Posted by admin in Property Letters | October 22nd 2009
“Snapshots from the Med” – spot the odd one out!
Croatia Sept & Oct 2008 300
Croatia Sept & Oct 2008 442
My Car 006
It’s my boat – want to argue?
It’s our scooter, couldn’t be cuter.
It’s my Porsche – and I’ll poop if I want to.
Azur Eden 002
It’s my breakfast – Garth pass the toast.
“C’est chez nous” – our place in the sun.

PL 84: PROPERTY LETTER 20th October 2009.

Dear All,


The last few months of 2008 and the first part of 2009 were very tough, butwe’re still here. We had almost no sales at all through our agency or personally from about September to April. Rentals too nose-dived and major congresses shrivelled to look like very small ones.

That’s all changing thankfully and we and our staff and colleagues have a spring in our steps again.

In fact the market has visibly come alive. Our girls in
the agency are working overtime and at weekends handling enquiries, showing product and making sales. We now find ourselves looking for new properties to meet demand where only a few months ago we had properties on the shelf. Three of the last five properties that Vicky and I have personally been involved in never had a “for sale” sign on them, were never advertised, and didn’t make it into a Property Letter – because they sold as soon as they appeared on the market. A further two that we tried to secure for S.A. investors were “lost” because we didn’t move quickly enough. That is something we hadn’t experienced for a couple of years.

I have always maintained (through my Property Letters) that the French Riviera is a special market, different to the rest of France, different to the rest of Europe. It has its own dynamic. I have some figures (below) which refer to France as a whole. They are interesting to compare with wherever you might live, be that the UK, the USA, Ireland, Australia or South Africa. I suspect that the property market has fared a little better in France than in many of your own countries for reasons I have explained in previous Property Letters i.e. the French don’t have a culture of debt. When I have figures available for our own little sector (the Alpes Maritimes, Cote d’Azur) I think I will be able to show that we have fared better than the rest of France.

Credit Foncier Bank is one of France’s biggest mortgage lenders and they support my contention. They have assessed the supply and demand in all areas of
France, together with an evaluation of local demographic, economic and infrastructure factors in 76 main centres. They report a migratory trend towards the south due to strong economic development and good transport links. They divide France into five levels and Cannes, Nice, Toulouse and Montpellier in the south form the top band with Lyon, Strasbourg, Nantes and Caen further North, all recording a fall of at worst 5% in property prices. Only these 8 of the 76 centres fall into the top band. The suburbs of Paris are relegated to a second division place with up to 10% fall, with the fifth and worst affected hovering around the 20% level.


L’Agefi is a reputed publication which appears in print and online and is the first serious port of call for news of business and finance, corporate, investment, property, wealth and asset management news, and so on.

At the end of September they carried an appraisal of the property market in France today, and this is a summary:

The summer brought its share of pleasant surprises, illustrated by the unfreezing of a paralyzed real estate market. The value of transactions in second hand residential real estate rose by 39% inthe 2nd quarter compared to the 1st quarter, although it was still well below the figure for the 2nd quarter 2008, and that was below 2nd quarter 2007.

The net lowering of prices of second hand residential property (across France) was 9.3% in the year ending 2nd quarter 2009, the most heavy reversals having taken place at the end of 2008 and in the first months of 2009. The decline was more pronounced for houses (10.2%) than for apartments (8.4%).

At the end of March 2009 the number of transactions for the year was 25% down on the previous year. Indications are however that in the period July – August 2009 there are 20% more signings than in the same two months in 2008. (The final sales statistics will reflect in three months time as transfers go through the system).

Experts believe that the factors boosting the market are the easing of the conditions for obtaining credit, and the fact that interest rates have become attractive again, combined with sellers having accepted the need to reduce their prices, and buyers no longer waiting and hoping to buy at a lower price.


How is it doing?

Critical to short term rentals in Cannes is the conference market.

If we took a “photograph” of the major conferences and festivals as they were in 2009, we would see them down on 2007 and 2008 by 5% to 40% depending on the industry. For example the real estate conferences were way down in terms of attendees, but the TV and communications conferences were only marginally down. In addition the average “spend” of delegates and visitors to Cannes is down as much as 30%.

