French prime property market update | Athena Advisers

French prime property market update

A glossy wooden terrace with a pool, a palm tree and stunning views over Sainte-Maxime and the sea

Despite the effects of COVID-19 and the various lockdowns, the latest report from French property portal Belles Demeures shows that demand for high-end properties remains strong in France.

With its rich history, diverse culture and unique lifestyle, France has always been a sought-after destination for high-end properties and the latest report from Belles Demeures confirms this as France was the most searched for destination for prime properties during July. Properties for sale in Switzerland and Portugal took the second and third positions.

Where are buyers searching for prime property in France?

During the strictest part of lockdown, April 2020, more than half of all searches on the Belles Demeures portal were for properties in Greater Paris (Île-de-France). High-end properties for sale in the French Riviera and Provence took the second position and was closely followed by properties for sale in the French Alps.  

Since lockdown measures have eased and summer has emerged, these positions changed slightly in July. Greater Paris has become even more popular accounting for 60% of all searches and the combined area of Provence and French Riviera still occupies the second position. However, the coastal region of Aquitaine now holds the third position.

A bar chart detailing where individuals were searching for prime properties in France during lockdown
The French Riviera under the microscope

With many of us around the world spending more time than usual inside our homes this year, what buyers want from a property has changed and features which may have been overlooked before, such as beautiful views, exterior space and private facilities, are now non-negotiable. Plus, with many major companies embracing remote working, the second home will no longer just be for holidays.

This is great news for the French Riviera. Blessed with 300 days of glorious sunshine, breathtaking views at every turn and miles of beautiful coastline, owning a property here is a major lifestyle investment. Between July 2019 and July 2020, property prices in this region rose by 2.9%, highlighting the growing demand for properties by the coast. In fact, the region of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat now has prices comparable to the 1st arrondissement of Paris.