Spring and early summer is traditionally the time for visitors and buyers to arrive on the Cote d'Azur. The property market is picking up considerably from my persepctive as a buyer's agent. My property-savvy clients realise there is investment buying, and then there is smart investment buying, and that means using someone with local knowledge and contacts who is not an estate agent. I live here and know the market. This means I have a handle on the areas that are prime location (and up and coming) and which properties will reap the best returns. In addition, I know which agents will take the initiative and work hard to seal a deal with their clients (and their client is the seller, not the buyer, remember) rather than lose a deal by sticking to an unrealistic price thinking they can squeeze more from a foreign buyer.
Writing in The Telegraph in February this year, Zoe Dare Hall reports that the Côte d'Azur, and Nice in particular, is one of France's 'Hot Spots', with buyers returning to the market again. Dare Hall writes that: "Property prices on the coast fell by about 15 per cent last year, but St Tropez remains the most robust of resorts, with planning laws banning building within 300 metres of the sea constraining supply. The investment-minded head to Nice, where sales to English buyers so far this year have included a £450,000 studio flat on the Promenade des Anglais, purely for high-end corporate lets and a small holiday flat in the Musicians Quarter for £225,000, reports Kirkor Ajderhanyan from Agency 107 Promenade."
The Côte d'Azur is not a bargain region, so making a mistake when investing in property here is an expensive one people can't afford. The current flurry of interest will mean buyers being shown a range of properties from bad to good opportunities by agents who traditionally don't try very hard. An essential part of my job is to remove this random element and guide clients to the best options, saving them costly mistakes.
Nice and the Côte d'Azur is always a sound investment area, but taking away the gamble should be a buyer's prime objective in an unfamiliar market. And that is what a buyer's agent does.