On the other hand our own share of the rental market, particularly during the Film Festival, has increased dramatically, and some conferences are growing in spite of the recession. The Boat Show in September is growing nicely year on year, and the MIPTV and MIPCOM conferences are already on the rebound. Indications are already that MIPIM is going to be better and bigger than in 2009 because we are taking bookings, whereas this time last year we were only taking cancellations.

What are all these Conferences?

There are many, from dental and medical conferences, to gaming, magicians’ and circus gatherings, but some of the bigger ones are:

MIPCOM: The World’s Audiovisual Content Market

Month: October
Duration: 5 days

No of attendees: 11 000 from 522 companies representing over 95 countries.

MIPCOM is a TV programme market, where mobile networks, character licensors, merchandisers and advertising companies, producers and distributors build alliances for the future; existing producers find new sources of revenue.

Tax Free World Exhibition:
Month: October
Duration: 5 days
No of attendees: 5289 people from 2638 companies.

TFWA World Exhibition brings together the industry’s most prestigious luxury brands and attracts thousands of key buyers, airport authorities, agents,
distributors and journalists from around the world. The exhibition is the industry’s key event for recognising new trends & acquiring a global view of the
international market.

MAPIC: The International Market for Retail Real Estate
Month: November
Duration: 3 days
Number of delegates: 6 458 delegates from over 55 countries.

MAPIC is the leading market for the expanding industry of international retail real estate. It attracts all the key players, creating a unique community in one
place at one time. MAPIC provides an exclusive platform for companies to showcase new concepts and developments.

International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM)

Month: December
Duration: 3 days
Number of delegates: 52 countries.

The Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) is the only global trade event dedicated to enabling specialist luxury travel buyers from the world’s top 52 outbound
countries to meet with the worlds leading luxury travel suppliers. Specialists in the luxury travel market have very specific needs which cannot be satisfied by their mainstream counterparts. It is therefore a trade medium that is focused exclusively on this sector.

MIDEM: The World’s Music Market

Month: January
5 days
Number of delegates
: 10 000.

MIDEM’s music conference brings the heart of this ever-evolving industry to Cannes. It enables people involved in the music industry to discover new sounds and services, explore business opportunities, learn about tomorrow’s industry, make deals, enjoy live musicÉ. and party!

MIPIM: The World’s Property

Month: March
Duration: 5 days
No of attendees: 18 000 from 2051 companies.

MIPIM is The World’s Property Market where advisors, developers, regional authorities, investors and corporate end-users gather information about new building projects and initiate deals and partnerships.

MIPDOC: The International Showcase for Documentary

Month: March/ April
2 days
Number of participants: 1000 participants from 386 companies & 61 countries.

A relaxed two-day event in the lead-up to MIPTV

MIPTV featuring MILIA: The World’s Audiovisual Content Market
Month: April
5 days
No of delegates:
12 000 delegates from 99 countries.

The World’s Audiovisual and Digital Content Market attracts all the global movers and shakers in the world of television. This annual event is the context for
negotiating programme rights, co-productions and partnerships

Cannes Film Festival

Month: May
10 days
No of attendees:
30 000.

The Cannes Film Festival is the world’s most prestigious forum for the exposition of all styles, schools and genres of film. As well as being the most
special place for film industry professionals to meet, the festival is especially concerned with recognising the talents of the artists that contribute to the growth of the medium.

Cannes Lions Advertising Festival
Month: June
Duration: 7 days
No of attendees: 75 countries.

The Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival is the only annual gathering of the world’s advertising, creative, direct marketing, interactive, film, radio, media, sales promotion and marketing communities.

Cannes Boat Show
Month: September
Duration: 5 days
Size: 50 000 visitors, 650 Yachts!

For exhibitors from the luxury yachting and pleasure boating community this is the industry’s premier event. There are at least 50,000 boating enthusiasts that visit the show and one can expect to see 450 boats in the water – including 360 motor boats and 90 sailing boats – and 200 boats on land.


These Well Known Companies Think They Do.

