as a growing number of innovative industries such as technology, finance, and creative industries. The region is also home to a number of universities and research centers, making it an attractive destination for businesses and entrepreneurs.

What expats usually like the most in the South of France is the warm climate, the Mediterranean Sea, the beautiful beaches, and the charming villages. They also enjoy the picturesque vineyards, the delicious local cuisine, and the vibrant culture.

Access to healthcare in the South of France is generally good, with a wide range of health services available.

Don't lose money on your property in the South of France

100% of people who have lost money in France have spent less than 1 hour researching the market. We have reviewed everything there is to know. Grab our guide now.

invest real estate in the South of France

Renting out in the South of France

This part is for you if you want to buy a property with the goal of renting it out and making money from it, rather than living there.


According to the data reported by Wikipedia, the home ownership rate in France is 65%, which is average.

When people buy in the South of France 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 people who are looking for a slower-paced lifestyle and a more relaxed atmosphere. These could include retirees, digital nomads, and people who want to experience the culture and cuisine of the South of France.

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 $

Villa in Côte d'Azur

Families, retirees

Coastal living, luxury amenities

$3000 - $10000

Apartment in Nice

Professionals, tourists

City life, Mediterranean views

$1500 - $3000

Country house in Provence

Nature enthusiasts, artists

Rural tranquility, vineyard landscapes

$2000 - $5000

Seaside apartment in Cannes

Professionals, tourists

Access to beaches, cultural events

$2000 - $4000

Now, you will probably ask us about the yields. Unlike other places, giving you an average rental yield for the South of France is though. The region is quite varied. For example, rental yields in Nice and Marseille differ from those in less bustling coastal towns.

Finally, if you want to rent long-term in the South of France, 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 region for its beaches, historical sites, and Mediterranean climate. Alternatively, you could attract business travelers who need a place to stay while attending conferences and events in the area.

If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in Nice, Cannes, or Antibes on the French Riviera, or in Avignon or Aix-en-Provence in Provence.

Is it worth buying real estate in the South of France then?

Buying a property in the South of France can be a fantastic idea for those seeking a taste of the Mediterranean dream. It's a great choice if you're looking for a long-term residence or a vacation home.

The region's diverse property options, from charming villas to modern apartments, cater to various preferences. Plus, the pleasant climate and relatively affordable property prices make buying more cost-effective than renting in the long run.

France's stable economy, predicted GDP growth, and rising GDP per capita also bode well for property investment, as a growing economy typically leads to increased property demand and prices.

However, it's not a one-size-fits-all decision. Buying may not be the best idea if you prioritize flexibility, as owning a property comes with ongoing costs and responsibilities. Additionally, if you have a limited budget and dream of living in high-end locations like Nice or Cannes, you might find it challenging to secure affordable properties or generate rental income.

There are also potential pitfalls, such as buying property on unstable coastal land, overlooking local property taxes, and underestimating the complexities of French inheritance laws. In short, while buying property in the South of France can be a dream come true for some, it might not be the right fit for everyone. Careful consideration of your goals and circumstances is crucial before taking the plunge.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in the South of France

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.

real estate market the South of France

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.