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Second homes advert sparks anger along Basque coast

Many locals have complained they have been priced out of the local housing market

The new housing complex is located near the beaches of Anglet Pic: Gregory Guivarch//Shutterstock

A mobile billboard promoting a second homes development in south-west France has been branded “a provocation” by a local political party.

The advert, which was pulled along by bicycle, bears the slogan "Are you tempted by the ocean as a second home?”

Aimed at tourists, it appeared at several locations near the beaches of Anglet, where the development is located, in Pyrénées-Atlantiques and nearby Saint-Jean-de-Luz in August.

However, following backlash the advert has been pulled.

The Basque political party EH Bai was among several groups expressing outrage that such advertising is permitted in an area where many locals complain they have been priced out of the property market by an influx of second-home owners.

The party’s coordinator, Nikolas Blain, said: “In a context where, for the last three years, not two weeks go by without there being a mobilisation against speculation and second homes, we find this highly inappropriate. It's a provocation.”

Meanwhile, Anglet’s mayor also expressed frustration and vowed to take action, which sparked Carrefour to terminate the campaign and make a statement. 

In response to the complaints, Carrefour Property said the campaign only lasted 3 days, between August 11-13, and described it as “localised and short”. 

This came as part of a statement, which read “For the sake of accessibility, Carrefour Property specifies that the price per m2 of the accommodation offered is lower than that of the real estate programs located nearby in order to allow locals to become buyers. 

“Also, according to our information to date, more than 80% of the free housing marketed was with locals, and more than 50% intended for the main residents or pied-a-terre.”

Read also: Second home protesters in Pays Basque attack minister's home

The minimum price for a one-bedroom apartment of 43m² in the new development is  €250,000 – more than €5,800/m². It is due to be completed next year.

Last summer activists in the Pays Basque attacked the second home of the French economy minister as part of protests against second homes in the region.

In 2021, estate agent offices were graffitied with the words ‘The Basque Country is not for sale'. 

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