The Alpilles : a picture-postcard of Provence
Radia Amar - 25 October 2019
Majestic scenery, untamed nature and well-preserved traditions are the main assets appreciated by buyers who set their sights on the Alpilles and their picturesque villages.
For the past 11 years, the Agence Colpaert et Wehrle has specialized in sales of outstanding residences in the heart of the Alpilles. Set up in 2013, the trio of directors passionate about real estate is formed by Cyrille Schiffler, Eric Didner and Sébastien Lamarre. “When deciding to acquire a property in the Alpilles, our clients are opting for an address, a special place : they are making a long-term investment in a property which will find a taker very quickly, should they decide to re-sell, if the property offers purely regional architecture,” says Eric Didner. “50% French, our clients are in search of a picture-postcard of Provence : a house built of stone - a “mas” or a residence in one of the iconic villages in the Alpilles -, to serve as a holiday home. Contemporary constructions have much less success.” Average budgets are in the 1-2 million euro bracket, corresponding to a residence of 250 m2 in grounds of about 5,000 m2. The most highly-prized localities are the villages of Saint-Rémy de Provence, Maussane-les-Alpilles and Eygalières, where a new agency has just been opened by Colpaert et Wehrle. Paradou and Les Baux-de-Provence also attract lots of interest. “The number of buyers is showing a decline, though they are of higher quality. Prices remain steady, and the market is lively in this area so typical of the Provençal lifestyle.”
Based in Provence since 2002, Yannick Bouteloup manages the two Happy Immo agencies in Saint-Rémy de Provence and Maussane-les-Alpilles, specializing solely in sales within a 15-kilometre radius around Saint-Rémy. The agency currently has 140 properties in its portfolio. “I have chosen to offer our clients - French, Belgian, Swiss and Anglo-Saxon - a wide selection of properties, from small apartments priced at 300,000 € to stone-built “mas” fetching over 2 million euros. 60% of our sales involve year-round homes, 40% holiday residences, the latter often intended to become main residences later on, to which our clients hope to retire.” In addition to the must addresses of Saint Rémy, Maussane and Eygalières, accounting for most of the demand, Yannick Bouteloup mentions the satellite villages of Paradou, Les Baux-de-Provence, Fontvieille and Eyragues, a few minutes’ drive from the main communes and offering first-rate amenities, and this, at more affordable prices. “All over the Alpilles, building land is becoming a rare commodity, which naturally edges prices higher. In fact, for both houses and apartments, prices are now seeing a moderate rise,” notes Yannick Bouteloup, who emphasizes the personalized assistance provided for clients by Happy Immo at each stage of their transactions.