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    2024 Real Estate Market Predictions & Trends

    Updated: January 3, 2024

    Contrary to what many would assume, the French Riviera is a tricky place to make money on real estate.

    The French Riviera is not a good investment market. Pricing in France does not move quickly outside of Paris, and the villa market is on the decline due to compounding factors.

    2024 Real Estate Market Predictions & Trends - france real estate predictions2

    Unlike most other luxury markets, for the past 15 years, real estate on the French Riviera has not even kept up with inflation, let alone what you could make by investing the money in other ways. The one exception to this was the Covid-bubble, which is in the process of deflating.

    This is a long and detailed guide, so we’ve provided a quick summary at the top, and if you want to learn more you can keep reading below.

    Professionals predict a 37% drop in prices by 2025. 92% of agencies saw an increase in negotiating margins in 2023.

    Summary

    The temporary Covid-period bump in prices is over, and so are the low interest rates and favorable exchange rates that came with it. Here are the main reasons real estate prices will start to get much cheaper throughout 2024, and stay low for the foreseeable future:

    • We are entering a global housing market slump, including all the luxury, and previously solid, markets. Prices in the major housing markets are already decreasing, quite dramatically. You can read about it in the Economist and Bloomberg (and pretty much ever other major publication).
    • French Riviera real estate inflated into an unaffordable bubble in the mid-2000s, becoming much higher than household incomes. Prices then flat-lined for 15 years until the Covid bump. This bubble is predicted to pop making prices nosedive by 37% by 2025.
    • The French government is actively trying to make real estate more affordable by adding cumbersome taxes for second homes and thinking up multiple other ways to disincentivize house-flipping, investment purchases, AirBnb rentals, and vacation homes. You can 100% expect more of this in the future.
    • The government has introduced new tax laws that went into effect this year which increased rental income tax from the old rate of 17% to the new rate of 40% for people who have annual income from furnished rentals exceeding €23,000 (which is low for the French Riviera), or whose rental income is greater than the sum of their other activity income. This makes vacation renting much less lucrative.
    • Banks have tightened their lending conditions and become even more cautious. Starting in 2022, the number of mortgages given out was cut, and this will escalate throughout 2024 and 2025 making it harder and harder to get approved for a mortgage. Real estate professionals have felt it: already, nearly half (47%) admit to seeing an increase in the number of sales cancellations due to loan denials, and these cancellations are set to increase.
    • Because of Brexit, British people (estimated at between 25% and 40% of buyers / owners on the French Riviera) will have the amount of time they can spend in the EU (including France) reduced to only 90 days, and they will have to pay a lot more tax on rental income, as well as other new taxes. Mortgages are now more expensive and harder to get for UK residents, and the currency conversion is unfavorable, both making it more expensive than ever to buy outside of the UK. In addition, Brits have had a decrease in spending power due to their currency losing value. These factors are keeping British people from buying new properties on the French Riviera, and at the same time prompting many to consider selling their French Riviera vacation homes.
    • New sanctions on Russians have prompted wealthy Russians to sell their villas before they can be seized. Either way, Russian-owned villas and property seizures (due to the war) could soon flood the market with luxury villas, further driving down prices.
    • Baby Boomers, who are the majority of villa owners on the French Riviera, are getting up there in age and are getting too old or sick to maintain villas (or, sadly, dying of COVID-19), therefore selling their villas and moving into assisted living or apartments. There are not enough wealthy Millennials to pick up the slack (based on the lack of population and wealth in this demographic), and Millennials tend to prefer living in cities and the sharing economy (AirBnb versus owning).
    • We are in the early stages of a global recession, due to many factors including the long-term economic debt cycle being due for downswing. This is likely to become a major global recession, which has already begun to lower real estate prices globally, and could keep prices low (because credit will be much harder to get, among other factors) for about a decade.
    • Foreign buyers are now buying houses closer to home (within maximum two hours driving distance) and selling their villas in the South of France. This is due to several factors, including: working from home several days of the week, Brexit, etc. Once a major buyer, Parisian buyers are also now opting to buy villas within driving distance from Paris so they can work from home in comfort, but easily drive to their office, rather than live in an apartment full-time.
    • The extension of teleworking has been encouraging certain investors to sell their office real estate for transformation into housing, increasing the amount of housing for sale.
    • Climate Change is causing unprecedented drought along the French Riviera. There are new rules that prohibit watering grass and plants or filling swimming pools. In some areas, there is a complete lack of drinking water, and water is being trucked in. Forest fires are now common, and many parts of the French Riviera are ‘red zone’, meaning you can’t rebuild if your house burns down. This will decrease home values along the French Riviera, and prompt more people to rent or buy in areas that are less affected.

