Biarritz, a changing market

The N°1 commune in the French Basque country remains in the spotlight. Dominated by holiday residences in the process of becoming semi-main homes, its market continues to see rising prices and ever scarcer availabilities.

“Confronted by very rare offerings, some buyers are becoming less demanding with regard to a property’s surface area, appointments or condition. Even so, aware of current market prices, they are not inclined to part with ridiculous sums of money. We are certainly dealing with a sellers’ market, but not everything sells at any old price,” comments Didier Lepinoux, Manager of the Bliss & Foch agency on Avenue Maréchal Foch.

Handling transactions for both year-round and holiday homes, this agency focusing on sales, rentals and property management is extending its proposals to include charming neighbouring communes around Biarritz : Bassussary, Arcangues and Ahetze.

“These pleasant villages offering shops and a delightful lifestyle now draw buyers’ interest. Here, prices have also risen, though clients’ budgets have adapted to meet market conditions.”

Didier Lepinoux, Agence Bliss et Foch (05 59 22 76 76).

“We are seeing changes in the search criteria of a good number of our clients,” says Daniel Iribarren of the BTZ Immobilier agency.

“The type of properties required has changed during the pandemic. Classic requirements for second homes are now similar to those for main residences, as new owners now plan to benefit from them more often and for longer periods of time, mostly due to the wider adoption of teleworking. We are thus seeing home-hunting rising up the ladder, with more substantial budgets. Buyers previously looking for 40 m2 now prefer 50-55 m2. Second residences are thus treading on the toes of year-round homes. The fact that properties may be occupied more frequently could, however, bring the commune additional buoyancy.”

Daniel Iribarren, BTZ Immobilier (05 59 01 00 50).

Another new trend is interest in “viagers”. Aware of their properties’ value, senior citizens now want to sell them on this basis in order to improve their living conditions. “They want to access cash to live more comfortably. Which is bringing new properties to the market.” As a recent example, Daniel Iribarren mentions a 3-bedroomed apartment of 106 m² in the very centre of Biarritz, near the Médiathèque.

Occupied by a couple of 80 year-olds, it is on offer for a “bouquet” (cash deposit) of 495,000 € with no further instalments. “We work closely with more elderly clients to whom we offer turnkey services. We also assist them step by step in new digital procedures such as the electronic signature. Another new feature for BTZ Immobilier consists of home-hunting mandates. They enable us to orchestrate more and more sales in total discretion as these properties are not posted on the market. We have even changed the home page on our website to this effect.”

Adapting to a new world… Apparently the key to success in a market constantly on the move.

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