REGIONAL CAPITAL: Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
DEPARTMENTS: Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Hautes-Alpes and Alpes-Maritimes
MAIN TOWNS: Nice, Digne, Gap, Grasse, Forcalquier, Manosque, Barcelonnette, Briançon, Antibes, Cannes, Menton, Sisteron
This, the eastern sector of Paca, combines the big-money allure of the Riviera and the simpler – and cheaper – lifestyle of the foothills of the Alps. On the coast, Nice can expect six hours of winter sunshine a day and the higher departments are not far behind, although there is a temperature difference with altitude and at night.
Little wonder that with the quality of life on offer the coast pulls in most buyers with a large demand for holiday properties but the foothills have their own attractions with properties keenly sought for their extra size and lower prices. The Riviera has a vast range of different property styles from tiny flats to gigantic seafront villas and the higher departments offer the same variety but with a greater number of larger properties with ample grounds.
However, many of the properties in the high country are poorly insulated as 66% of houses in Hautes-Alpes and 55% in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence have poor energy performance ratings.
Selling prices for properties reflect this with a mid-market price of €1,880/m² in Hautes-Alpes, €1,950/m² in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and €3,870/m² in Alpes-Maritimes.
In the immediate area north of Nice – within about an hour of driving – detached houses or villas are selling well in the €450,000 to €500,000 range while on the coast prices are €550,000 to €600,000 for ordinary houses. In Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, however, houses average €270,000 and €320,000 in Hautes-Alpes.
Ski stations are enjoying a bounce with people looking for year-round holidays. Snow this year was good but those in Hautes-Alpes and Alpes-Maritimes benefit from year-round sun. Towns such as Auron, Ceillac en Queyras, Isola 2000, Pra-Loup and Vars have properties ranging from €2,500/m² to €3,000/m²,