    Charts & Supporting Data

    Here is the newly released data from the notaires of mortgage approvals by month, and a chart (also by the notaires) showing the current number of sales in France. As you can see, sales (and rental prices) are plummeting.

    N.B.: The spike in price from 2000 to 2007 was a global phenomenon and was the biggest real estate bubble the world has ever seen.

    Number of sales across France:

    2024 Real Estate Market Predictions & Trends - real estate market predictions france2
    2024 Real Estate Market Predictions & Trends - real estate france prices

    Home sales (green line), and home pricing (black):

    2024 Real Estate Market Predictions & Trends - real estate market predictions france
    SOURCE: FRANCE NOTARY REPORT, November 2023

    And the price of houses on the French Riviera during and after the Covid bubble:

    2024 Real Estate Market Predictions & Trends - french riviera old house pricing covid
    Source: Notaires 2023

    The sentiment in the USA, for context:

    2024 Real Estate Market Predictions & Trends - real estate immobilier prices

    Real Estate as an Investment?

    The unfortunate truth is that the French Riviera is not a good place to buy real estate for an investment. Aside from during the global Covid-bubble, house prices have steadily decreased (when adjusted for inflation) in the south of France for nearly 15 years and all signs point to prices continuing to decrease in the future.

    “Prime price growth was largely static on the Côte d’Azur as a whole.” – Knight Frank (2021 report)

    When looking at pricing stats, consider that inflation is not priced in, and when you account for inflation, the prices have been declining.

    Additionally, the French government is actively trying to make real estate less expensive. They’ve recently added cumbersome taxes for second homes, vacation rental profits, and when you sell (up to 49%). They’re forcing banks to reduce the number of mortgages given. They’ve added restrictions on renting, including forcing energy-efficiency renovations. And they’re actively thinking up other ways to disincentivize house-flipping, investment purchases, AirBnb rentals, and vacation homes. You can 100% expect more of this in the future.

    Nice’s average rental yield is only 3.11%, the lowest of the major cities in France, and about half of inflation.

    According to Century 21, many private owners will not undertake the energy renovation works that, as of 2023, are now required in order to rent a property. They will instead sell the property because they don’t want to do the work, or because they can’t financially. 

    Because of the largest global real estate boom in history, combined with newly-wealthy Russian buyers, the prices of luxury coastal real estate on the French Riviera shot straight upwards from the mid-90s until 2007. In 2007, the global real estate bubble burst, and in 2008 Russian sanctions halted their buying craze, and since then the prices have been either down or flat. If you were lucky enough to sell property during that sliver of upwards pricing, you did well, but if you bought post-2008, you will likely have lost money, as real estate prices haven’t kept up with inflation.

    The few who sold their villas for a nice profit either to a wealthy Russian or during the Covid desperation –they got lucky– but that luck is now over.

    If you’re looking to invest in real estate, you're better off buying in Monaco, where the median price has increased by 82% in the last decade.

    TIP: If you’re looking at graphs or percentage price increases over the span of years, it’s important to realize that almost none of these charts or stats are inflation-adjusted. When you adjust for inflation, there is no increase in price over the past decade. Further, many of these graphs are made by real estate agencies then proliferated via paid-for articles in media outlets, and the stats are not only subjective (since they only include the few sales from their agency that they chose to include), but not verifiable and not trustworthy.

    Interesting fact: Nearly 30% of villas on the French Riviera are classified as ‘second homes’ (many of which are rented as vacation homes for the summer season), and nearly 8% are “unoccupied” (most of those are used exclusively for vacation rentals). Only 62% are primary residences!

    That said, this area is unlike any other on Earth, and if you love the French lifestyle and want to purchase a villa knowing these facts, then there’s a lot to learn before you sign the deed. First, we’ll explain the pricing trends for villas on the French Riviera, then you can continue on to our other France real estate buying guides, listed at the bottom.

