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Cassis, between sea and vines

Indissociable from its cliffs sketching out idyllic creeks, this commune 20 km east of Marseille has adopted a quotation attributed to Frédéric Mistral as its motto: “He who has seen Paris but not Cassis, has seen nothing”.

A superb seaside resort nestling at the foot of an impressive cliff, Cassis owes its wide popularity to cultural and tourist activities, and its flourishing wine production. Cassis was, in fact, one of the first three vineyards to be awarded the “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée” in 1936. Its listed old centre is comprised of narrow picturesque streets where mansions line shaded squares, refreshed by sculpted fountains.

This legendary harbour of international renown has succeeded in preserving its authenticity. In an enchanting setting between the creeks and Cap Canaille, Cassis enjoys magnificent sunlight and breathtaking sunsets, much appreciated by famous artists such as Braque, Derain, Signac and Dufy. “Cassis is a high-end micro-market that remains very highly-prized and deliberately chosen, especially by fans of wonderful residences on the seafront,” explains Philippe Manni, Manager of the Barnes Agency operating from the harbour of Cassis for the past 18 months.

Comprised 60% of North Europeans, 40 % of French buyers - mostly Parisians -, the clientele of this prestigious agency is drawn by the serene, well-preserved environment of this charming town benefitting from a train station, ideally located just a few minutes from main roads, and within easy reach of Marseille. Lively in all four seasons, Cassis plays host to many fetes and festivals. It offers very good restaurants, street markets, sports clubs, and all the infrastructures and services required for a pleasant everyday life. “In Cassis, the property market is characterized by supply largely outstripped by demand. Mostly aged between 40 and 50, our clients are looking for lovely villas enjoying the stunning sea views that only Cassis can provide. Previously holiday homes, the properties we are selling now are often intended to become year-round residences when their owners retire. The current tension between demand and supply naturally gives rise to rapidly orchestrated transactions, as soon as a property of quality appears on the market at the right price.”

By way of example, Philippe Manni mentions the recent sale of a prestigious Provençal villa of 300 m² renovated in contemporary style with high-quality materials. In a garden of 800 m² with a pool, bowling terrain and annexes, this villa in a commanding position offering unimpeded views of the sea and Cap Canaille sold for around 3 million euros in less than four months. “The prices of premium properties have risen by 28% on average over the past year, and by 50% over the past 5 years”. In addition to the shoreline, the Agence Barnes in Cassis proposes its wine-producing estates and properties to a clientele in search of a home surrounded by vines. “These atmospheres typical of Provence, at the heart of the countryside, also have their fans, especially in Les Janots, a highly-prized area for this type of property.”

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