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Timing is key when buying French coastal apartments

A study shows buyers could avoid soaring prices by waiting for a sufficient number of newly developed properties to be sold first

There have been huge variations in the price of new-build seaside flats with some rising nearly 30% in the last year Pic: oksana.perkins / Shutterstock

A study by the website looked at the cost in June of new two-bedroom flats in 10 seaside locations in France, which showed prices still rising in five of the towns but falling significantly in others.

Some of the price rises were spectacular – up 29% compared to June 2022 in Anglet (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), for example, to give an average price of €504,600. Sète (Hérault), meanwhile, saw a 19% rise, bringing prices to an average of €314,500.

However, there were also some places with noticeable slumps. Saint-Raphaël (Var) saw average prices tumble by 19% to €388,300, while in Royan (Charente-Maritime) they fell 8% to €317,600.

Read more: Tips and advice as mandatory French property form deadline looms

The report’s authors attributed the variations to the timing of property developments in various locations. When properties first go on sale, they explained, developers hold out for the highest price possible so there is a good chance they will at least cover their costs. 

Once a sufficient number of flats have been sold the developers may be prepared to lower the prices significantly on the unsold properties, so they can take their profits and move on to the next development as soon as possible.

Nationally, there has been a 20% fall in the number of new-build flat developments started in the past year, as developers, faced with rising material costs, realised the chances of making money were slight. The same cannot be said in seaside towns, however, where builders’ cranes are still very much in evidence.

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