    Three Markets in One

    It’s important to understand that the French Riviera is three markets in one: private, off-market, and publicly listed. Almost all villas go through three markets after the seller decides to sell.

    Market 1: The Private Market. First, sellers try to sell without using an agent. About half of all villas are sold privately, without being listed with an agent.

    Market 2: Off-Market. If they couldn’t sell private, then they list with an agent. A large percentage of villas are sold ‘off-market’ by the agent to their existing contacts, without being listed publicly or on the Internet.

    Market 3: Publicly Listed. If nobody wants to buy the villa, then agents list it publicly on the internet. These villas usually sit on the market for many years and don’t sell unless the owner dramatically lowers the price.

    The Current State of the French Riviera Real Estate Market

    Unrealistic Pricing

    According to reports, market analysis, and the economists, agents, buyers, and notaires we consulted, the majority of French Riviera villa properties asking more than €1 million are listed at unrealistic prices and are sitting on the publicly-listed market, often for years, until the seller lowers the price to be much lower than others on the market, with the average selling price being around 60% less than the original asking price, but some villas selling (eventually) for as much as 90% under asking.

    Many sellers are stubbornly keeping their villas on the market at 3x to as much as 8x actual value either because they are speculating or misinformed. These villas have been sitting on the market for years until the prices are lowered. The sold prices that you’ll see happening are when sellers reach the time where they must sell, and they are then forced to take an at-market offer, last-minute.

    One of the problems in this area is that agents frequently lie about the value of the villas so they can secure the listings, as owners generally choose the agents who tell them they can get more for their villa. Who would you list with — the agent who says your villa is only worth €850,000, or the one who promises to get you €4 million?

    Be aware that real estate agents (and notaires) will almost always paint a rosy picture of the market. Their goal is to encourage people to list their homes, and to get buyers to feel an urgency to put in an offer (and the higher the offer is, the more profit they make on the deal). Remember this bias when you read articles about the market.

    Another issue is that the French Riviera gets a lot of speculators who own several ‘vacation rental’ villas. These sellers list at high prices and go ‘fishing’ for an ignorant buyer who will overpay (although it’s very rare that they find one). These villas sit on the market and do not sell because they are listed at rigid, ridiculous prices with owners that are not serious about selling.

    Recession and Climbing Interest Rates

    As most people are keenly aware, we are in the early stages of a global recession that started in late 2022, due to many factors including interest rates and the long-term economic debt cycle being due for downswing. This is likely to become a major global recession, which has already begun to lower real estate prices globally, and could keep prices low (because credit will be much harder to get, among other factors) for about a decade.

    “Tighter [mortgage] borrowing conditions and rising interest rates… The real estate market has shown signs of slowing down in recent months, due to the economic situation, the war in Ukraine, and the nibbling away at purchasing power due to rising inflation.” JDN May 2022 report

    “Goldman Sachs’ analysis found that soaring interest rates, stretched affordability and weakening economic growth will take the heat out of property markets after the pandemic price surge. The Wall Street bank’s model predicted that France will suffer peak-to-trough declines in prices of 9%.”Yahoo, June 2022

    A useful indicator of the outlook is this survey undertaken by the national statistics office INSEE into the level of household confidence, which is at its lowest for over 20 years, as shown on the graphic below.

    2024 Real Estate Market Predictions & Trends - france real estate guide predictions 2023 1
    2024 Real Estate Market Predictions & Trends - france real estate guide predictions 2023

    Lending Conditions Continue to Tighten

    Starting in 2022, the number of mortgages given out were cut and interest rates rose dramatically; this will escalate throughout 2024 and 2025, making it harder and harder to get approved for a mortgage. Real estate professionals have felt it: nearly half (47%) have seen an increase in the number of sales cancellations due to loan denials, and these cancellations are set to increase.

    A new law came into effect at the beginning of 2022 that requires people taking out mortgages to not have a monthly debt ratio of more than 35%. This means their expenditure, including the monthly mortgage repayment and any other loans or expenses the buyer might have, cannot be more than 35% of their income.

