The south of France may have sunshine, cuisine and culture as natural assets, but estate agents in the area say a surge this year in interest is due to more mundane factors.
Estate agency Knight Frank says inquiries so far this year are well above the 2011 level, spurred on by an average five per cent fall in French holiday home prices; coupled with the effect of a weakening euro, prices have dropped overall by about 10 per cent. Other agents say demand lately is up even more, as soggy Britons seek sun across the Channel.
Most Britons choose one of three distinct regions in the south of the country. Easily accessed from Marseille airport, there is the lush hilly Luberon, with pretty medieval villages such as Gordes and the classic Provençal fields laden with lavender, vines and sunflowers. Here, British buyers are back after a dip in demand triggered by the poor exchange rate. This spot is favoured by low-key buyers “looking to immerse in French culture and adopt the local relaxed way of life”, says John Stephenson of Knight Frank.
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