WHAT with European economic chaos, earthquakes and hurricanes pummelling the US and the most valuable company in the world losing its CEO, one rather can’t help but recall Benjamin Franklin’s saying: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”.
Well, perhaps Franklin missed one thing in his list of certainties: high values on the Mediterranean coast of the south of France. Nice-based Stuart Baldock, director of buying agents Property Vision, has been working here for 30 years. “Everyone is concerned with making sure their wealth is preserved,” he says, “if you happen to own a property in the south of France that is well placed, it will never lose money.”
As for well-placed, the pecking order is as follows: the three “caps” (Cap Martin, Cap Ferrat and Cap d’Antibes), followed by St Tropez. So if you’re looking for ways to sink a wad of cash in an asset as likely to go out of fashion as the little black dress – and want a slice of the high life with it – then you want to head straight for the best.
“There are no secrets,” says Baldock, “There’s no little fishing village on the Mediterranean south coast of France that’s been overlooked. Yes, if you want slightly lower prices, you should look at the coastline between Marseille and Toulon. But it ain’t so sexy. And people pay for sexiness.”
Joanna Leveret, of Savills International, agrees that there are other options. “There is a bit of a trend for looking at the Languedoc, where you can get four times as much for your money. But the coastline isn’t quite as pretty and let’s face it, it doesn’t have the same cache.”
If you’re not hell bent on splashing champagne back in full view of P. Diddy’s yacht, you can find beautiful properties away from the coast. Just an hour away from St Tropez and you’re in Provence which is vineyard central – or closer to St Tropez, set in the hills, there are beautiful rural properties to snap up.
So if you have the money, you can be certain (or almost certain) of one extra thing: you won’t regret an investment on or near the Cote d’Azur.
EZE, CAP FERRAT
Five bedrooms, all with en suite and two with direct access to the swimming pool. Newly refurbished, outstanding sea views, among the quiet hills.
Contact: Knight Frank on 020 7629 8171
FORTUNE CAREE, LES PARCS DE ST TROPEZ
A four-bedroom villa in arguably the region’s most luxurious “domaine”, or gated community. Three minutes from the beach.
Contact Savills, 020 7016 3740
LA LONDE, VAR COASTLINE
A five-bedroom hillside property elegantly finished with five bedrooms, with heated infinity pool, snooker room, cellar and wine vault. Contact: Chesterton Humberts, 020 3040 8210123
A beautifully finished six-bedroom villa with pool and wine cellar in the bay of St Tropez.
Contact: Chesterton Humberts, 020 3040 8210