    The notaires’ latest report confirms that this is having an effect on mortgage approval rates. Additionally, a separate report carried out by mortgage broker Vousfinancer found borrowers who have an indebtedness level of under 35% are still being refused loans because of the distance between their work and their prospective home. 

    These new conditions, combined with a general tightening of mortgage conditions imposed by the banks, are already having an effect on the number of villas sold, and consequently will affect villa pricing over time.

    “The structural lack of housing, and low credit rates is what has caused prices to have multiplied by 2.5 in 20 years, and therefore, we feel that this phase is over”, commented Corinne Jolly, president of Particulier à Particulier. New construction is down, with a fall in the first quarter of reservations with developers (-41% over one year) and building permits (-11.5%) as of May 2023.

    Foreign Buyers Are Decreasing

    In 2020, 1.3% of second homes were bought by people who were not residents in France. This is compared to 1.7% in 2010. This trend is predicted to continue in 2024, with the notaires expecting the proportion of foreign buyers to continue to fall.

    Foreigners are also getting sick of being ripped off, and with the introduction of DVF, they can now see how badly agents are lying to them about local pricing. In Greater Paris, the Alps and Provence-Côte d’Azur-Corse, properties purchased by non-resident foreigners are more expensive. This trend is very marked in Provence-Côte d’Azur-Corse, where older houses bought by non-resident foreigners are 180% times more expensive for the same number of rooms and location.

    2024 Real Estate Market Predictions & Trends - median selling price nationality buyers
    Source: Notaires

    The War and Russian Villa Seizures

    Wealthy Russians own more than 2000 villas on the French Riviera, many of them belonging to Vladimir Putin’s closest friends. Due to Russia initiating war with the Ukraine, France and Monaco have already started seizing the assets and villas of Russians connected to Putin, plus their families, close friends, and anyone who may have benefitted from a friend’s connection to Putin. They are casting an increasingly wider and wider net, scaring many Russians into selling before they are sanctioned.

    This could soon have a profound effect on the real estate market, as potentially hundreds of luxury villas, previously owned by Russians, will soon be seized or voluntarily put on the market for sale.

    The French Riviera “is not a booming market as we used to have pre-2008, [when we had] Russian purchasers who were buying most everything at crazy prices,” says Sotheby’s (Hollywood Reporter, July 2021 article)

    Read our guide to Russian villa seizures & how this will impact the real estate market on the French Riviera, for more details.

    The Last 15 Years

    Aside from the largest cities, real estate in France has been struggling for the past 15 years. The French Riviera’s real estate pricing has performed much worse than most other areas of France, with the rural areas performing the worst.

    Sold prices have, for the past 15 years, been flat-lined or decreasing, aside from a temporary bump due to Covid-19. The Covid bump in prices started correcting back to pre-Covid pricing in 2022, and in 2023 went below pre-Covid pricing to the lowest France has seen since the lows of the 2008 housing market crash.

    The Covid Effect

    During the worst of Covid isolation, from Q3-2020 to Q1-2022, sales in the luxury villa market were typically at prices far above market value, purchased by price-insensitive people (and many Monaco residents) who wanted to move quickly, or people feeling flush due to record-breakingly low interest rates and extremely favorable exchange rates. These sales are not representative of where the market is at overall.

    High-priced sales that happened from 2020 to mid-2022 were an anomaly due to a very unique set of circumstances, all of which have since ended.

    Despite these Covid-effect sales, the vast majority of publicly-listed villas that were listed before and during Covid have not sold and remain on the market, at far higher than market value.

    “The optimism seen at the end of 2021 proved to be short-lived, brought to a halt by the outbreak of the war in the Ukraine. This shock was immediately seen across all economic indicators in March, reflecting the concerns that are weighing on the spending power of both business leaders (-6.1 points in the business climate index in March) and householders (-6 points in the householder confidence index).” – Cushman & Wakefield (2022 report)

    Real estate network Orpi reported that sales were down 17% in the first 3 months of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. Guillaume Martinaud, president of the Orpi network, told BFM at the end of February 2023: “The party’s over. We are seeing a rebalancing. We feel it very clearly in our agencies – there are no longer queues. I think what’s happening now is healthy,” he said of the drop in prices after two years of being “way too high.”

