Tuesday 11 August 2020
There are over 3,000 km of coastline in France, with property prices as varied as the landscapes along it.
Not unexpectedly, highest prices are on the Côte d'Azur, but there are locations at affordable prices to be found in all regions.
A tour d'horizon of the coastline of those seaside towns which have the largest percentage of second homes.
A vast coastline, with spectacular low-lying sandy beaches and escarpments.
In the north lies Le Touquet (Hauts-de-France), playground of rich Parisians (and a favourite haunt of President Macron and his wife), where prices average €4,809/m² for an apartment, and €5,483/m² for a house.
Further south, with similar prices, is the more international resort of Deauville (Calvados), where prices for an apartment average €4,689/m² and those for a house €5,387m².
What Brittany may lack in sunshine it makes up for in landscape and cheap prices, which average €2,431/m² for houses, despite having risen by 9.5% over the past two years. Improved infrastructure links to Paris account for much of the increase.
At the top of the pile is La Trinité-sur-Mer where house prices average €4,4704/m², followed by Larmor-Baden (€4,012/m²) and Carnac (€3,993/m²).
By contrast, the region also contains the least expensive major seaside town in France, Goulien, where house prices average €1,193/m². Others will similarly low prices are Cléden-Cap-Sizun (€1,271/m²) and Beuzez-Cap-Sizum (€1,296/m²). All three are located in the department of Finistère.
The Loire-Atlantique, situated around 100km from Nantes is becoming increasingly popular with French nationals.
The most popular (and therefore the most expensive) resort is La Baule, widely referred to as 'Touquet de la Loire-Atlantique' due to its chic status. Apartment prices average €4,690/m² and the sale price for older houses averages €440,000.
Nearby there is Pornichet and Pouliguen, where apartment prices average €4,410/m² and houses €386,000.
Further south there is Saint Michel-Chef-Chef, Préfailles, Pornic and La Bernerie-en-Retz, where the coast is wilder, with a succession of small coves and beaches. In Pornic, apartments average €3,600/m² and houses €270,000, whilst in Saint Michel-Chef-Chef apartments average €3,180/m² and houses €236,000.
Another popular area is the north Vendée coast, with affordable houses in Saint-Jean-de-Monts at around €2,000/m² and Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie at around €3,000/m².
Two spectacular locations are the Ile de Noirmoutier and Ile d'Yeu, the latter only accessible by boat. A house on Ile de Noirmoutier averages around €4,000/m², whilst on the Ile d'Yeu around €2,000/m².
And of course the classic Les Sables d’Olonne, home of the round the world yacht race, where houses average €3,607/m².
According to the study, the south-west coastline has been growing in popularity, with prices increasing by an average of 12.7% over the past two years.
It is a growth born out of improved infrastructure and the economic prosperity of the Aquitaine region, the city of Bordeaux in particular.
It is a vast coastline, with the most popular areas anchored around the Bay of Arcachon, and one able to satisfy most holidaymakers, with endless unspoilt sand dunes and forests and the best beaches in France for surfing.
The most expensive area is idylic Lège-Cap-Ferret, where apartment prices average €7,296/m² and houses €8,328/m².
High prices also apply in Portes-en-Ré (€7,582€/m² average for a house) and in Arcachon where apartment average €6,042/m² and houses €6,638/m².
Amongst those areas that are less expensive are Cette-Eygun in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, where house prices average €1,309/m², followed by Barzan (€1634/m²), and Talais, near the Gironde estuary, where house prices average €1,682/m².
Only 10km from Montpellier, Palavas-les-Flots (Hérault) is a charming fishing village, full of authentic atmosphere and offering wonderful long sandy beaches, stretching between Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone and Carnon, which have both contributed to making it the most expensive seaside resort in the region at €4,138/m² for an apartment and €4,165/m² for a house.
At the other end of the architectural scale, there is La Grande-Motte (Hérault), renowned for its pyramid-shaped buildings, designed by the architect Jean Balladur at the request of General de Gaulle, the resort was intended to provide tourism for the masses, but in recent years has become fashionable due mainly to its quirky design. As a result, prices are amongst the highest in the region, with apartments averaging €3,843/m² and houses €4,357/m².
Further south into Roussillon, 26km from the Spanish border, there is the picturesque, fashionable town of Collioure, built around a narrow bay and surrounded by the Pyrénées mountain range. Apartments average €3,755/m² and houses €4,120/m².
For less expensive resorts there is the village of La Palme (Aude), which sits alongside a saltwater lagoon, located between Narbonne and Perpignan. Here properties average €2,069/m².
Similarly priced there is the 'station verte' of Torreilles, located north of Perpignan, where prices average €1,993/m², and Port-la-Nouvelle, another natural heritage site, offering 10 km of beaches, located south of Narbonne, where prices average €1,962/m².
If you have your sights set on a property on the sunshine coast of the Mediterranean then expect to pay an average of €4,506/m² for an apartment and €5,400/m² for a house. Over the past couple of years prices have risen by an average of 5.5%.
Highest prices in the region are in beautiful Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, located between Nice and Monaco, with an average price of €11,139/m² for an apartment, rising to €16,150/m² for a house.
Prices are slightly more modest in Ramatuelle, where apartment prices average €8,915/m² and house prices €13,628/m². In the small and still fashionable (for some) port of Saint-Tropez, apartments average €8,670m² and houses €15,045/m².
However, not everywhere in the region reaches such heights. In Hyères (Var), a resort with kilometres of wonderful natural areas, apartments average €3,357/m², whilst houses €4,149/m². Prices are similar in Saint-Madrier-sur-Mer (Var) and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (Bouches-du-Rhône).
According to property price comparison site, Mielleurs Agents, whatever the region, the proximity of the beach has a significant effect on property prices.
Properties located within 5 minutes by foot are 23% higher, all coastlines combined, compared to those located between 15 and 25 minutes on foot from the beach.