PL23 – 1st May 2003.

Posted by admin in Property Letters | May 1st 2003

Dear All,

I have been back in Cannes about 10 days now, and look forward to Vicky joining me nest week.

As usual I have not stopped since arrival, but the good news is that it’s all very positive news from here.

The war is all but over in Iraq, and there is no doubt that it affected business down here very negatively. Everyone felt it. Business is picking up again with bookings flowing in for our apartments now, although still at lower levels than is normal for this time of year. We are now fully booked for the Film Festival in a couple of weeks time (which we jolly well should be) and are filling up for the Ad. Festival which follows hot on its heels. Summer holiday bookings are starting, and industry experts believe that it is going to be a busy summer, although people are confirming slowly and late. The belief is that there will be a lack of Americans this year, but compensated for by the Europeans who will not be travelling by the jumbo jet loads to Indonesia and Bali, Thailand, Vietnam and all the other Asian and even Australian destinations.

An interesting point worth mentioning is that the British press is full of news and even promotion of investment in French Property. There has been a great deal of it that Lao who reads widely has picked up, and an example I have in front of me is in The Independent, Property Supplement of 23rd April, in an article entitled: ‘House Hunter. I Want the Good Life in France.’ We are not alone it seems!!

No rocket science, but a trend we are already noticing here is that there is a strong preference among our guests for new and modern and smartly furnished flats. They are more rentable. So what I am saying is that we have to be careful not to cut costs too much in the areas of comfort and utility when we have bought a property. Having invested heavily, I think it is unwise not to spend the extra couple of thousand Euros it takes to make the property really pleasing to the guest. I think the extra investment will be amply rewarded with repeat bookings and happy customers.

The purpose of this letter is to give you some of the properties I have seen for sale in the last week and a half. There are still some lovely apartments to be had, although we do battle a little with the fact that ‘last years prices’ are increasingly just that. The market continues to strengthen, and I feel that we have seen an increase in prices in the year since we started buying. The war and instability being felt around the world is effecting the demand, and the prices and sales of bigger properties valued at over 300 000€. In the area that we are working in which is between 80 – 200 000€ the market is still very active and gaining it seems. Very little of what I saw in February and March is still available.

So what is?
(Obviously I am not including anything here that would not be a good investment for any reason.)

I do apologise to all those of you who should be getting a personal letter. I am sure you will understand.
Kindest regards,


Tiny Apartment in Palm Beach.
Asking price – 56 500€
First floor flat. It has no real view although from its relatively spacious balcony, overlooking a quiet street, you see the sea at the end of the road, to your right.
It is only 18 sq.m. (Internal dimensions). One enters a little hall with some cupboarding.
Go through a door (which should be removed to give a feeling of more space) into main room. It is just big enough to have a fold away (small) double bed, and a fold away single bed, with a light table and chairs out in the day and put away at night.
Off the main room is a small but adequate bathroom (tiny bath).
Also off the main room is the tiny kitchen, which again should have the door removed, and be made open plan, with more space and work surface.
Good glass front on the main room leading to a bigger than expected balcony. Nice. Quiet.
It would not be a bad flat to get a foot into the property door. Because of its position which is very good for beaches and for conferences it will be rentable to budget conscious guests and it can be made homely and comfortable, if small.
It does need work to make it appealing, and some of that work should be structural, so I would budget about 10 – 12 000€ and 3 000€ for furnishing.
I suggest an offer of 50 000 may secure it, and 65 000 total investment should see it ready and attractively rentable.

Obviously finance is available in every case if one opts for it.

Santa Cruz – Palm Beach.
Asking price – 106 700€.
This is a lovely studio in a super position in Palm Beach, very close to the beaches, and well positioned for conferences etc. (Generally anywhere in Palm Beach is about 15 minutes walk or a couple of minutes by car to the Palais des Festivals, the centre of all the big events.)
It has been completely refurbished and in fact is not quite finished – will be next week. It is very bright and open and extremely spacious. It has been refurbished to a very high standard with air conditioning, double glazing across the whole front of the apartment from where the living room and open kitchen area look out over a very attractive residential area of small old fashioned houses (protected and therefore never to be replaced with flats) and trees and gardens and hills beyond. It also has a small but engaging sea view.
It is modern with everything you could wish for – sunken spotlights, modern and complete kitchen. Very nice indeed.
Balcony is narrow but runs the width of the apartment.
Until March next year there is a building under construction in view to the right. Given that the developers are the well respected George V Company, and from the architect’s drawings, it will be an attractive block in typical traditional Cannes style – five storeys high, and not an eyesore. If anything it will be an asset in the area and further increase property values.
I would offer 100 000 and budget 4 -5 000 for furnishing.
One potential investor in our group already has an option on this property, but if he goes for another, then it’s one worth going for.

Les Mouettes – in Rue Jean Cresp – Palm Beach.
Asking Price – 114 000€.
Les Mouettes means Seagulls.
This is my favourite street in Cannes, only about 300m long. It is gated at both ends so only residents with a remote control have access by car. Consequently parking is plentiful at all times and security is good. Just about all the buildings are only two storeys high, there are lots of palm trees, oleanders, gardens, and quaint little old houses tucked away. It has charm and a feel of exclusivity.
The flat, in shoddy condition, is on the first floor of a 2 floor block. In front it looks out across the pretty Rue Jean Cresp. At the back it looks out over a treed and well cared for school which will never be developed. Very pleasant view.
We were shown another identical flat in the building which has been renovated with fantastic imagination to create one of the most attractive apartments I have seen anywhere. It involves fairly major work, and turns what is a spacious studio into a spacious one bedroom apartment. I would certainly recommend that anyone interested in this apartment do just that. It’s a great building, in a wonderful position and warrants money being spent on it. It will not be money wasted. I can quickly get a professional estimate of what it would cost to do the makeover on this flat, but my estimate is 30 – 35 000€. The result will be a stunning apartment.
I suggest an offer of 105 000 and a budget of 35 000 for total renovation and conversion into a one bedroom apartment. The new value will more than justify the investment, and the rentability and price per week will also be greater than if we simply give it a facelift.
Very good proposition. (It is possible to do a lesser job on it)

