From Cavaillon to Cadenet, offerings are becoming scarce
Cheval Blanc, Mérindol, Les Taillades, Robion, Maubec, Lauris... All communes in Le Vaucluse offering an increasingly attractive lifestyle. Many people working in Provence have become aware of the fact and no longer hesitate to cross the Durance in search of a home. The result is a tight market characterized by availabilities in short supply.
Lying south of the Luberon mountain range, Mérindol is a pleasant commune overlooking the plain of the Durance. It offers numerous amenities including a nursery and primary school.
At the tip of Le Petit Luberon, ideally located halfway between Aix-en-Provence and Avignon, just 4 km from Cavaillon, Cheval-Blanc is a charming commune with 4,500 residents. Here, Aïchouche Sarri and Aurélie Bertrand have run Cheval Blanc Immobilier since 2001, an agency mainly focusing on sales on the communes of Cheval-Blanc, Cavaillon, Mérindol, Taillades, Robion, Maubec... "Cheval Blanc is lively in all four seasons thanks to its schools, shops and very active clubs and associations... Many people working locally and French or foreign retirees come looking for houses here," says Aïchouche Sarri. "Most demand falls into the price bracket between 250,000 and 350,000 €. Unfortunately, buyers are faced by limited offerings at these prices, even for properties in need of renovation. All over our area, our portfolio is more well-stocked with properties priced from 400,000 €. Some of our most desirable homes, especially in Mérindol, are worth close on 1 million euros. The market is stable and selling prices correspond to the prices posted within 10 to 15%." The agency in fact only accepts mandates for properties estimated at their fair market value. As an example of recent sales representing the current market, Aïchouche Sarri mentions a village house in Mérindol, a charming commune with shops and a primary school, and soon to benefit from a medical centre. This renovated 3-bedroomed stone house with a garage, cellar and small roof-top terrace just found a new owner here for 233,000 €.
"Village houses are no longer highly prized as clients looking for holiday homes built of stone have become rare. Today's buyers are more likely to be the actively employed, aged from 30 to 45, working for Airbus and companies in Aix-les-Milles, prepared to cross the Durance to take advantage of properties at lower prices than those found in the Bouches-du-Rhône," explains Guillaume Ostermann, a former surveyor, now manager of Profil et Patrimoine Luberon, the only agency in Mérindol. Based in Provence for the past 5 years (and 30 years in Strasbourg), this agency has been located for the past two years on the Route de Cavaillon in premises also accommodating the GABL (Groupement d'Artisans du Bâtiment Provence-Luberon) : a strong point in this area where virtually all the houses are in need of renovation. "We wear different kinds of hats so that we can assist our clients from A to Z, whether for new builds, rentals or sales, with or without renovation on the cards." In Mérindol, Cheval-Blanc, Puget, Mallemort or Lauris, the property market generally consists of detached houses built in the 1970's and 1980's. "For a pleasant family home of 110 to 120 m2 with 3 bedrooms and a sunny garden sheltered from the wind, you need a budget of 350,000 €," says Guillaume Ostermann. "You also have to set aside funds for renovation work, estimated at around 700 € per sq.m. Houses need to meet today's taste and current standards : for heating, sanitation, joinery etc..." More substantial villas, priced from 500,000 to 800,000 € on average, draw a clientele comprised of pre-retirees or foreigners. Like one property consisting of a villa of 190 m2 with annexes of 250 m2 and a swimming pool, in grounds of 3,500 m2 in a good location in Mérindol. It was just acquired for 650,000 € by Parisian retirees who are going to make it their new main home.
Based in the towns of Cavaillon, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Cadenet, the three ERA – Nadotti Immobilier agencies work with a property portfolio containing a good number of houses, but also apartments. "Our market is currently marked by a gap between client demands and what's on offer," says Philippe Nadotti. "Many buyers set their sights on 3-bedroomed houses on estates, ideally all on one floor, with gardens of 400 to 500 m2, at prices ranging from 200,000 to 250,000 €, or detached houses with 3 or 4 bedrooms in grounds of 1,000 to 1,500 m2, costing around 350,000 €. In both cases, availabilities are extremely limited." The agency's clientele is comprised of local families looking for year-round homes, and buyers from outside the region searching for holiday residences with potential to become their main residences when they retire. "Today, a property of quality offered at the right price can sell within 15 days. Yet even with this scarcity of availabilities, prices are still stable : only outstanding properties or those offering rare attributes can allow themselves little spikes on the upside." Among the most sought-after communes, Philippe Nadotti mentions those benefiting from infrastructures and shops ensuring pleasant everyday living.