Second home market plateauing, but demand for the Côte d’Azur remains high 

second home cote d'azur

In the face of a national slowdown, the second home market on the Côte d’Azur continues to be very active, according to a new report from Sotheby’s International Realty.  

From 2020 to 2022, an incredible thing happened. Those years, which were marked by the global pandemic, saw a massive rise in people buying second homes with the goal of giving their families room to move about – maybe with a swimming pool and definitely with a garden or outside space – in addition to a place for adults and children alike to work from home.  

That unprecedented flexibility in schedules created a thriving real estate market, one where people learned they could spend more time enjoying their homes during regular working hours than in their downtime as working outside the office at least part-time became commonplace.  

Back to reality 

Now that life is settling back into old rhythms, the demand has settled too, according to a report put out by Sotheby’s International Realty 

“The Covid period was exceptional for real estate in all of its markets,” says Sotheby’s International Realty France-Monaco Chairman and CEO Alexander Kraft, while noting strong growth in the second home market during that time.  

This latter segment of the market is now reaching something of a plateau, says the report, a trend that is “probably as a result of the current economic crisis, difficulty in obtaining financing, rising interest rates and global political tensions”.  

“This decline in activity is a normal phase of the market cycle after three record years,” explains Kraft, “and remains far less pronounced than among buyers of primary residences.” 

What are second home buyers looking for? 

That said, there are still those looking to have a place to get away from it all as a counterbalance to their city lives.

The demand for a second home remains particularly strong amongst French nationals, but “this continuing interest from the French is reinforced by the return of foreigners, particularly Europeans, Americans and, increasingly, Asian customers”, according to Kraft.  

Nice, the capital of the French Riviera, is bucking the national trend as prices and demand continue to rise for second home investments. Photo source: Arno Smit, Unsplash

The market on the Côte d’Azur 

Peter Illovsky, the president of Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty group that represents five agencies between Saint Tropez and Menton, has added his local knowledge to the report, explaining that “the Covid period brought strong activity characterised by a buying appetite focused on properties with outdoor space, sea views or proximity to the sea”.  

Though not as hearty as during the health crisis, the market on the Côte d’Azur is playing to its natural strengths and, in many places, prices and demand continue to rise. Nice, for example, is seeing first and second home prices on the rise, a trend that does not seem to be abating.  

Nice, the capital of the French Riviera, featured prominently on a recent Sotheby’s list of locations to consider when buying a second home in the region, alongside Cannes, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, Saint Tropez and the other towns found in its gulf.  


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Photo source: Michael Kroul, Unsplash