According to the official presentation, the “international capital of a certain art of living”… The second largest business hub in France, 25 km from one of its busiest airports, Cannes is also one of the world’s most attractive tourist destinations welcoming almost 2 million visitors each year.

This renovated and furnished penthouse of 80.37 m2 on the Croisette is comprised of three suites, a lounge and a Boffi kitchen. The roof-terrace of 70 m2 offers an area for preparing meals, an outdoor shower and an independent room of 13 m2. 2.490.000 €. Magrey & Sons (04 92 98 98 22).

This renovated and furnished penthouse of 80.37 m2 on the Croisette is comprised of three suites, a lounge and a Boffi kitchen. The roof-terrace of 70 m2 offers an area for preparing meals, an outdoor shower and an independent room of 13 m2. 2.490.000 €. Magrey & Sons (04 92 98 98 22).

Offering living space of 185 m2 (three suites) and an outdoor area of 205 m2 with a summer lounge, dining-room and jacuzzi, this penthouse renovated by a renowned architect is on the top floor of an elegant town mansion. 3.950.000 €. Croisette Properties (04 93 68 93 25).

Benefiting from a terrace, this renovated apartment on the seafront, a short walk to the Old Town of Le Suquet, the Croisette and Palais des Festivals, offers living space of 161 m2 (three suites). It is completed by a cellar and a garage in the basement. 2,7 M €. Wretman Estate (04 92 98 92 54).

The Festival City offers accommodation in the form of apartments of the highest quality, from the Croisette, facing the sublime Lérins Islands, to the highly-prized neighbourhoods of La Californie and Les Croix des Gardes, renowned for their beautiful resid­ences. Halfway between Monaco and Saint-Tropez, this town long associated with the movies owes its worldwide reputation to vast media coverage during the annual International Film Festival.

“Stocks of apartments have clearly been rebuilt : here in Cannes, clients can now pick and choose,” says Christie Larnicol of Magrey & Sons. La Californie and La Croix-des-Gardes meet the requirements of fans of residences with parks and pools facing the Mediterranean. The Croisette is still the favourite address among the wealthy, young seniors wanting to get around town without needing to use a car. Once owners of villas, they now prefer the convenience of an apartment, and this seafront location blessed by the gods. Most buyers have budgets of 1.2 to 1.5 million euros, the amount required for a classic example of 100 m2 in perfect condition, offering a sea view in the Californie neighbourhood. The same apartment will cost 20 % less in La Croix-des-Gardes, and range from 2 to 2.5 million euros at least on the central stretch of the Croisette. Following two years of tension, often due to the resilience of owners refusing to bow to developments on the economic scene, the market is now drawing real enthusiasm. It is seeing more impulse buying, sometimes far removed from considerations based on the desire for a sound investment.

“The markets for villas and apartments are closely linked in Cannes. Owners often part with their houses to benefit from a practical and conveniently located apartment, near all amenities,” confirms Karim Abel of Croisette Properties. In the neighbourhood of La Californie, prices range from 8,000 to15,000 € per sq. metre. A fully renovated apartment in a luxury residence will be pegged around 12,000€ per sq.m. The Croisette can be split into two distinct parts : the stretch from the Palais des Festivals to the Martinez Hotel, posting prices from 20,000 to 40,000 € per sq.m, and that from the Martinez to Palm Beach, 12,000 to 25,000 € per sq.m. Price differences are justified by the residence’s quality, the floor, and the apartment’s condition. Penthouses still top the bill. In La Californie, this type of property exceeds 15,000 € per sq.m. Karim Abel describes one penthouse in the best part the Croisette, offering living space of 230 m2 opening out to a terrace of 100 m2, which recently sold for over 10 million euros. A price which, however, remains exceptional.

Accustomed to the requirements of a Scandinavian clientele, Johan Wretman of Wretman Estate mentions buyers set on “doing everything on foot”, in search of generous 2-bedroomed apartments, high floors, and deep terraces. While the choice is wide, such criteria allow the selection to be fine-tuned, especially if one adds the value-for-money factor. Recently, the top floor of a small residence on the Croisette belonging to Swedes (living space of 193 m2, with a Bulthaup kitchen and wine cellar on the roof, renovated in pure minimalist style, and extended by a terrace of 100 m2), found a taker ready to pay the asking price of almost 6.5 million euros. Scandinavians have to deal with intercultural incomprehension. They very often discover the concept of notaries or even fees. In their home countries, the price posted is often a starting-point for higher bids, whereas it is likely to be subject to bargaining here in France, where the tax system is very different, affecting in turn the issues of wealth, inheritance and donations. The learning process is fundamental, starting with the matter of potential for seasonal rentals in Cannes. Also astonished by the prospect of renovation inherent to certain properties, Scandinavian clients looking for reassurance sometimes need to consult a compatriot who shouldered the great adventure of renovation work. Fans of apartments, they have proved to be much less hesitant than Russian and British buyers over the last year. While Spain beckons seductively with its lower prices, real Francophiles appreciate the town of Cannes, still a must for those wanting to acquire a property for their personal enjoyment.

By Laetitia Rossi

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