The bucolic charm of Saint-Paul-de-Vence
History, nature, authenticity, proximity… Arguments offered by the hill-top village with the most visitors in the Alpes-Maritimes are certainly not lacking. Only 15 minutes separate this haven of tranquillity from France’s second busiest airport… An asset that does not leave international clients indifferent.
Facing the village of Saint-Paul and the Mediterranean, this old farmhouse of 345 m2 offers exposed beams, roof-tiles and authentic old tiled floors. 4,5 M €. Giraf (04 22 16 64 77).
This château in La Colle-sur-Loup which rose from the ground in the 15th century offers 1,500 m2 in four fully renovated buildings. A wine cellar, gym, artist’s studio and numerous relaxation rooms all figure on its list of amenities. The park plays host to a small lake and a vast pool with pool-house. 9,9 M €. Capital Immobilier (04 93 59 72 72).
“Le Jardin des Arts” is a luxury development designed by architect Philippe Caron and decorated by Collection Privé : landscaped grounds of 23,000 m2 and 19 apartments from less than 100 to 250 m2 in three buildings. A 97 m2 apartment with a terrace of 22 m2 costs 992.000 €. Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty (04 92 92 12 88).
History, nature, authenticity, proximity… Arguments offered by the hill-top village with the most visitors in the Alpes-Maritimes are certainly not lacking. Only 15 minutes separate this haven of tranquillity from France’s second busiest airport… An asset that does not leave international clients indifferent. Enjoying views of the Mediterranean, the medieval village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence has long been synonymous with a certain art of living on the Côte d’Azur. Back in the 12th century, Rue Grande (the main street in Saint-Paul) was lined with sublime private mansions. Nowadays, the choice between living within the old village, prized by art-lovers, and the surrounding countryside, green and peaceful, is simply a matter of taste.
“Le Jardin des Arts, a new development at the entrance to the village, consists of 23,000 m2 of wooded grounds and 19 apartments in three intimate buildings,” says Laurence Chaleil of Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty. With construction launched in October and completion scheduled for the spring of 2019, it will offer properties priced from 992,000 € - the sum required for living space of 97 m2 prolonged by a covered terrace of 22 m2, with as many box-garages as bedrooms, interior decor signed Collection Privée and Miele kitchen appliances - to just under 2 million euros - giving 144 m2 with luxury appointments and outdoor areas of 60 m2. Not forgetting the generous penthouse, proposed at 3,380,000 €. The residence will also offer a heated pool and fitness centre. Seven apartments have already been snapped up since the launch of marketing last June. There have been lots of visits this summer to Saint-Paul-de-Vence, though they were more limited in September and October. The property market is doing better on the Côte d’Azur, and Saint-Paul remains very attractive, just like La Colle-sur-Loup and Vence. The area benefits from the impact of Polygone Riviera, a shopping mall offering lots of amenities just a 5-minute drive away. Laurence Chaleil foresees a kind of transition, a wave of renewal over the property market, and revamping of its large properties. The market for villas is doing well, as long as they represent value for money. As close to the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport as the beaches, the address clearly has an ace to play, as compared to communes such as Mougins, Valbonne and the region around Grasse, especially as the CIV, the international secondary school in Valbonne, provides a school bus service from this area.
Of French-British nationality, Michael Deckers of Capital Immobilier mentions the disappearance of English buyers, due as much to the lack of visibility created by Brexit as to the unfavourable exchange rate. The Irish remain hesitant, whereas Americans are staging a big comeback after a 5-year absence. One couple is treating itself to a village house of 80 m2 with a cellar and a generous terrace, priced at 300,000 €, fully intent on spending a further 150,000 € on renovation work. US buyers appreciate privacy and suites. Parisians also set their sights on the hill-top village, together with loyal fans from northern Europe. Prices are sluggish and buyers do not hesitate to bargain. Under 500,000 €, the majority of clients are the locally employed, also likely to visit properties in La Colle-sur-Loup. Parisian buyers recently parted with 1.3 million euros to acquire a house built in the 1960’s - living space of 300 m2 in grounds of 2,500 m2, in a quiet, leafy setting in Les Hauts-de-Saint-Paul -, with a restoration project of about 200,000 €.
“With budgets often exceeding 2 million euros, residents of Monaco see Saint-Paul-de-Vence as a weekend address, offering the chance for more space, a garden and serenity, about 30 minutes from the Principality,” explain Gilles Paolini and Rafael Maura of the Giraf agency. “They are looking for 3 or 4 suites in authentic style, in sharp contrast to the unbridled contemporary style of their apartments in Monaco, and outdoor areas suitable for welcoming guests. Not forgetting that Saint-Paul-de-Vence is much closer than the Luberon and the Alpilles, with which it bears comparison.” Since the French elections, the market has picked up. Scandinavians in search of holiday homes are still present, together with more distant nationalities, from Asia and Australia. Our professionals have noticed a rise in demand for properties within the villages, whether Saint-Paul-de-Vence or La Colle, at around 500,000 € for main homes, or from 150,000 to 250,000 € for rental investments, the amount required for a 1-bedroomed apartment. This enthusiasm does not detract in any way from the upper end of the market : some buyers are currently visiting vast properties of over 1,000 m2 on several acres of land, presented from 15 to 20 million euros. A couple from New York, in love with the French art of living, has just fallen for the Tuscan-style charm of a recent house of just under 200 m2, in perfect condition, fully fitted and furnished, priced at over 2 million euros. Buyers targetting this area prove to be keen on culture, dine at the Colombe d’Or or at Alain Llorca’s restaurant, and love the charming lifestyle of these settings bearing the patina of centuries of history.