A recent article in the French economic and political news magazine Le Point began with 'Paris is not France, but even so ...' The article then goes on to highlight how Paris property prices have taken off, rising around 10 percent and more in under a year. The gist of the article is where Paris goes other cities in France follow. Singled out for special mention is Nice : 'This market is about to sky-rocket. Investors take note...', says the report (28 October).
I've just returned from a trip to Paris. Autumn is in full swing with the leaves swishing under foot and Paris skies having turned that pretty dove-grey. I unashamedly love Paris in any season. The South of France is my home, but I often dream of one day having a pied-a-terre in Paris for occasional visits (just a small apartment near Le Jardin du Luxembourg, Montparnasse or maybe Canal St-Martin...). In Paris, my favourite past-time is playing the flâneur. I get up early and meander through the streets, passing chic parents and their immaculately dressed children on their way to school and work. Catching glimpses through open doors and passages to courtyards, one enters a private world. Somehow these quick snapshots of Paris life give the feeling of being part of the city.
Glancing at Paris real estate is a down-to-earth moment that bolts one out of this reverie. My most shocking find was an advertisement for a 'chambre de bonne studio' in St Germaine. 6.64 sq metres (so let's be generous and say 7 sq metres) . Asking price 90,000 euros. Paris apartment prices run from between 7,000 and 12,000 euros plus per square metre. The equivalent in Nice is roughly between 4,000 to 9,000 euros.
The Côte d'Azur is not bargain territory, but next to Paris it seems like a snip - at least plausible as opposed to dream territory. The article in Le Point signals something that has been unfolding slowly in the market. After a long period of calm and no movement, there is a sea-change as people having waited long enough seize their chance. With Paris as our guide, I would second the view that investors should start to take note and not wait too long.
For help with buying on the French Riviera, contact Rebecca Russell at Côte Abode. Email firstname.lastname@example.org