    “People are realizing that owning house is not what they really want”, comments Corinne Jolly, president of Particulier à Particulier. “They are moving away a little from the postcard image that there was at the end of the Covid-19 confinement.”

    2022 to 2024 and Beyond

    The property market is slowly beginning to recalibrate after being heavily impacted from 2020 to 2022, by Covid-19, which led to a record number of sales of houses, and record-high prices. Sold prices have already started to swing downward and continue to be a buyer’s market for the next decade or more due to factors described in this guide. That’s especially true for rural villas along the French Riviera.

    For the first time since Covid-19, the Bien’ici property site noted a sharp 12% increase in supply and, at the same time, a sharp drop in demand, with searches for houses dropping 30% in the second half of 2022. Meanwhile, property ads were already staying online for 50% longer, by the end of 2022.

    Notaire data on house sales released throughout 2023 showed a dramatic decrease in the sales both old and new houses. FNAIM estimated that overall demand could decrease by 10% by the end of 2023, correlating to a 5% reduction in house prices, but that prediction came true early — by the middle of 2023. “The lights are on red at all levels”, they said.

    According to the results of a study carried out in late 2023, 92% of agencies saw an increase in negotiating margins in 2023.

    What Industry Reps Are Saying

    “We are witnessing a profound change in the market as we have experienced it over the past ten or fifteen years. It is therefore understandable that sellers take time to accept this new framework and have not yet adjusted their prices accordingly. 2024 should probably see the establishment a new balance between buyers and sellers”, concludes Stéphane Fritz, president of real estate agency Guy Hoquet.

    Charles Marinakis of Century 21 said, “According to our observations, the slowdown in activity continues. This is confirmation of what we saw during the second half of 2022. Our figures for January 2023 confirm this trend. Even if the home sector resists, the volume of transactions is decreasing. Overall, the drop is -6% across France. We had anticipated this slowdown. According to the expression, «when it is too expensive, it is too expensive». [We are seeing] a return to progressive reason. Very often, sellers take time to agree to lower their prices.”

    RH CEO Gary Friedman said in December 2022, about the state of the luxury housing market: “I think that the housing market has collapsed, and it went down pretty viciously as interest rates have went up. It’s just a lot of uncertainty right now. But one thing I’m certain of the housing market is collapsing at a level I haven’t seen since 2008. I haven’t seen this kind of drop since 2008.”

    77% of notaires think that 2023 is a good time to sell (in other words, sell as soon as possible, as the prices are decreasing) and a bad time to buy property in France (it’s better to wait, as prices will fall more). Notaires have seen a drop in the number of property purchases in 2022, and expect the market to continue its downward trajectory.

    The boss of the L’Adresse network of real estate agencies predicts a 10% price drop, but we think that agencies are trying to keep clients optimistic, and there will likely be an even larger drop. Marc Touati, president of ACDEFI, an independent economic and financial consulting firm, said he expects to see prices drop around 15% by the end of 2023.

    Henry Buzy-Cazaux, founding president of the Institut du Management des Services Immobiliers, in a recent interview with Le Revenu magazine, said, about sold prices, that “a fall in prices of 10% [in vacation markets such as the French Riviera] seems inevitable”, and speaking about the effects of the economy in France, he also predicted an overall real estate market decline of 30%.

    Buyers looking to acquire a villa in France increasingly favor lower priced properties, particularly those under €800,000, and there are significantly less buyers of high-priced villas. This trend has, in part, been caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which has meant fewer wealthy foreign buyers (who have instead bought weekend houses in their country of residence) and more local French buyers. 

    The change in proportion of total sales of villas / countryside houses varied by price bracket:

    • The proportion of villas that sold for under €800,000 increased from 30% in 2019 to 38% in 2021. 
    • Villa sales in the between €800,000 to €1 million increased from 15% to 22% in the same time frame.
    • Properties that sold for between €1 million and €2 million decreased from 35% in 2019 to 29% in 2021.
    • Properties that sold for over €2 million decreased from 20% in 2019 to only 11% of total sales in 2021.
    2024 Real Estate Market Predictions & Trends - real estate pricing south france 1
    The French Riviera: On a downward price trajectory

    Remember that you can't compare the French Riviera to France overall. There are regional differences in property price changes, and the French Riviera has far less growth than many other areas in France. For example, in 2021 the annual m² sold price rose 12.4% in Rennes and only 0.6% in Nice. Paris alone pulls the ‘overall France’ real estate pricing trends way upwards.

