Our experts predict part 1: Property prices
In the first of our three series, Pebbles estate agency director Matt Roberts looks forward to property price rises in 2016
As a the director of one of Nice’s largest real estate agencies since 2005, I’ve seen a lot. Peaks, troughs, booms, rebounds. All coupled with fluctuations in exchange rates, mortgage terms and public works.
For 2016, my 11th year in French Riviera property, I predict a steady rise in Nice property prices. Here are my five reasons why.
1) The dollar and the pound have strengthened massively against the Euro in the last 18 months. Around 20% on average. At Pebbles we never saw a downturn in the number of properties sold from 2010 to 2014 (a French Riviera apartment is a must-achieve dream for our buyers), but in 2015 clients arrived with far greater budgets.
2) In our early years of business, 2005 and 2006, prices leapt 12% and 14% a year. From 2010 to 2014 they levelled off, although they certainly didn’t fall like some foreign destinations, most notably Spain. This has kept Nice real estate affordable, and therefore more attractive as the global economy improves. When the statistics for 2015 are available they should show a slight price rise; for 2016 I predict an even stronger upward trend.
3) In 2015 Pebbles noticed a huge increase in location specific purchases. It’s all about public works. Authorities have spent tens of millions on the new Promenade du Paillon city centre park, plus hundreds more on Tramway 2 from Nice Port to Nice Airport, which will be completed in 2018. Along the most central of the new tramway’s 20 stops, prices around Nice Port, place Garibaldi, place Wilson, Musiciens and the Carré d’Or are rising strongest.
4) The official Nice real estate price statistics tell a similar tale. The Notaires association offers an average city price of €3,756sqm, with upscale areas averaging €5,120sqm. The districts mentioned above are most popular with Pebbles clients, and represent this year’s fastest moving property sector. For the record, the average property price in the Alpes-Maritimes province is €450,000. But because our buyers purchase more holiday apartments, as opposed to large family homes, our average price-per-buyer is a little less (although an increasing number of Pebbles clients buy a million Euro Nice property).
5) Finally, the mortgage market is loosening. Not just for our British, American, European and global buyers, but also for the French who predominate this property market. It’s far easier to borrow more, on more generous terms, that is was 12 months ago, or five years ago.
In conclusion, in 2016 Pebbles predicts steady price rises with a vastly increased number of sales. We’ve already boosted our sales staff to cope with demand. Contact us and we’ll show you a dozen properties to suit your brief.