Recently British Airways commissioned the Analytic Services of the Harvard Business Review to find out the answer to that question. The survey analysed returns from 2 211 businesspeople, 70% of whom are executives in companies that operate in multiple countries. Across the board, face to
face meetings were seen as the most effective method for conducting business with key stakeholders, compared with videoconferences, teleconferences and webinars. Fully 95% said that face to face meetings are the key to success in building long-term relationships and 87% believe that face to face meetings are essential for “sealing a deal”.

A number of such analyses have been commissioned recently, in a time when cost cutting has been high on corporate agendas. The Hilton Group
used International Marketing Research for their investigation and discovered that in a time of low business morale, these cuts appear to be making
matters worse. Fully 81% of the 600 executives from France, Germany, the UK and the US said that face to face meetings increase business productivity and results. 90% of those polled in Germany and France said that crucial business relationships are not possible without meeting in person, compared to 75% in the UK.

In February of this year a remarkable advertisement appeared in the New York Times.  The Chairman of Wells Fargo responded to criticism in the media of an “employee recognition event” planned to be held in Las Vegas; criticism which led to the cancellation of that booking. He asked “Who loses besides our team members? The workers who depend on our business. The hospitality industry. Housekeepers. Restaurant servers. The airlines. The problem
is that many media stories on this subject have been deliberately misleading. These one-sided stories lead you to believe every employee recognition event is a junket, a boondoggle, a waste, or that it’s for highly paid executives. Nonsense! For many it’s the only time in their lives that they’re publicly recognised and thanked for a job well done. This recognition energises them. It inspires them.”

I think it is fair to surmise that we will not see the end of business “events” and congresses in Cannes anytime soon! Therefore we will continue strive; to improve and develop our services to business and holiday visitors to this great jewel of the Mediterranean.

As always, please let me know if you would rather not receive these Property Letters and I’ll remove your address from the list.

Please have a look at our website – comments would be welcomed:

With kind regards,


PLEASE NOTE – The properties below are listed in ascending price

  • The prices quoted are asking prices only.
  • The selection offered represents a few properties chosen from many, so if what you are looking for is not here, we can tailor-make our search for you.

Please remember that if you follow the links you will be able to read about the properties, look at a gallery of photos, and look at the position of the properties on a map.


(Adapted from a Property Letter I wrote in February 2009, but worth repeating.)

Because quite a number of the apartments featured are in Palm Beach, I want to tell those of you who don’t know Cannes about it.

Firstly Vicky and I happen to live and work in Palm Beach and we love it (we also get access to apartments as they come onto the market). Secondly every visitor we ever have to Cannes falls in love with Palm Beach too. It is the little suburb on the peninsula that forms the eastern end of the Croisette, and points like a finger from the hills above Cannes to the Islands – the Isles de Lerins – a few hundred meters offshore. It is only three blocks wide with two streets running north-south through it, and three (or four depending on where you draw the boundary) running across it from the beaches and Port Canto on the west looking at Cannes and the Bay of Cannes, to the beaches and Port Moure Rouge on the east looking across the Golfe Juan to Juan les Pins and Antibes.

Palm Beach is prime real estate in France – it is beautiful, safe, warm and sought after, and whereas Cannes has razzmatazz, Palm Beach is quiet and is really a “village apart”. Yet it only takes 15 minutes to walk from our apartment to the very centre of Cannes, along the famous, well lit and lovely Croisette, all the
way through lovingly tended gardens along the waters edge. It is truly a beautiful walk.

At the tip of Palm Beach is the famous 1930’s Palm Beach Casino, venue for many world class concerts and events. Just a little closer in is the Place de
l’Etang which is the heart of world “boule” petanque). Surrounding the lovely Place are at least five restaurants ranging from a top-class seafood restaurant (Fred l’EcaillerGoogle it) to local and affordable French and Italian, and a variety of small shops serving the neighbourhood. A little closer in still is the Village Sablons which has Cesarine the best boulangerie-patisserie in the world (!) (baking the best baguette) and serving magnificent coffees and pastries, two small groceries, two traditional butcheries, a post office, pharmacy, hairdresser, laundry, newsagent, etc. It is all charm and one could be a hundred miles from Cannes, not just a stones throw.

There is no more land to build on and only one Palm Beach this side of the Atlantic. Safety and quality of life are the phrases that probably sum it up best,
and it is quite beautiful too, whichever way you look.

