It would be an understatement to say that the property market in the Côte d’Azur and Provence have all been subdued in recent years. The idea of buying a villa in the South of France has hardly been the most pressing of priorities. A combination of the recent economic backdrop, the perception of austerity, the ‘Hollande’ factor and a fear that prices might continue to fall has prevented potential investors from entering the market. But given the the cyclical nature of markets something had to change and it has.
So what has happened?
At the beginning of the year we suggested that 2015 would be a year of opportunity with canny buyers returning to the market to acquire property at sensible values. Vendors and selling agents alike now accept that sensible pricing is the only way to attract interest and in many cases asking prices and real values have been more closely aligned. An extremely rare event in this market! We, as buying agents, are having our busiest year since 2008, acquiring some very good properties for our Clients – and seeing other good houses and estates selling quickly. We have for the first time in a long period advised buyers not to hesitate too long if they find something that suits them.
Why? Because the market is moving.
Indeed estate agents across all of our markets are reporting their busiest quarterly period for some time. This is corroborated by both Notaries and surveyors with whom we deal. There is, without any shadow of doubt, a positive buzz in the air. It feels a little strange to be striking an upbeat tone but it is undeniable that market sentiment has changed for the better. We would thoroughly recommend to anyone seriously contemplating purchasing a house in this part of the world that now is a excellent time to do so. To borrow a much overused cliché, we almost have a ‘Goldilocks’ market. Vendors are realistic and buyers remain sensibly cautious. Given these current conditions, it is unlikely the market will overheat but there is little doubt that those entering the market now will be best placed to benefit from capital growth over the next upward cycle. All of this naturally comes with a wealth warning as Nigel Hindle, Partner, comments.
While market sentiment has undoubtedly become more bullish we would advise our clients, or indeed any buyer, to do their homework properly. All purchasing decisions should be evidence based with proper due diligence being absolutely critical. The old adage of purchasing in haste and relenting at leisure remains as true as ever.