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Works continue apace to revolutionise Nice by 2020. Works are nearly done on the square Pierre-Gautier, and as soon as they are finished they will start on the Cours Saleya. The ambitious plan is to finish everything by the first quarter next year.
The road between the Cours Saleya and the sea front has been torn up, and the work to create a new pedestrian zone is about to start. You may have noticed the arches that have magically opened up opposite Castel Plage. A new decision has *just* been taken to demolish the gallery opposite the beach and open up the arches in a similar fashion. The demolition will take place next month. The face of the Old Town is about to change forever. ... See MoreSee Less
The third tram line is starting test runs today and is set to launch a month early on the 13th November. It runs from the airport north to the OGC Nice football stadium, then on to the St Isadore out-of-town shopping centres, and finally to the Ikea which is currently being built. When there is a football match on, a tram will be running every 3 minutes.
The line 2 that runs from the airport to the Port is also right on schedule, and is set to open on the 14th December. ... See MoreSee Less
Interesting little item tucked away on the city's web site: they have introduced a special parking rate for those of you working in the city centre. They are offering a monthly rate of €65, the equivalent of €2.60 per day, for on-street parking during the week. It applies to everybody that is running a business and limited to one car per commerce. ... See MoreSee Less
Nice is dropping its council tax by 9% this year, making it on average around €60 less expensive. Want to know how much your Taxe Fonciere will be when it lands later this month? They have launched an online calculator to tell you exactly just that - simulationtaxeslocales.nice.fr ... See MoreSee Less
The new tram line to the airport has already had over a million passengers in its first month.
The new tram has already been hailed a great success, and only half of it is open so far. It is on a slightly restricted service in terms of hours, as mentioned previously in the evenings the lines are used to carry materials to the other sites, but from September it will run 5am to 1am. Great for those arriving on those really early or late flights. They are also buying extra trams and according to the article there will be a tram every 4.5 minutes.
I have taken the tram to the airport and... well it was a tram ride to the airport. Not really sure what I was expecting. Very clean and comfortable. It will certainly become my preferred method of airport transfer. Taxis are incredibly expensive, and the last time I called an Uber it came all the way from Cannes. The new tram is quick and there is no traffic to worry about.
The other half of the line is reportedly on schedule and will open the end of this year. ... See MoreSee Less
Stuart Mathieson It is impressive the amount of work that has gone to make the tram stops "blend in". With Alsace Lorraine I had trouble telling where the old park and newly created park began and ended. I agree the Jean Medecin stop is pretty subtle. They are still finishing the Victor Hugo side surfacing so I guess the finishing touches such as artwork and signposting will come after.
Kasparas Blotnys In total it will take 5 years to complete. They started the tunnel end of 2014 and the final section of the line will open end of this year.
Imagine if EasyJet did a hotel on the French Riviera... well imagine no more!
EasyJet are opening their first hotel in France, and it will be in Nice. They have bought the Ibis Hotel, on Rue Auguste Gal, and they will be reopening it as an EasyHotel with 94 rooms. The sale will complete in October and then it will be renovated, with a total cost of over €11M.
They are aiming for a 2* rating so do not expect anything too luxurious. ... See MoreSee Less
Buying a parking space is an ill-kept secret for a solid investment in Nice. Though not as sexy as an AirBnb apartment, it does give a solid 5% and there is zero maintenance.
Parking in Nice is the second most expensive after Paris, with the average price of a space being €33,583. However the average rental price is €139/month. This gives a pretty healthy, if not spectacular, return.
Now I am not saying you should go out today and seek out parking as an investment, but if you are buying a property and there is the possibility of buying a parking space with it, then you should seriously consider it even if you do not have a current need for it. Not only do the prices keep increasing but it will make the apartment easier to sell with such a scare resource available with it. ... See MoreSee Less
The new tram line is now running between the airport and Avenue Jean Medecin, but you can only catch a tram from airport up to 7.52pm (except Friday and Saturday where until 11.25pm) due to restrictions as during the night it is used to ferry materials used in ongoing tram works. So for now they have put back in place the 98 bus but dropped the price from €6 down to €1.50. This means between 5am and 9pm there will be either a bus or a tram available.
This will run until the 1st September. From the 2nd September, the tram will run the hours it is supposed to from 5am until 1am. ... See MoreSee Less
One of the largest franchises of estate agencies, Orpi (similar to Century21) has reported a 20% rise in the volume of transactions in Nice for the 1st quarter of 2019, with a price rise already of 2.6%. This is in line with what we are hearing from local agents, with long lists of buyers but very few sellers. Anything on the market gets snapped up very quickly. ... See MoreSee Less
The buy-to-let exploded in Britain at the turn of the millennium, with generous banks allowing normally middle-class couples to become paper millionaires with a highly leveraged chain of properties. All this came to an end recently with a series of punitive tax measures by the government.
In the meanwhile the French have always been fiscally conservative. Whilst the British were remortgaging their rapidly appreciating houses, the French refused to take assets into account or, with few exceptions, to allow interest-only mortgages. Loans were only, are are still, lent based on revenue. Decades later the rules are still the same, your mortgage repayment cannot exceed more than 1/3 of your net revenue.
With the stock markets heading south, and interest rates remaining at a record low meaning savings are lagging inflation, the French are finally waking up to the yields a property investment can offer. Though there have always been tax incentives to rent out, such as the Loi Pinel, they tend to favour high earners and are now targeting more new build property. With low interest rates, slow capital appreciation in property, rising wages, and a shortage of both short and long term lets, more of the population are waking up to the financial potential. We are sure there must be a contributing "AirBnb effect".
Buy-to-let purchases by French people increased 32% last year, to make up a quarter of all transactions. Nearly half those purchases were made by buyers under 40 years old, and 20% of them by buyers under 30 years old.
