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.

The real estate market in the South of France: 2024 forecast

Last updated on 

property investment the South of France

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

As we step into the year 2024, the real estate landscape in the South of France continues to evolve, presenting both challenges and opportunities for investors, homeowners, and industry stakeholders.

In this article, we will give you a clear picture of what's happening in the South of France's real estate scene for the year ahead.

If you need a full and more detailed report, with fresh data and actionable advice, please note that you can get our property pack for France. This pack will also give you unlimited access to our team of experts, allowing you to ask them anything related to the housing market in the South of France specifically.

How's the French economy doing?

Current state

The real estate market in the South of France has been shaped by various factors over time, including the country's overall economic and political stability.

France, known for its strong economy and political stability, has traditionally provided a favorable environment for real estate investment. This stability has been a magnet for investors, particularly in regions like the South of France, which is renowned for its picturesque landscapes and quality of life.

Regarding the general real estate market, France has seen periods of growth and stagnation. In the South, the market is often driven by both domestic and international demand, especially in popular areas like the French Riviera.

The appeal of the Mediterranean climate and the lifestyle associated with it makes this region particularly attractive. Over the years, government policies have played a significant role in shaping the housing market.

For instance, tax incentives for property renovation and development have spurred investment in certain areas.

Conversely, high property taxes and stringent regulations in some periods have been a deterrent to potential investors.

More recently, there have been shifts in policy that impact the real estate sector. These might include changes in property tax laws or regulations around rental properties, which can influence both the attractiveness and affordability of investment in real estate.

Notable events, such as economic downturns or political changes, also affect market confidence and investment levels.

From a local perspective, the South of France continues to be a desirable area for real estate investment. This is due to its natural beauty, climate, and the lifestyle it offers.

Popular areas include coastal towns, properties with sea views, and historic homes in Provencal villages. These properties are not just sought for their aesthetic and lifestyle appeal but also for their potential rental income, especially during the tourist season.

For foreign investors, there are specific incentives and drawbacks. On the plus side, France's stable legal system and property rights offer security to investors.

There are also no restrictions on foreign property ownership, which is a significant incentive. Challenges include navigating the French legal system, potential language barriers, and dealing with complex bureaucratic procedures.

Additionally, property transaction costs and taxes can be relatively high compared to some other countries.

Comparing real estate prices in the South of France to neighboring regions or similar destinations, prices tend to be higher, reflecting the area's desirability and prestige. This can vary significantly depending on the exact location and type of property.

Lastly, the legal framework surrounding real estate investment in France is known for its stability and transparency. Laws and regulations are well-established, though they can be intricate and require professional guidance to navigate.

This legal environment provides a level of assurance to investors but also requires them to be well-informed or seek expert advice.

Outlook and forecast

The real estate market in the South of France possesses unique factors that set it apart from other regions.

Its combination of a Mediterranean climate, scenic landscapes, and a reputation for luxury and exclusivity are key differentiators. These elements attract a specific kind of investor and property owner, often looking for second homes, vacation properties, or investment opportunities in a prestigious location.

Forecasting the economy and stability of this region requires considering several factors. Historically, the South of France has demonstrated resilience in its property market, maintaining value even during broader economic downturns. This resilience suggests a potentially positive outlook.

The area often experiences a steadier or sometimes faster growth in property values compared to other French regions, attributed to its enduring appeal to affluent buyers and investors.

For 2024, any anticipated changes in government policies that could affect the real estate market should be closely monitored.

Potential areas of change could include adjustments in property taxes, regulations surrounding rental properties, or environmental regulations affecting coastal and rural areas. These changes could either incentivize or deter investment, depending on their nature.

For instance, increased taxes on second homes could dampen investment, while incentives for green building practices might encourage new development projects.

Specific factors suggesting improvements in the South of France include ongoing infrastructure developments, like transportation upgrades, which enhance accessibility and connectivity to major cities.

The region's commitment to preserving its natural beauty and cultural heritage can also add value to properties. Such improvements could lead to increased demand in the real estate market, potentially driving up property prices.

Conversely, potential risks for investors include the volatility of the global economy, which can impact luxury property markets more significantly.

Other risks might include changes in environmental policies that restrict development in certain areas to protect the landscape and coastline, potentially impacting property values.

Additionally, the high cost of living and maintenance in this region could be a deterrent for some investors.

If these risks materialize, the real estate market could see a fluctuation in demand and prices. For example, stricter environmental regulations might lead to a decrease in new development projects, potentially increasing the value of existing properties due to limited supply.

On the other hand, economic volatility could lead to a decrease in luxury property investments, as buyers become more cautious.

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

What about housing prices in the South of France?