Republique Studio.

  • 30m² of living space.
  • 4th floor of 5.
  • Exposition east.
  • View of the city.
  • Terrace.
  • Private parking in the basement (amazing at this price).
  • Asking price – 135 700€.

P1030104 P1030113

All that I can really say about this apartment is – look at the price, look at the map and where it is. The building is reasonable, with a lift. The area is not
the most popular, but it’s OK. One would rent this apartment on an annual basis and the numbers would work – quite well in fact. And for someone wanting to get a foot in the door at a low budget near the centre of Cannes, this is not at all bad. The view is fine – right across the boulevard without any particular
vis-ˆ-vis and the apartment is even double glazed. It does need a little uplifting but it is a small area and the work doesn’t need to be expensive.

What is most interesting perhaps is that this very area – Boulevard de la Republique – has been targeted by the City for uplifting. The improvements started a few years ago, and the central Place Commandant Maria was re-opened in 2006 with fountains and palm trees. The road itself is now lined with attractive hanging baskets and the facelift is ongoing – buildings are improving, and roads are upgrading. On Saturdays artists now display in the open at the Place. If anyone is seriously interested I will send them a four page special edition of our local Nice Matin newspaper which shows clearly what the plans are and how they are progressing.

If you are interested in buying something in an area that is “up and coming” this may be for you.

Clemenceau Loft. One Bedroom Apartment.

  • 34m² of living space.
  • 4th floor of 4, plus a bedroom in the loft.
  • Bourgeois building (1900).
  • Exposition south and east.
  • View rooftops and the old town (but see below*).
  • Asking price – 205 000€.

P1050091 P1050095 P1050097

Lovely old building on Rue Clemenceau which winds its way up from the Old Port of Cannes into the Old Town (Le Suquet) on the hill. The apartment is on the top floor of the building which has been charmingly renovated inside.

The position suits rentals as the apartment is just a few minutes walk from the Old Port, the Croisette and the Palais des Festivals. It is also a charming and
character filled second home or “pied a terre” in Cannes.

The living room, open plan kitchen and bathroom are on the main floor, and in the loft is the bedroom. The main room has a fireplace, but it also has reversible air conditioning (heat and cold).

P1050098The view through roof-top windows is south and over other rooftops of Old Town Cannes, but there is an eastern wall and the owner has permission to open it up* for a picture window over the Old Port. Beautiful!

Rue d’Antibes Studio.

  • 27m² of living space.
  • 3rd floor of 5.
  • Exposition north.
  • View of the Rue d’Antibes.
  • Balcony.
  • Asking price – 224 000€

This little apartment right on the Rue d’Antibes and very close to our rental offices (an advantage) is in a good building and set up for conference rental. Of course it can also be used by owners when they are in town, but as an investment in the best part of Cannes, right in the “banane” as it is called, it has a lot going for it.

It comprises a main room with an open plan kitchen that leads to a very pleasant balcony overlooking the bustling street from a good height, and a shower room and separate toilet. It has electric shutters and is double glazed. It has been renovated so there is nothing requiring to be done to it.

Basse Californie. One Bedroom Apartment.

  • 54m² of living space.
  • 1st floor of 5.
  • Construction 1960’s.
  • Exposition east.
  • View of garden and college sports ground.
  • Two balconies.
  • Parking for residents.
  • Cellar.
  • Asking price – 250 000€.

This apartment is in a well maintained block just 200m from the Croisette, in a quiet street in Basse Californie suburb. It is really very quiet as the apartment
block is set right back from the already quiet road. It overlooks (beyond a leafy hedge) a sports ground and track belonging to a local college, well maintained and not over-used.

Both the bright and spacious living room and the lovely bedroom open onto an individual balcony (meaning there are two), and there is a gated approach and a free parking area for residents.

The apartment has been renovated throughout, with a lovely kitchen, attractive bathroom, very pleasant light tiled floors, and is furnished in a very light and
clean style – if desired the furnishing can stay.

If you do the maths, the price is excellent, and the seller is motivated so I don’t expect this apartment to be around for long.