    The easiest way to see the historic trends in pricing (and the recent sales prices) in a specific area of the French Riviera is on the JDN website — the only website here that isn’t biased. It doesn’t sustain from real estate sales or advertising, and doesn’t only focus on real estate. It is the most accurate to look at for real estate averages, as they pull in all the sales and also look at the m² villa sizes advertised in sales listings, to display the most accurate data. Unfortunately, it’s not updated often.

    Tip: Pricing is dropping, so keep in mind the time period that the estimation is based on. The longer the time period, the higher the pricing will seem, compared to pricing from the past several months alone. And always remember that average m² price estimations are wrong.

    2024 Real Estate Market Predictions & Trends - real estate projections france 2020 2021 1
    2017 up until the start of 2020
    2024 Real Estate Market Predictions & Trends - france real estate price predictions 2024
    2019 up until the start of 2022

    Expert Market Predictions for 2024

    In 2024, the French Riviera is a buyer’s market, and will become even more so for many years to come, due to the global recession, high interest rates, foreign buyers increasingly purchasing homes in their domicile countries, France aggressively disincentivizing second home and investment ownership, and the luxury villa market being flooded with villas sold by, or seized from, Russians.

    We consulted a number of top economists, investment advisors, and (honest) real estate agents and notaires, as well as recent buyers, about the publicly-listed French Riviera villa market, and these were our findings (this applies to villas on the French Riviera only).

    Keep in mind that the m² listed below is the advertised m², not the falsely low m² listed by the notaires. The prices below reflect sold prices, not asking prices.

    Sold Prices of €3 Million+

    • Very high-end market
    • Sold prices of more than €3 million
    • Normally applies to exceptional, ultra-luxury villas of 1000+ m², often with multiple villas on the property

    This market segment is very hard to gauge because there are so few sales in this category. These are the most ultra-luxury highly-desirable and unique seaside properties on the French Riviera. Most were owned by Russians and are staying on the market for many years and not selling.

    Less than 5% of villas that are listed at more than €3 million actually end up selling for more than €3 million. In this segment, some of the overpricing is due to Russian’s needing to sell villas that they paid over-market for.

    The vast majority of villas that sold for this price were sold at between a 65% to an astonishing 85% discount off the original asking price, with the average discount being around 70%. We’ve seen many highly desirable villas that have sold over the last couple of years for a 70%+ discount off the original asking price. A couple of typical examples: in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, two huge and newly renovated sea-view villas on the same property that were originally listed at €18 million just sold for €3.6 million, and a highly-desirable villa with 100% unobstructed sea view on the tip of Cap Martin was listed at €4.9 million and recently sold for €1.8 million.

    Like in all market categories, villas that are overpriced are not selling, even if they are famous, highly-desirable villas. Sean Connery’s stunning seaside villa is a great example of this — its price was cut in half after a year on the market and yet it still hasn’t sold, after copious amounts of advertising and news coverage and more than three years on the market. A desirable Cap d’Ail villa owned by a Russian oligarch has been listed privately, for an undisclosed sum, since 2015, and publicly (by many agencies) since 2017, first for €30 million and now for €23 million — and it still hasn’t sold. There are many other similar examples, especially in the high-end market with Russian owners.

    This is because in-the-know financial advisors of wealthy buyers are predicting that the market is on a long-term downward pricing trend, because banks won’t authorize over-value mortgages, and because Russians are no longer coming with suitcases of cash. These factors are pushing the prices much, much lower.

    Sold Prices of €1 to 3 Million

    • Mid-range luxury villa market
    • Sold prices of €1 million to €3 million
    • Normally applies to luxury villas of 250 m² to 1000 m²

    This segment saw a small bump in selling prices during Covid, of around 0.5%, with occasional sales at much higher than market value (due to the Covid effect). Since 2022 sales have normalizes and overall volume has decreased. We expect sold prices (not asking prices) to continue to drop significantly in 2024. Currently, this segment of the market is stagnant, while buyers wait for prices to fall.

