Where to invest in French coastal properties

Published on 25 April 2016

Buying a coastal property in France with the aim of maximising the return on your investment can be a fascinating and financially rewarding move. But unlike buying just for yourself, successfully choosing an investment property relies more on your understanding of the local market dynamics than on your personal location preferences. This article sets out where to start your search for your French coastal property.

Counting the cost of seaside properties in France

After three listless years, the French property market is seeing something of a revival with increased volumes in 2015. But since prices across France continued to fall by 2.8% last year, having dropped consistently since 2008, the country remains unquestionably a buyers’ market. Property prices were down everywhere along the coast, from the upmarket Côte d’Azur to Aquitaine on the Atlantic coast and Normandy in the north. In addition, with a stabilisation of prices forecast by some agents in 2016, overseas property investors may consider 2016 as a good year to add the coast of France to their property portfolio.

Making the most of French coastal properties

As with any property investment decision, rule number one is that location is key. Access to services and activities is essential, although there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. In other words, it is important to ensure that the facilities accessible from your coastal properties are the right match for your intended holiday renters and your rental price-point. Detailed research is an absolute must. Of course, seaside properties that are truly right on the beachfront will cost more to acquire but are likely to generate greater returns than those that are further inland. Likewise, you may be enchanted to find a property on a remote peninsula but it could have limited rental potential if tenants face a long drive to find basic shops and restaurants. As such, beach resort properties with their on-site facilities and entertainment options can provide an attractive ‘best of both worlds’ investment prospect.

Safe as houses waterfront properties in France

For potential investors with boundless budgets, the Côte d'Azur is France’s coastal property location par excellence. The high-end appeal of this well-heeled region makes it one of the most expensive outside of Paris, but it is also one of the most resilient to potential economic shocks. As such, it has been viewed as something of a safe-haven for property investors. Just along the Mediterranean coast, beach resort properties in the Languedoc-Roussillon region also come at a price. Yet, with more blue-flag beaches than anywhere else in the country, it certainly performs well in terms of access to high-quality natural features.

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Affordable beach resort properties along the North coast

Even if your budget isn’t quite so forgiving, there is still demand for rental properties elsewhere in the country, particularly along the northern coastlines. As such, there are opportunities to be had for the discerning property investor. Although the summer season is not quite as long or as hot in the North as it is further south, the coastlines here still get busy during the summer months. Brittany has always been a popular coastal destination with demand from families as well as outdoors’ and water sports’ enthusiasts. More affordable still is Normandy, where waterfront properties can be easily reached via an abundance of transport links from southern England.

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