A home with a sea view is the dream of many house hunters. If you are looking for this type of French property, you may be looking for a close view over the beach or the coast, or a property set slightly further back from the sea. For a safe investment, aim for the best location you can afford. The value of the property is based on its position – prime location will always be in demand and so will command more money than others. As there is a limit on the number of properties that can be built in these places, demand will remain higher than supply. But this system applies all over the world. Indeed, if you look at any town centre, you’ll certainly be aware that certain streets and areas are pricier than others due to lack of space, and their proximity of all amenities.
Naturally, if you buy a French property with a sea view, it may turn out to be expensive, especially if it is located on the French Riviera. But letting out your property will often cover the expenses and some of the mortgage repayments, if you took out a mortgage for the purchase of your house. Evidently it will depend on how much you use it and how much you let it. By taking a mortgage while the euro is strong, you won’t have to change as much as money into Euros. Later on, when rates have picked up somewhat, you can repay the mortgage at a better rate.
Exposure in Northern France
The regions of Nord Pas-de-Calais, Normandy and Brittany have been very popular with British house hunters thanks to the easy access from the UK. The climate is roughly similar to the UK, which is a plus for those who find the sweltering summer temperatures in the south a bit much. But some resorts – such as Le Touquet – are populated with Parisians, which keeps the prices of properties high. In this area, houses within walking distance of the beaches command relatively high prices: a property set in nearly an acre of land with over 200sqm of living space sells for around €1,000,000.
Nevertheless in the Manche department, you can easily find a south-facing house with over one acre of land and next to a beach for under €300,000.You can also find apartments and leasebacks around €83,000 in the Calvados department (Lower Normandy). In Brittany you could built your own home on a quarter of an acre of land only 1.5 km from the sea. Prices start at around €81,000.,
Exposure on the Atlantic coast
There are some beautiful resorts which have traditionally been more French than international. Most of them are accessible within a day’s drive of the Channel ports and the summers are warmer once you cross the Loire Valley. Numerous airlines fly from the UK to the airports in the region.
Resorts such as La Baule, L’ Ile de Ré or Biarritz are extremely expensive because of a high demand from Parisians and the French domestic market in general. Prices can reach as high as 3 to 5 million Euros.
However you can find properties with a sea view at good prices, for example on the Ile de Noirmoutiers in the Vendee department. It is a sheltered island, protected from the ferocious Atlantic waves, very sunny and was well loved by celebs in the sixties. It is close to the Saint Jean de Mont Golf course, one of trickiest courses in France.
Exposure in the south of France
The southern coast, which includes the regions of Languedoc-Roussillon and the French Riviera, has plenty of coastal resorts. However, properties command higher prices than anywhere else in France. There are numerous apartments with give onto the sea, and a select number of private villas, which are of course at a premium. Sea views and direct access to the sandy beach can double the price. For example, a refurbished seafront villa in Antibes or Cannes could be priced between 20 and 30 million Euros. In Nice, a 3-bedroom apartment with balcony is €295,000 within 500 metres of the beaches. It generally includes a parking space and is ideally either for permanent living or holidays. In the Herault department you’ll find contemporary villas 300 metres from the beach for just under € 500,000.
When it comes to coastal properties, France has it all, whether you are looking for the quieter, sandy beaches in the north, the wild landscapes of Brittany, the diverse resorts of the Atlantic coast or the pretty holiday spots of the south of France.