A wave of optimism on the Croisette
Being treated to a facelift, the famous shoreline in Cannes is attracting affluent buyers from all over the world more than ever before. Even the French, more hesitant over the past few years, can no longer resist this prestigious address, its luxury boutiques and sweeping views of the bay, the Lérins Islands and the sandy beaches.
The boulevard lined with palms and pine-trees owes its current configuration to Mayor Barbe who obtained its concession in 1853 and, with it, the right to proceed with widening it. He was intent on convincing local residents of the charm of the new prom. The English aristocracy then turned up in numbers when the train arrived in Cannes in 1866. The subject of everyone’s desire, the boulevard was extended and widened over the decades without losing any of its aura. Three kilometres shared by luxury hotels, casinos and smart boutiques. As proof of the unending success of one of the addresses drawing the most media coverage in the world thanks to the International Film Festival, Knight Frank has just sold the penthouse of the new “First Croisette” residence on plans, price announced 70,000 €/m2. Over 300 m2 overlooking the Mediterranean and the steps in front of the Palais des Festivals.
“Whatever the state of the market in Cannes, the Croisette always keeps its head above water. Availabilities here are limited, demand is strong,” says Christie Larnicol of Magrey & Sons. “Sales are, however, now being completed at the right prices. Clients are looking for properties in perfect condition, meeting international standards, renovated, redecorated, furnished apartments, fully equipped down to house linen and candles.” Recently, a good number of Parisians have been swapping their large apartments in the capital for a simple pied-à-terre to maintain their ties with their home town, and an apartment on the Croisette with 2 or 3 bedrooms, priced from 2 to 3 million euros. Rental investors then took an interest in “First Croisette”, a contemporary residence with a spa and conciergerie, scheduled for delivery at the end of 2020, facing the Palais des Festivals. Prepared to pay from 30,000 to 40,000 € per sq.m in exchange for 4 main rooms on the most popular floors, they are motivated by three main factors : the prospect of rental income several weeks a year, recovering VAT in the case of professional landlords of furnished properties, and the undeniable long-term value of their acquisition. Finally, buyers in their 40’s and 50’s are drawn by an acquisition for their own enjoyment without, however, renouncing occasional income generated by Cannes’ highly sought-after shoreline.
“Most properties are sold in turnkey condition,” says Marie-Claire Sangouard, Manageress of Engel & Völkers Côte d’Azur. “And like the vast urban renovation project underway below, residences on the Croisette are being treated to rejuvenation. Today’s buyers want to benefit immediately from their purchases and avoid tedious renovation. While properties of 70-80 m2 fetch from 1.5 to 1.9 million euros, the market for generous surface areas over and above 200 m2 is very buoyant, with sales ranging from 4 to 7 million euros, and more for penthouses. One apartment of 214 m2, prolonged by a terrace of 160 m2 offering a sublime panoramic sea view, on offer at 8.5 million euros, is attracting a good number of visits.” Everyone appreciates “doing everything on foot”, the location’s prestige and convenience. While the French are making a big comeback, the Beijing-Nice flight connection is opening up new perspectives. 95 % of buyers are looking for holiday homes. Seniors are extending the length of their stays. Younger buyers offer their holiday pied-à-terre for rent in March, May and June, particularly promising months due to congresses and festivals, and sometimes a few weeks in summer. The fourth quarter of 2019 is looking good, like the rest of the year, exceptional in Cannes and the South of France in general. Gone the seasonal aspect of activity : unceasing renewal of the clientele now guarantees continuous dynamism.
“Enthusiasm for the Croisette is part of the trend towards a growing desire to be closer to the town centre,” add Christelle Jonneskindt, Renaud Espitallier and Bruno François of the Marly Privilège agency. Prices vary depending on a property’s intrinsic qualities, the state of the residence, the floor, view, and the existence or not of a parking place and/or outdoor area. A 15-minute walk from shops on Rue d’Antibes, Port Canto and Palm Beach attract buyers of permanent homes, looking for quietness, privacy and greenery. The price per sq. metre ranges here from 14,000 € (the upper end of the price bracket in La Californie) to 30,000-35,000 € for outstanding properties. The renovation project underway for Palm Beach should not fail to boost the market at the tip of the Croisette and draw a new clientele. The Palais des Festivals-Martinez neighbourhood starts from 20,000 € per sq.m to attain 50,000 € per sq.m, the sum required for penthouses designed by architects with garden-terraces and private pools.