The Bouches-du-Rhône was only marginally affected by the financial crisis and resulting property market downturn. “If you wanted to do an average,” Ms. Ducloy said, “you could say maybe it was 10 percent down over the last two years.”Philippe Boulet, director of the Saint-Rémy-de-Provence office of Émile Garcin, a French real estate company, said that prices had been “stuck in the middle” but were now moving up again. For his company, home sales for the quarter have increased 40 percent since last year. In general, he said, well-appointed houses continue to sell for a wide range of prices, from 400,000 euros or so ($495,000, at $1.24 per euro) up into the high seven-digit range — and, on occasion, past 10 million euros.Benjamin Deswarte, a consultant for Provence Secrète, a real estate company in nearby Ménerbes, said it was difficult to estimate a current price per square meter in the region, since properties vary so widely by location, view and condition. Many houses sell for around 4,000 euros a square meter, he said; the one described here is listed for 2,829 euros a square meter.
By Jeff Vandam, June 2, 2010 NYT