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Nice: South of France

Nice on the Cote d’Azur is one of the largest cities in France and has the second busiest airport in France with around 20 flights from the UK every day.

It is an ideal place for a holiday home being close to the beaches, and is one of the primary South of France holiday resorts in the Cote d’Azur with many wonderful restaurants and superb shops. Nice is also within an hour of Italy, giving it an extra dimension of interest as well as being just over an hour to several ski resorts – which offers all year round events and reasons to be there, from the skiing, to the flower festival and carnivals to the beaches, music festivals and museums.

All of these factors make Nice an ideal town for a pied a terre as there are flights direct from many UK airports and there is always lots to do and lots going on, whatever the month of the year.

Nice also has strong letting potential. If you are looking to rent your town house out part of the time you have a wide choice of options. Nice is a university town as well as having several private colleges so there is the possibility of term time rentals and then being able to use your property during the holidays, or you could just rent it out on short term rentals when you are not able to use it.

There is also a strong demand for full time rental in the town and if you are looking for a pure investment, Nice is highly recommended as there are still some reasonably priced properties there giving good and reliable rental returns plus the fact that prices are most likely to increase over the next few years as the town continues to grow. It is an extremely cosmopolitan town bringing a high demand for all types of properties.

Paris

Although Paris may be the city that immediately springs to mind when thinking of purchasing in a French city, it perhaps doesn’t have as much to offer as the four cities I have mentioned earlier in this article. There is no doubt that Paris is truly one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but its location means that the climate is not as temperate as ours and the city can be very cold in winter and very hot in summer.

Although there are rural areas once you get right out of Paris and its suburbs, there are no vineyards or beaches within striking distance and because of the fact that it is the Capital of France prices are inflated as demand there has always been high rather than in some of the other French cities where the prices still have a long way to climb to reach their potential.

The flight time to Paris is only an hour but it is less than 2 hours to the other cities so that the travel time difference would be hardly noticeable by air – however the TGV journey from London at less than 2.5 hours makes it a shorter journey from London than to get to the North of England.

Choosing your French Town House Location

In any city in the world, there will be good areas and not so good areas which translate into expensive and not so expensive properties. The best plan is to buy in an up and coming area of the city which is close to the ‘good areas’ but has not yet reached it’s potential. The areas may be up and coming due to government investment in the surroundings, the transport system or perhaps the arrival of multi-national companies offering work.

Different areas of large cities offer different types of lifestyle so you are likely to find that some appeal to you more than others so that it is a good idea to view properties in a few areas of the city you choose and take advice from our local Latitude French property agents as to what would suit your budget and lifestyle best.

You might also want to consider large towns which offer the city life but not on such a large scale. Towns such as Toulouse, Aix en Provence and Nimes have their own special atmosphere. It is a good idea to choose a university town as the presence of students keeps the town young and lively and offers good facilities as well as being ideal if you intend to rent your property out for part of the time.

If renting out for part of the time is your intention do should definitely look at what events go on in the town which might bring possible lettings to you. Cannes on the Cote d’Azur for instance, has so many conferences, seminars as well as the larger events of the Cannes film festival, MIPIM, MIPCOM etc which bring thousands of people into the town who need accommodation so that rental prices during these events can be extortionately high.

To sum up, when buying a second home in a French city, it is a good idea to choose a town that has plenty of amenities, places of interest and surrounding areas offering the possibility of enjoyable days out and to take account of ease of travel to that city from your home if your intent is to purchase a second home in France.

If you are looking to rent out for part of the time, then make sure that there is a demand for short term rentals locally or plan to rent out through UK advertising and to friends and family. If you are looking to rent it out full time then you need to be looking at areas of the city that are close to offices and places of work.

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