“It is important that prices fall to restore purchasing power to households,” warns the president of the Century 21 Lafage Group and director of FNAIM 06

“It is important that prices fall to restore purchasing power to households,” warns the president of the Century 21 Lafage Group and director of FNAIM 06
“It is important that prices fall to restore purchasing power to households,” warns the president of the Century 21 Lafage Group and director of FNAIM 06

The president of the Century 21 Lafage Group and director of FNAIM 06, Benjamin Mondou, confirms: “We had a difficult year in 2023, but today things are much better. The banks are starting to play their role again, rates have started to fall and, on the Côte d’Azur, we have a very present foreign clientele which is boosting the market, attracted by the climate and the amenities linked to the international airport. Activity and sales volume are clearly increasing.”

However, on the real estate side, the Riviera sky is not without clouds.

“When we read all the studies and see the prices at the national level, we see that they are falling sharplycontinues Benjamin Mondou. But here they are stagnating, precisely because we have this clientele who do not care about interest rates and, very often, acquire without taking out a loan. Which distorts the market.”

The specialist also distinguishes two completely separate markets: that of second homes, with foreign customers and Parisians who acquire a property on the Côte d’Azur, and that of primary residences popular with first-time buyers and local workers.

Benjamin Mondou is president of the Century 21 Lafage Group and director of FNAIM 06. Photo DR.

Acquiring a primary residence remains complicated for first-time buyers

“With the sales prices charged, and the drop in household purchasing power, this sector is proving complicatedunderlines Benjamin Mondou. On the one hand, the Coast attracts many Americans, Anglo-Saxons and Scandinavians who find the prices inexpensive compared to other European cities and, on the other hand, we have first-time buyers who, unable to to buy, turn to rental, where goods are scarce. We actually have a saturated rental market. This is a real problem and this is where all the antagonism of the Nice market is revealed.”

The solution according to Benjamin Mondou? “It is important that prices drop, it is up to us to educate our sellers in this regardhe insists. We must restore purchasing power to first-time buyers and to our young people who can no longer find housing.”

For those in charge, this also involves developing something new. “Today there is no more tax exemption law and therefore no more investors. But if we have new things at consistent prices, with interest rates that are just as consistent and a tax exemption law, the developers will come back and we will have stock again and a market which is balanced…”

“Prices on the Riviera market are stagnating”, confirms the president of the Habitat Côte d’Azur Real Estate Observatory

Cyril Messika, president of the Habitat Côte d’Azur Real Estate Observatory (whose release of the figures for the first quarter of 2024 is imminent), corroborates: “The renewed activity is there and real estate prices have not exploded. The trend is towards stagnation.”

A reality observed by professionals in the sector, going against the national trend since the prices of old real estate fell in France by 4% over one year at the end of 2023, according to the Notaires-Insee index published last February .

“During the post-Covid period, the Côte d’Azur attracted a metropolitan and international clientele who, while investing more in secondary education, turned to the acquisition of primary residences. This led to an increase in demand and a jump in prices per m² until the end of 2022. Sinceunderlines David Ghnassia, prices are stagnating, even ifIn the premium market, in certain areas such as the port and Mont Boron, we note a slight increase.”

A maintenance which, for the real estate agent, can be explained by the assets of the Côte d’Azur. “The climate, the sea, the mountains, the proximity to Italy, the Nice Côte d’Azur international airport… All these elements explain this maintenance of prices.”

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