    Villas in this bracket are selling for between a 40% and 80% discount off the asking price, as extreme overpricing abounds in this price range. There are many more sellers in this segment than serious buyers. Ultra-modern villas are in demand (but not if overpriced), while stone, old-seeming, and classic styles are not selling.

    These owners are most often either elderly or Russian. Expect to see an increase in distressed sales in this segment in coming years due to the aging Baby Boomers, the economy, foreigners selling due to increased taxes, the Russian villa seizures, and the continuing effects of Brexit.

    Sold Prices of €600k to €1 Million

    • Low mid-range villa market
    • Sold prices of €600,000 to €1 million
    • Normally applies to villas less than 400 m²

    In this bracket, well-priced villas in good condition sold well until interest rates started to increase in 2022, and now the number of total sales are decreasing. However, we expect pricing to continue to drop significantly in 2024 due to affordability issues.

    The primary buyers in this bracket are French families. The sellers in this segment are usually French citizens or British citizens. In both cases, they have motivation to sell (economic issues, divorce, etc.) and Brexit will continue affect this segment.

    Market May Be Slow to Adjust

    Often, when buying activity slows, it takes some time for homeowners and real estate agents to adjust their expectations and lower pricing. In the meantime, realistically-priced properties may sell, but properties that do not adjust their pricing will remain on the market, often for years, until they adjust their expectations and lower the price to be in-line with the market (find out how to determine the correct pricing).

    Keep in mind that statistics that include the entirety of France are misleading as they include big cities like Paris and Marseille, where demand remains strong and prices are increasing. Rural and vacation-home areas like the French Riviera are, conversely, on a downward trajectory.

    Real estate agents and notaires get paid when you complete the purchase, and the more you spend, the more they make. So, naturally, they tend to be very optimistic about the market. They are incentivized to tell you that it’s a super-hot market and prices are going up, as this pressures buyers into feeling like they should buy sooner and for more money, and it incentivizes sellers to list their homes. Even in obviously soft or declining markets, agents and notaires will often tell you that it’s a hot market.

    Buying a Villa? Read This First!

    When you’re ready to look for a property, make sure to read our complete guide to buying real estate in France. These guides explain how to estimate a property’s real value, how to get the best price and avoid over-pricing, what to look out for, how to avoid getting scammed, and more.

    First, in order to understand the real estate market in France, you must understand how m² pricing is a giant scam. Then, you can move on to the other guides:

    Our guide to real estate listings includes: how to find villas for sale, what to look out for, misinformation and warnings, auctions & foreclosures, buying direct from sellers, why timing is everything, and the reason why only about half of villa sales are publicly listed.

    Our guide to scams and secrets includes: warnings about the unethical tricks that agents, notaires, sellers, developers and builders use to get more money out of you. This is a must-read, and the whistleblower guide that those in the business don’t want you to see.

    Our guide to real estate agents includes: the dishonest things agents will tell you, how real estate agencies operate, buyer’s agents and property finders, why you should avoid illegal and non-local agents, and who to trust (an important warning).

    Our guide to pricing & determining a villa’s market value includes: why there’s so much extreme overpricing, how to estimate a villa’s market value (what it’s worth), and a step-by-step guide to finding your offer price. Plus, supplementary guide to Russians & their impact on the French Riviera real estate market.

    Our guide to important things to find out includes: diagnostic reports and surveys, sun & micro-climates, potential issues with the view, housing taxes, the age, internet and mobile access, danger (red) zones, health risks, privacy & space issues, nearby problems, what you’ll actually own, illegal additions and structures, why they’re selling, how to verify, and more.

    Our guide to things to consider includes: your actual costs, issues with buying a ‘newly renovated’ villa, learning about local crime & squatters, and questions to ask yourself.

    Our guide to the buying process includes: negotiating the price & the initial offer, choosing an honest notaire, buying in the black, the official offer & deposit, using a SCI, contract pitfalls, the cooling-off period, what to do before handing over the money, and the final signing.

    Our guide for after you buy includes: insurance pitfalls, tips for second homes, renting your villa, renovating, and what to know about hiring people.

    Guide for sellers: How to price your villa so it will sell.

    Content is legally protected.

    Have a tip? Email hello@iconicriviera.com

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