ARTICLE

Biarritz, the French California

A flagship address in the Basque country, Biarritz remains a sought-after address for both main and second residences. Its legendary beaches and town centre, lively and suiting today’s tastes, all embody a lifestyle unlike any other.

A seaside resort enjoying world renown among fans of surfing, Biarritz stands at the edge of the oceean and unfurls over a series of hills along the Côte Basque. Reached via the A63 motorway, a TGV station and the Biarritz-Anglet-Bayonne airport, the commune boasts a legacy based on charm with many buildings in Art Deco style and neo-Basque villas. At its heart, bustling neighbourhoods and shops draw an active clientele in search of a house or apartment a stone’s throw from amenities, good restaurants and trendy bars.

And its property market ? According to professionals, it is demonstrating unfailing vitality. Two years after the start of the pandemic, Biarritz’s real estate maket continues to surf along on an excellent wave. Accounting for about 90 % of the clientele, French buyers are looking for a casual-chic lifestyle within a privileged, secure and natural environment. More and more residents of large cities are trying to establish their main family home here, or benefit as often as possible from their second residence, mixing periods of teleworking with long weekends. 2021 was undoubtedly the year when all records were broken in prestige real estate on the Côte Basque.

With overall sales volume of almost 135 million euros, the Barnes agencies in Biarritz, Saint-Jean-de-Luz and Hossegor stand out as major players in this segment of the market. Apparently, its high prices have not deterred the most demanding clients who are still investing massively in Biarritz and its surrounding area. They are, however, faced by availabilities known to be very scarce, though this is beginning to change.

“Over the past few months, we have seen that tension is beginning to loosen up. Our property portfolio has grown, and this, in all sectors of Biarritz,

comments Philippe Thomine Desmazures, Associate Manager of the Barnes Côte Basque agencies. “Prices also seem to have reached a peak over the past two months.” After being suspended, then re-adopted, by the 24 communes comprising the Côte Basque, regulations aiming to supervise furnished tourist accommodation seem to have convinced some owners/investors to place their properties back on the market, benefitting from conditions favouring an advantageous sale.

Launched in Biarritz four years ago by two real estate professionals on the Côte Basque for 20 years - Agnès Arribe and Véronique Dessauce -, the Millésime Immobilier agency specializes in sales of houses and apartments of quality in Biarritz, Anglet, Arbonne or Bassussary.

“Prices are indeed tending to stabilize and, thanks to our solid local network, we are regularly offering new properties for sale.”

From a pleasant 1-bedroom apartment on offer at around 500,000 € to a prestigious front-row apartment with a terrace facing the sea, proposed at 3 million euros, via several houses either contemporary, of real charm or neo-Basque, from 1.5 to 3 million euros, properties presented by this agency offer a wide diversity of styles and locations. And the future of Biarritz’s property market ? These two partners are welcoming it serenely, aware that they are working on a daily basis within an extremely privileged and highly-prized area.

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