Second homes in France offer the best value for non-residents

While prices of primary residences in France continue to decline, the second homes market offers even more value for non-resident buyers.

“A sea view apartment of 90m2, with roof terrace of 150 m2 for 850,000 euros; I have never seen such an exceptional price…” said Peggy Bancquart a realtor in Saint-Tropez. Domestic second homebuyers are becoming cautious in such markets, leaving incredible opportunities for more engaged non-resident buyers.

“Second homes are goods that we [the French] buy when everything goes well,” said Jean-François Buet, the President of the Fnaim. He estimated the number of transactions in this market fell by 30%, and prices by 15% to 20%, “but with significant regional variations and type of housing.”

They type of property which has suffered the most is not at the top, but is very close, specifically those with slightly less than exceptional locations. The properties that do not have the x-factor are failing to convince buyers to pay the high prices demanded by sellers.

“The market for second homes used at the weekend, more than an hour from big cities, is the most affected,” said Fabrice Abraham, CEO of Guy Hiccups network.

Deviations of 20% to 30% of the original price are becoming commonplace. “Today, nothing is selling it without a dramatic drop,” says Frédéric Halimi, real estate agent in Canet-en-Roussillon. A study by Guy Hoquet Real Estate, housing prices have dropped considerably in areas where second homes are numerous: more than 20% decrease in 2014 in the Centre region, 10 % in Basse-Normandie, 6.5% in Brittany and in the PACA region, against a decline of only 1.7% in the whole country.