    Another on the Place de l’Etang. One Bedroom Apartment.

Every apartment we get which overlooks the leafy Place de l”Etang is snapped up quickly, and I don’t see this one being an exception. It is such a popular, colourful place that time and again we see people fall in love with it. It is busy with boules (petanque) players and local village life most of the time, and
surrounded by little shops and five excellent (and not necessarily expensive) restaurants – and then the beaches are only 100m away to the east and 200m away to the west. To top it all it is a 20 minute stroll through gardens and along the beach walk to the Palais des Festivals, venue for the conferences, and the major and famous shopping streets of Cannes.

  • 45m² of living space.
  • 1st floor of 5.
  • Exposition east.
  • View across the Place de l’Etang.
  • Lovely terrace.
  • Asking price – 318 000€.

The apartment is in good overall condition and light and bright although changes spring to mind as it has not been updated for some time. We would recommend opening up the kitchen to the living room, either entirely or leaving a breakfast bar in place to separate the two. The effect will be to give a feeling of far more space. The bathroom is tiled (walls and floors) in the original pinkish marble which is lovely, but the bath, basin and toilet could be changed and the bathroom spruced up. It would not be a big-budget renovation, but low budget uplift.

Both the bedroom and the living room open through sliding doors onto the spacious balcony. It’s a lovely outlook over the Place, leafy, interesting, and very
alive – although quiet at night as there is only a tiny road around the square below, and that is not directly below as gardens separate the building from the

Banane with a Terrace. One Bedroom apartment.

P1030156 P1030157
  • 40m² of living space.
  • 2nd floor of 7.
  • Exposition south.
  • Views of cityscape.
  • 51m² of terrace.
  • Cellar.
  • Asking price – 340 000€.

This apartment is in a great position close to the centre of town and the Rue d’Antibes. It is in a well maintained although unremarkable building with a guardian. It is renovated, air conditioned, double glazed, and both the living room and the bedroom open through double sliding doors onto a terrace, and it is the terrace that is remarkable for the centre of town measuring over 50m² and relatively quiet, facing full south, and really almost private. I say “almost” because it can’t be private in the city, but it is not overlooked by surrounding buildings and with its covered portion and a large extendable awning, it’s as private and as quiet as it is possible to get.

This has great potential as a rental apartment.

    Montrose Panoramic. Two Bedroom Apartment.
  • 65m² of living space.
  • 8th floor of 9.
  • Exposition north, south, east.
  • Views panoramic and unobstructed of Cannes and its hillsides. (Distant
  • 25m² of terrace.
  • Garage.
  • Cellar.
  • Asking price – 373 000€

P1050105 Montrose%20Panoramic%20002

This is a lovely eighth floor apartment in an excellent and quality building at the base of the hills surrounding Cannes. It is too far out really for conference
rentals although only just. It’s a case of perception rather than actual distance though. If you go onto the website and look at the map you’ll see that
it’s actually far closer to the centre of Cannes than Palm Beach is! Half the distance in fact, so it is a 10 minute walk instead of the 20 minutes from Palm Beach to the centre.

Montrose%20Panoramic%20006 Montrose Panoramic 007

The apartment is beautifully maintained and the living room, kitchen and main bedroom all open onto a glorious terrace. The second bedroom looks north and opens onto its own small balcony. The apartment is air conditioned and has electric blinds and shutters. There is a garage and a cellar, and the residence is secure, gated, and has a full time guardian.

The price is very attractive, and as a long term rental proposition (one year) it has great merit, as it does as a very desirable second or holiday home. Excellent “lock up and go” for people wanting to be able to fly in and out at will.

Palm Beach Garden Flat. Two Bedroom Apartment.


  • 70m² of living space.
  • Ground floor of 5.
  • 150m² of garden.
  • Exposition east and west.
  • View of garden (not overlooked).
  • Two garages in the basement.
  • Asking price – 450 000€.

This is a very interesting find. It is towards the city end of Palm Beach (hence close to Cannes) and a stones throw from the quaint shopping centre of Sablons. Village Sablons caters to all the needs of the residents and visitors to Palm Beach – patisserie, groceries, butchers, pharmacy, laundry, hairdresser, post office etc. It is also just a couple of minutes walk to the beaches and the Croisette on the western edge of Palm Beach Peninsula, and a couple of minutes walk to the beaches of Gazagnaire on the eastern side. The Croisette side is “glitzier”, and the Gazagnaire side is more “family” – your choice!

