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An insight into the Riviera property market with Alex Balkin, Savills

07 Jan 2022

The glitz, the glamour, sunshine, sea, mountains and more – the South of France offers a perfect region to reside. In fact, the Côte d’Azur…

The glitz, the glamour, sunshine, sea, mountains and more – the South of France offers a perfect region to reside. In fact, the Côte d’Azur has been attracting residents and second-home owners for centuries. All wanting a taste of the Riviera lifestyle. As a result, the properties available on the market match this demand for high-standard, luxury and spacious living. Beautiful and impressive residences such as Parc du Cap can be found along the coastline and nestled amongst the hilly mountains.

For Alex Balkin, Executive Director of Savills French Riviera and French Alps, moving anywhere else is out of the question. The Riviera has it all! Born and bred in Copenhagen, Denmark, Alex settled in the Riviera in 1994, joined Savills in 2012. He is now Executive Director and Head of French Riviera & French Alps. With Alex’s years of living in the region, he will here share some key insights into the current Riviera property market.

Tell us about your favourite aspects of Provence living

The weather, the leisure offering, gourmet food, and endless and exciting opportunities, are to name a few French Riviera bonuses. I mean, you can ski in the morning and have a short-sleeve lunch on the beach the same day! Or you can jump on your bike and have a coffee in Cannes. Above all, so close to Italy, and the international airport in Nice means you’re never more than two hours away from anywhere in Europe.

What does the Riviera property market look like for 2022?

The year ahead looks very promising and buoyant indeed. To clarify, the perceived need for secondary homes is no longer just a trend, but a reality. However, demand does exceed supply, and that makes the skills of agents more key than ever. For instance, educating vendors and buyers alike, about the market, using facts and research, and taking time to really listen. Certainly, this is how trust is created.

What draws people to living in the Côte d’Azur?

The excellent all-year-round weather is why many adore the South of France. Further, they are attracted by all the Riviera has to offer: restaurants, leisure and sports opportunities. In addition, excellent transportation and infrastructure, education, and healthcare. Moreover, an international environment that really caters to residents from near and far, both socially and business-wise.

Can you tell us about the most popular types of Provençal property and buyer requirements?

Clearly, the lock-up-and-leave solution still works for many. On the other hand, the stand-alone villa option is making inroads. In other words, the desire for a garden and a pool have increased in popularity. Key market trends at the moment are evident and include:

  • Location – Home searchers are looking to be close to everything. That is to say, having all necessities and points of interest within easy access.
  • Proximity to transportation hubs – Ease of movement to explore the region, the country, neighbouring European locations and the world is desirable.
  • Turnkey – Due to busy lifestyles and moves that often entail families, homeowners are looking for properties ready for immediate use.
  • Views – One of the most extraordinary aspects of the Riviera are the stunning sea and mountain vistas. As a result, they are in high demand.
  • Tranquil setting – As many are more in touch with their own health and wellbeing, a calm environment has become a necessity.
  • A space to work from home – With the flexibility to now work from home, it is important to have a quiet space within residences.

What tips would you give to anyone looking to buy a home in the Côte d’Azur?

Take your time, look around, see where you feel at home. In addition, be sure to visit outside the main season (April – October). And, when you find the pearl, go for it! Bearing in mind the tension in supply, chances are that others will find it enchanting as well.

Finally, the best advice to any potential buyer is to team up with an experienced agent. To clarify, one who knows the market (facts, figures, trends…). Moreover, a professional who will assist using a holistic approach – encapsulating lifestyle requirements, financial and investment aspects. As well as other pieces of the puzzle. Therefore, guiding the client with confidence through the market and options.

To sum up, it is of no surprise that the Riviera is in hot demand amongst new homeowners. The region ticks all of the boxes for modern, luxury lifestyle and the local properties reflect the demand. If you are interested in finding out more about Parc du Cap residences, please contact our sales team. We are happy to help. Caudwell Sales Consultant, Sophie Marsh, would be delighted to help you: [email protected]

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