Will it affect those looking for a holiday home in Nice? Yes. This pressure is being felt on the ground by real estate agents, with hundreds of agencies chasing very few properties. One went on the market at 9.30am on a Monday, I sent a video to my client 30 minutes later, and put in a full price offer by 10.30am only for it to be already sold. I would advise not to try and find a property online and plan to fly over to see it but to book a flight and view properties that you find online just a day or two before arrival. Or even better, find an expert estate agent on the ground and let him or her show you the best possible selection. All agencies have access to each other's properties so there is no particular advantage to booking up with more than one agent. Happy hunting! ... See MoreSee Less
The new tram line opens this Friday from the airport all the way to Avenue Jean Medecin. When they started works a few years ago, they announced these stops would open "end of June 2019" and again they hit their deadlines.
The opening ceremony will be at the new stop where Avenue Jean Medecin meets Boulevard Victor Hugo at 3.30pm. There will be a big screen where you can see the tram arriving live, followed by a documentary on the works as well as meet some of the engineers. Then from 5pm the general public gets to ride the new underground system free of charge.
On Saturday, between 11am and 6pm the tram stop will be surrounded by a big party with everything from petanque to a bouncy castle, and there will be plenty of live music. Again the tram will be free all day. If you go, feel free to share any photos below. ... See MoreSee Less
The British remain the number one foreign buyers in France, making up nearly a third of non-resident purchases.
The British make up 27% of foreign buyers, the Belgians come second with 18%, and the Germans 3rd with 7.2%. The Brits are especially keen on the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, making nearly 60% of non-resident purchases. The lack of Italian buyers is noticeable, previously a regular in the top three.
The top non-European buyers are Americans, with nearly 3%, ahead of the Chinese. Again, a noticeable absence with Russians disappearing from the list.
The Cote d'Azur is the most sought after area taking 20% of the market, with Occitanie, Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes each taking around 15%. Paris is down to 8.6%, surely due to the bubble in house prices there. ... See MoreSee Less
When renting out long-term in France, there are two problems for the landlord. The first is the difficulty in evicting a tenant. The second is the inability to chase up unpaid rent without a lengthy and expensive court case.
The government is proposing a solution to the latter. They are planning to make it compulsory for an estate agent renting out an apartment to take out an insurance that covers any unpaid rent. Industry representatives are concerned that the cost of the insurance could be prohibitive for small independent agencies, and are working with the government in the creation of the new scheme. Renters will be happy as a deposit will no longer be required. The law will be proposed and voted on this autumn. ... See MoreSee Less
Monaco not only maintains its top spot as the most expensive place for real estate in the world, but prices went up 18% to nearly €50,000/m².
At €48,800/m² it clearly beats out Hong Kong, in second place at €44,500/m², and is a long way ahead of the most expensive place in France, Paris, at €14,500/m².
Buyers have been flooding in from areas of political or economic uncertainty, like Britain and Greece. It now has 38,000 residents from 139 different countries. However property is hard to come by, with only 550 sales in the whole year compared to 970,000 transactions in France. ... See MoreSee Less
An extensive article in Le Point last week, giving a breakdown of each area in Nice along with a rough price guide. It also mentions the massive projects going on in the west (the new eco valley with 800 new properties in the first phase, plus 17,000m² of hotels, offices, etc), the north where the old football stadium was (another 17,000m² being developed) and the east along the Route de Turin (the first 550 properties go on sale next year). Coupled with generous tax incentives for investors to rent them out at low rent, this will nicely balance out the increased demand for holiday homes and AirBnb style accommodation in the central areas. This forward thinking will continue the harmonious relationship between the cosmopolitan population and the local Nicois. ... See MoreSee Less
Movies and series being filmed in Nice is pretty common. The Sky series Riviera was recently filming in the Old Town. But what is going on in the rather genteel and more family orientated hill of Cimiez? Not a typical film set location. Well it is Netflix doing a remake of the Alfred Hitchcock movie "Rebecca", which won an Oscar in 1941. Directed by Ben Wheatley, it features Lily James and Armie Hammer. If you live in Cimiez then expect some traffic disruption over the coming days. ... See MoreSee Less
The local paper has an update on the whole Cours Saleya renovation that will be done "in less than a year". One exciting feature I have seen walking past is the hidden road between Rue Ponchettes and Quai d'Etas Unis, where they have opened up one of the buildings to create new arch openings (second photo in the article). If the restaurants put nice terraces out the back then this will be a cozy little street for people to discover. ... See MoreSee Less
Yesterday the new food courts opened in the "Liberation" district north of the train station. The design pays homage to its heritage as an ancient train station. There are 28 food stands, with communal benches running down the middle so you can taste on the spot any delicacies you buy. An extra stop to add to the itinerary of any foodies reading. ... See MoreSee Less
We have a date for the opening of the first underground tram stations: 28th June. Exactly on schedule. The stops will be Alsace Lorraine and Jean Medecin, connecting up with the existing tram line. The means the tram will run all the way from the airport to the city centre. The remaining stations that will take you all the way to the Port will open end of the year. ... See MoreSee Less
In a blow to the court case brought by the hotel industry, the European Court of Justice has ruled that AirBnb cannot be considered acting as an estate agency when it comes to property rental. This has important implications in France, where the activity of estate agents are tightly regulated. AirBnb is considered an electronic services company and is not subject to real estate laws such as the Loi Hoquet.
In the next six months, the ECJ will rule whether it is legal for the Town Hall to make AirBnb renters register their property. If this is ruled illegal then it will be a blow to local government, as it will be difficult to restrict the number of rentals and to track any revenues generated. A verdict is expected in November. ... See MoreSee Less