The market has suffered some bumps over the past year, according to Tim Swannie, managing director of the real estate company Home Hunts, based in the South of France. In the French Riviera (also known as the Côte d’Azur) and in Provence, Mr. Swannie estimates that prices have dropped 10 percent. Even before the recession, France’s lending requirements were tight — which prevented the country from experiencing a severe credit crunch, Mr. Swannie added.Paul Humphreys, head of the French desk at the international real estate firm Knight Frank, said St. Tropez had been less affected by the housing downturn than other parts of the Riviera. Homes in St. Tropez are in limited supply because of restrictions on new construction near the coast.Mr. Humphreys says that a home in a prime location in St. Tropez sells for 6 million to 10 million euros ($9 million to $15 million). Inland, houses cost less, 2 million to 5 million euros ($3 million to $7 million). The area around Flayosc is outside what Mr. Humphreys considers the prime area. Over all, Mr. Humphreys thinks the market in the South of France is healthy. “Supply is thin,” he said. “We don’t have enough to sell of what people are looking for.”
By Virginia C. McGuire, Oct 14, 2009 NYT

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