The apartment needs renovation and so does the garden. There is the space and the potential to do so much! At the very least it begs for two good bedrooms with bathrooms en-suite, and a double living room and kitchen opening on to a lovely west facing terrace and garden. The garden is big enough to accommodate a Jacuzzi and even (if the co-propriety allowed it) a small swimming pool. The neighbour has a similar garden that has been created to be clean, and easy to maintain, with paving, pot plants, and easy outside living space. There are various options available. There are apartments blocks visible from the garden but none overlook the garden directly.

Rue d’Antibes. Two Bedroom Apaprtment.

  • 65m² of living space.
  • 1st floor of 6.
  • Construction 1975.
  • Exposition north and west.
  • 10m² of terrace.
  • Parking in the basement.
  • Asking price – 498 000€.

P1030076 P1030074 P1030067

The apartment isn’t on the Rue d’Antibes but just off it. It has a very useful balcony which does look at the Rue d’Antibes obliquely, but from 10m away.

There are two bedrooms, a bathroom and a shower room, a separate kitchen, and a main and spacious living room. It is an ideal rental property close to our rental agency, and very close to the Croisette.

It has all the extras, electric shutters, double glazing, air conditioning and very importantly a parking place in the basement. It is quieter than it would be if
it overlooked the Rue d’Antibes directly, and is being sold fully furnished – ready to work.

Carnot Surprise. Two Bedroom Apartment.

  • 100m² of living space.
  • 1st floor.
  • Bourgeois building (1900).
  • Exposition east and west.
  • Terrace and protected courtyard of 50m².
  • Cellar and possibility of a garage.
  • Asking price – 595 000€

P1050132 P1050126

This beautiful apartment very close to the centre of Cannes was a three bedroom apartment. However one bedroom has been sacrificed to create a vast 60m² living room leaving two bedrooms of which one has a glorious bathroom en-suite, and the other a shower. The kitchen is open plan and beautifully equipped. All windows are double glazed, shutters are electric, and the apartment is air conditioned.

P1050135 P1050125

There is a balcony off the living room, but the “piece de resistance” is a lovely private interior courtyard that gets the sun for most of the day. The current owner has made it into a lovely space and she (and her cats) clearly adores it. It is tiled and clean, gardened through the use of many pots of lovely plants, and she has comfortable furniture under a gazebo shelter. Both the apartment and the courtyard are quiet and one would not know that one was near the heart of a modern city. That is the surprise.

There is a cellar in the basement, and a garage is rented on a permanent basis at a very affordable rate in an adjacent building – an arrangement that can
continue if the buyer wishes it.

Basse Californie Villa (3 Apartments).

  • 240m² of living space.
  • Villa on 3 levels, converted into apartments.
  • Construction 1920.
  • Exposition south.
  • Views of the neighbourhood and gardens and some sea.
  • Front garden with parking.
  • Asking price – 745 000€

P1040770 Copie%20de%20P1040738 P1040750

This old villa has been divided into three apartments – one on each floor, with each one measuring about 80m². Each has been set up as a two bedroom
apartment with separate kitchen, and a large bathroom and separate toilet, and all three apartments are in need of renovation.

Copie%20de%20P1040739 P1040741 P1040746

What one is buying here is potential. The building is sound and there is no sign of any leaking from the roof. The property comprises a garden in the front with established trees and space for parking cars. There is a brick-built garden shed for storage and two large cellars. Each floor has working fireplaces.

P1040753 P1040755 P1040756

The position is close to shops and commerce, and right at the very base of the highly sought after suburb of Basse Californie, on the road linking Cannes with Golfe Juan and Juan les Pins. It is a two minute walk to the sea front east of Palm Beach, and a five minute walk to the beaches of Palm Beach. It suits a medium renovation of all three floors to create three very desirable apartments for residential rentals. It could be used for conferences but that would require special marketing to larger delegations – not out of the question, but I would favour the residential option.

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