If you want to know the last prices, rents and yields in the South of France, we have prepared everything you need in our property pack for France.

Current state

In the South of France, the trend in real estate prices over the past few years has generally been upward, though with some fluctuations.

This region, known for its appeal to both domestic and international buyers, often sees a different dynamic in real estate prices compared to other parts of France. The combination of its scenic beauty, climate, and lifestyle appeal continues to drive demand, particularly in the luxury property market.

Looking at how real estate prices have reacted to past economic crises or booms, there's a pattern of resilience. During economic downturns, while prices may have stagnated or slightly decreased, they generally didn't plummet as dramatically as in less desirable locations.

This resilience can be attributed to the continuous demand for high-end properties in the area, which often remain in demand regardless of broader economic trends.

Conversely, during economic booms, prices in this region have seen significant increases, outpacing many other areas.

Comparing current real estate prices with those a decade ago, there has been a noticeable increase. This increase is partly due to the ongoing desirability of the area and partly due to overall trends in the real estate market.

Currently, the prices are either rising or stable, depending on the exact location and property type. The region hasn't seen a significant decline in prices, mainly due to its enduring appeal.

Regarding the types of properties experiencing the highest growth in prices, luxury villas and waterfront properties are particularly noteworthy. These types of properties are often in high demand due to their unique location, views, and amenities.

For instance, a villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea offers not just a home, but a lifestyle that is highly sought after. This demand drives up prices, particularly in exclusive areas along the coast.

Additionally, historic properties in Provencal villages also see significant interest due to their charm and the cultural experience they offer, contributing to their price growth.

The population change in the South of France has also influenced real estate trends. In recent years, there's been an increase in both international buyers and domestic buyers looking for second homes or retirement properties. This influx has contributed to the sustained demand and price increases in the real estate market.

The region's quality of life, combined with its natural and cultural attractions, continues to draw people seeking a certain lifestyle.

Specific factors causing these trends include the region's well-established reputation as a luxury destination, continued investment in infrastructure, and its appeal as a tourist destination. These elements not only attract temporary visitors but also encourage long-term investment in property.

The allure of the South of France, characterized by its picturesque landscapes, vineyards, historic towns, and vibrant cultural scene, continues to be a significant draw for property buyers.

Outlook and forecast

In the South of France, several economic and demographic factors are currently influencing real estate prices.

Firstly, the influx of international buyers, particularly from countries with strong economies, plays a significant role. These buyers often seek luxury properties, driving up prices in this segment.

Secondly, the region's popularity as a retirement destination for Europeans, including the French themselves, increases demand for properties, impacting prices positively.

Another factor is the limited availability of land for new developments in sought-after coastal areas, which naturally drives up the prices of existing properties.

Looking at specific facts, trends, or events that could lead to an increase in housing prices in the near future, several possibilities emerge. For instance, continued investment in infrastructure, such as improved transportation links to major cities, could make the region more accessible and desirable, thus driving up prices.

Additionally, if the region continues to develop its reputation as a cultural and gastronomic hub, this could attract more affluent buyers, further increasing demand and prices.

Moreover, any governmental policies favoring real estate investment, such as tax incentives for property renovation, could stimulate the market.

However, these trends may not uniformly apply to other cities or regions in France. Each area has its unique market dynamics influenced by local factors such as employment opportunities, infrastructure, and lifestyle appeal.

For example, urban areas with robust job markets might see different real estate trends compared to rural or coastal regions primarily driven by tourism and retirement living.

Conversely, specific facts, trends, or events could lead to a decrease in housing prices in the South of France. One potential factor is economic downturns that impact the spending power of potential buyers, particularly in the luxury market segment.

Additionally, changes in environmental policies that restrict development in coastal areas could impact the desirability and value of properties in those regions.

Another factor could be an increase in property taxes or changes in laws related to property ownership for non-residents, which could deter foreign investment.

Again, these factors influencing a decrease in housing prices might not be the same across all cities and regions in France. For example, urban areas with diversified economies might be less impacted by changes affecting the luxury property market.

Similarly, regions less dependent on international buyers might not feel the same impact from changes in foreign investment policies.

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

How's the demand for the real estate market in the South of France?

Current state

The current demand for residential real estate in the South of France is robust, particularly in high-demand areas like the French Riviera and Provence.

This demand is fueled by a mix of local buyers, people from other parts of France, and international investors. The appeal of the region, with its Mediterranean climate, beautiful landscapes, and rich culture, continues to attract a wide range of buyers.

In terms of the balance between buyers and sellers, it often varies by specific location and property type.

Generally, there's a strong demand, but the supply, especially of high-end and unique properties, can be limited. This is partly due to the geographical constraints and the desire to preserve the region's natural beauty and historical character, which limits new development.