La Brise – Palm Beach.
Asking Price – 87 000€.
We already have 3 apartments in this block.
There are two options already in our group on this apartment.
The block overlooks Pl. de l’Etang, home of boulles and full of charm and village character.
We know now from experience that this is a highly rentable block.
The flat is itself, on the 2nd floor, is in poor shape and needs a complete renovation. Everything needs to be redone. It is a 20 sq.m. studio with an 8 sq.m. balcony fully enclosed with double glazed sliding windows, and the kitchen and eating area on the enclosed balcony.
I suggest an offer of 70 000 with a budget for renovation of 12 000 and for furnishing of 3 – 4 000.

Residence Astoria – off Blvd de l’Republique.
Asking price – 130 700€.
This flat is very well positioned for the Palais des Festivals. It is in the centre of town, less than 2 minutes walk from the Rue d’Antibes, and about 7 minutes to the Palais, and the beaches of the Croisette.
It is a spacious studio and has a garage and cellar in the basement. A big advantage in any part of town, but especially here in the centre, where garages alone sell for anything between 18 – 25 000.
It is a very good apartment looking out over well kept gardens and a welcome bank of big firs which belie the fact that it is in fact in the centre.
The front of the apartment is double glazed sliding doors, so no traffic sound when they are closed. The balcony is open and inviting. The floors are lovely stone (travertine I think – looks like marble), the flat is air conditioned, and the bathroom is fully and recently tiled, very clean and bright. The kitchen is OK but could do with an uplift and the walls throughout are ‘papered’ with a cloth which was unfortunately fashionable here 20 years ago, but has collected dust. Needs stripping and painting.
I would suggest an offer of 115 000 and a budget of 10 – 12 000 for renovation and 5 000 for furnishing.
Extremely good position and highly rentable.

Panoramic Sea View – Palm Beach.
Asking Price – 148 000€.
Studio of 31 sq.m. on the beach front on the East side of Palm Beach peninsula, with an unimpeded view across Golfe Juin to Cap d’Antibes, and of the Iles Lerins off Cannes. Lovely beaches are right below the flat, and the famous Palm Beach Casino is only 100m away. The balcony is spacious and lovely.
The flat is on the 4th floor of a 5 floor building.
It needs some renovation – painting throughout, and the bathroom which is tiled black (!!!!) really could do with stripping and retiling. The kitchen is equipped and is OK.
I recommend an offer of 125 000 and a budget of 15 000 for refurbishment and 5 000 for furnishing.
Great rentability especially for holidays, but by no means excluding conference delegates.

Les Tuileries – Centre Banane
Asking price – 178 000
I wont go into too much detail unless someone asks for it.
Absolutely brilliant studio apartment – completely refurbished to an unbelievable standard.
Lavishly equipped kitchen to die for, and bathroom – gold taps and mirrors – what more can you say.
Position superb – right next to Noga Hilton, 100m from the Croisette.
Balcony overlooks attractive water gardens and quiet street from 3rd floor.
High class renting at high prices.
Suggest offer 155 000 and see what happens. Budget for expensive furnishing – 8 000.

Blvd. Alexandre III – Basse Californie.
Asking price 183 000€.
We already have 2 great apartments in this good and historic street. It is just off the Croisette, and excellently positioned for all that Cannes has to offer.
This one bedromed flat (52 sq.m. with 10 sq.m. of balcony) has a garage below the building, nice views over gardens and historic buildings, is all double glazed with electric shutters, two good balconies. It needs refurbishment internally – paint and a kitchen. (20 000 and 6 000 to furnish)
Offer 155 000 and see what happens.
More detail if requested.

Residence Navarre – Basse Californie.
Asking price – 160 000€.
Good one bedroomed apartment in a very good position on Rue Cirrode on which we already have a couple of apartments that are renting very well. (Victor Hugo for those of you who have seen them). Quiet street.
Has a parking in the basement, a cellar and a good big balcony (16sq.m.). It’s on 2nd floor with interior dimensions of 34sq.m.
Floors and structure very good, but needs paint and a new kitchen.
Offer 140 000 and budget 12 000 for renovation and kitchen, and 6 000 for funishing.
Very rentable.

Isola Bella – Montfleury
Asking price – 165 000€.
One bedroomed apartment. 47sq.m.
Montfleury is just in the hills above Cannes but really is far closer to the centre than Palm Beach! A pleasant walk down.
Good easy parking in the residential street. 5th (top) floor. Great views front and back of trees, gardens, hills and the upmarket suburb of La Californie.
The flat is spacious, and the whole flat comes fully and well furnished – down to the Kenwood, knives and forks, pillows and blankets. The lot.
Modern tiled floors. Fully equipped kitchen – modern – bathroom the same.
Offer 150 000. Really good buy.
The exterior of the building has peeling paint, but it has been voted by the residents association that it will be repainted. It needs it. Good building.

Le Palais des Iles – Palm Beach.
Asking price 285 000€.
Building under construction. Will be complete in 1st quarter 2004.
Brand new luxury apartment of 61 sq.m.. 2 bedrooms. Huge 25 sq.m. balcony south facing – therefore full sun morning till evening.
Payment staged. Only south facing flat left.
There is a north facing one for 222 000.(Not recommended because of north aspect)
Garage in basement.
Details on request.

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