In popular areas, this can create a scenario where there are more buyers than sellers, driving up prices.

The supply of new housing is not always sufficient to meet the demand, especially for properties that offer something unique, such as sea views, historic significance, or luxury amenities.

This scarcity is more pronounced for villas and traditional Provencal houses, which are in high demand due to their character and appeal to both domestic and international buyers.

Buyers in this region are often looking for properties that offer a combination of luxury, privacy, and exclusivity. Waterfront properties, villas with sea views, and historic estates in the countryside are particularly sought after.

There's also a demand for properties that can serve as vacation rentals, given the region's popularity as a tourist destination.

Current mortgage interest rates also play a significant role in the real estate market. Generally, lower interest rates increase buying power and stimulate demand in the real estate market.

However, in a region like the South of France, where many buyers are affluent and may not require financing, the impact of interest rates can be less pronounced than in other areas.

Recent changes in government policies or regulations can significantly impact the local real estate market. Changes in tax laws, such as adjustments to property or capital gains taxes, can influence investment decisions.

Similarly, subsidies for homebuyers or new zoning laws that either restrict or enable development in certain areas can affect the market.

For instance, any policy that encourages renovation and preservation of historic properties might stimulate investment in older homes, while strict environmental regulations in coastal areas might limit new developments, affecting the supply.

Outlook and forecast

Demographic shifts, such as aging populations and urbanization, are significantly influencing the demand in the South of France's real estate market.

The region, known for its pleasant climate and scenic beauty, is particularly attractive to retirees. This aging population often seeks properties that offer comfort, accessibility, and low maintenance, such as single-story homes or apartments in well-serviced areas.

Additionally, the trend towards urbanization means that properties in or near urban centers, with easy access to amenities like shops, restaurants, and healthcare facilities, are in high demand.

Current trends in household formation also impact the types of properties in demand. There's a growing trend of smaller household sizes, partly due to an aging population and also younger generations opting for different lifestyles.

This shift influences the demand for smaller properties, like apartments or small houses, especially in urban or semi-urban areas where people seek the convenience of city living combined with the charm of the South of France.

In terms of real estate as an investment in the South of France, there's a noticeable trend towards buying properties not just for living but also as a means of generating income, particularly through vacation rentals. The region's popularity as a tourist destination makes properties with rental potential highly desirable.

Investors are often looking for properties that can offer a good return on investment through rental income, such as apartments in tourist hotspots or villas in coastal areas.

Cultural trends and shifts are also influencing the demand in the housing market. For instance, there's an increasing awareness and preference for sustainable living, which is driving demand for eco-friendly homes.

Properties with features like energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, and sustainable materials are becoming more popular.

Furthermore, there's a continued interest in traditional and historic properties, reflecting a cultural trend of valuing heritage and authenticity. This interest favors properties like historic estates, country homes, and properties in historic town centers.

Regarding the role of foreign investment, it plays a significant part in the real estate market, particularly in the luxury segment.

Foreign investors often seek high-end properties, like luxury villas, waterfront properties, and historic estates. This demand tends to drive up prices in these segments.

Foreign investment can create more demand for certain types of properties, particularly those that offer exclusivity, luxury, and unique features.

The South of France's real estate market has some encouragements and restrictions for foreign investors. While there are no restrictions on property ownership, there can be tax implications that might either encourage or discourage investment. These policies can influence the demand by making investment more or less attractive to foreign buyers.

Finally, niche markets in the South of France are experiencing unique trends. The luxury property market is always in demand, with high-end villas and historic properties being particularly sought after.

There's also a growing interest in eco-friendly and sustainable homes, as environmental awareness increases. These niche markets cater to specific buyer preferences and often operate independently of general market trends, sometimes remaining robust even when other segments of the market are slowing down.

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

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

Current state

The current demand for rental properties in the South of France varies across different types of properties and locations.

Given the region's popularity as both a holiday destination and a desirable place to live, the rental market is quite dynamic.

In terms of specific types of properties, there's a diverse range of demand. Apartments, particularly in urban and semi-urban areas, are highly sought after, especially by single professionals, young couples, and small families. These tend to be popular in city centers or near major employment hubs.

In contrast, single-family homes are more in demand in suburban and rural areas, often preferred by families or those seeking more space and tranquility.

The features most sought after by tenants in rental properties can be quite varied. In urban areas, factors like proximity to amenities (shops, restaurants, public transport) and the quality of the living space (modern fittings, good layout) are highly valued.

In more suburban or rural areas, tenants often look for properties with more space, including outdoor areas like gardens or terraces. The charm of the property, such as traditional Provencal features, can also be a draw in these regions.

Tenant preferences do vary significantly between urban, suburban, and rural areas. In urban settings, convenience and lifestyle are key. Tenants here might prioritize being close to work, leisure facilities, and transport links.

In suburban areas, space and the quality of the living environment become more important, with a focus on family-friendly amenities.

Rural rentals might appeal to those looking for natural beauty, privacy, and perhaps a more authentic South of France experience.

The demographic characteristics of tenants also differ across regions. In urban areas, you'll find a mix of young professionals, singles, and smaller families, typically with higher employment rates and possibly higher income levels, which aligns with the often higher cost of living in cities.

Suburban areas tend to attract larger families, drawn by more spacious properties and the presence of schools and family-oriented amenities.

Rural areas might attract a mix of retirees seeking a peaceful lifestyle, as well as those looking for holiday homes or temporary escapes from busier city life.

Income levels and economic factors play a significant role in the type of properties tenants are renting. Higher-income tenants in urban areas might opt for luxury apartments with modern amenities, while those with lower incomes may seek more affordable options, possibly in less central locations.

In suburban and rural areas, the economic status of tenants can also determine the size and quality of the property they rent.

Certain regions in the South of France do have a high concentration of specific tenant groups. For instance, university cities will have a higher population of students seeking rental accommodation, often in shared apartments or student housing.

Areas known for their tech industries or business hubs might attract a higher number of young professionals.

Conversely, picturesque rural areas and quiet coastal towns often attract retirees or those seeking holiday homes.

Outlook and forecast

In the South of France, the rental market is influenced by several key factors.

One of the most significant influences is tourism.

The region's popularity as a tourist destination means that short-term rentals, especially during peak holiday seasons, are in high demand. This demand is especially high for properties located near the coast, in cities with rich cultural offerings, or in scenic rural areas.

Evolving lifestyles and work patterns, such as the increase in remote work, are also shaping future rental preferences. With more people able to work from anywhere, there's a growing trend towards renting properties in locations that offer a desirable lifestyle, like those found in the South of France.

This shift could lead to increased demand for rentals with home office spaces, good internet connectivity, and in locations that might have been previously considered too remote for regular commuting.

Demographic changes are also reflected in the rental markets. With an aging population, there's a growing demand for properties that are accessible and easier to maintain, such as single-story homes or apartments in well-serviced areas.

On the other hand, younger populations, including students and young professionals, are driving demand for rentals in urban areas, close to universities, workplaces, and entertainment options.

Emerging urban areas are indeed becoming new hotspots for rental properties. Cities like Montpellier and Toulouse, known for their vibrant cultural scenes and growing economies, are attracting a younger demographic, creating a demand for rental properties.

These areas are becoming increasingly popular due to their relative affordability compared to traditional hotspots like Nice or Cannes.

Technological advancements are impacting the rental market in various ways. Online rental platforms have made it easier for property owners to list and manage their properties, and for renters to find and book rentals.

Smart home technologies are also becoming more prevalent, with renters increasingly seeking properties equipped with modern conveniences like smart thermostats, security systems, and energy-efficient appliances.

Sustainability and green living are influencing the rental market too. There's a growing trend towards eco-friendly homes, with renters looking for properties that have a lower environmental impact. Features like solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, and sustainable building materials are becoming more sought after.

The rental market forecast across various regions of France differs. In urban areas, demand for rentals is often driven by employment opportunities and cultural offerings, whereas in rural areas, the demand might be more seasonal and linked to tourism.

The South of France, with its mix of urban, suburban, and rural areas, offers a diverse rental market catering to different needs.

Looking at the long-term outlook for the rental market in the South of France, considering these factors, it seems poised for continued growth.

The region's appeal as a tourist destination, combined with its attractiveness as a place to live and work (especially with the rise of remote work), suggests a sustained demand for various types of rental properties. Urban areas, especially those with growing economies and cultural offerings, are likely to see steady demand from younger demographics and professionals.

Rural and coastal areas, with their appeal to tourists and those seeking lifestyle properties, are also likely to remain popular.

Regarding niche markets, there are unique trends in the South of France. The luxury rental market is robust, catering to high-end tourists and individuals seeking premium living experiences. Properties with unique features, such as vineyard estates, historic homes, or villas with private beaches, are particularly in demand in this segment.

Additionally, there's an emerging market for eco-friendly homes, reflecting a broader societal shift towards sustainability.

Rentals that offer green amenities, such as energy-efficient designs, natural pools, and organic gardens, are increasingly attractive, especially to environmentally conscious tenants.

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

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Readers are advised to consult with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions. We do not assume any liability for actions taken based on the information provided.