Familiar territory: the Caribbean, Spain and France

While the markets remain volatile, buyers are returning to the safety of old favourites
Ibiza Town harbour
Idyllic: Ibiza Town harbour
For the property-wise it's a return to old favourites this year as buyers cold-shoulder speculative purchases in less sound countries for the tried and trusted in the Caribbean — such as the English haunt of Barbados.

There is a window of opportunity in Mallorca. Even in the expensive south west, superb deals can be found



While in Europe it's Spain and France, especially the latter with its option for train travel to avoid disappointment if that pesky volcanic ash cloud hovers over Heathrow just as you're trying to get off on your summer break.

SOUTH OF FRANCE


Low interest rates and cheaper prices have brought buyers from Europe and Russia back to the Cote d'Azur. A new law stating no planning consents will be permitted within 300 metres of the sea has restricted supply on the coast, but inland village homes with pools are a more attractive option — especially in high season when the coast roads are clogged with traffic.

Juan-les-Pins
Juan-les-Pins: a one-bedroom flat for £255,340
But if the coast is your aim then Erna Low Property is selling the final six apartments of 27 in a newly completed development at St Raphael between Cannes and St Tropez. The one and two-bedroom units start from £275,000. In Cannes, 10 minutes from the city's Croisette and 20 from Nice airport, Erna Low has off-plan studio to two-bedroom apartments at Cannes Paradiso with prices from £153,089.

In Juan-les-Pins, Winkworth France is selling a ground floor apartment with a south-facing terrace and garage for £255,340.

"The opportunity to buy a virtually new apartment close to the beach and the town centre is rare in itself," says David Lee, of Winkworth. "Since the apartment is less than five years old conveyancing costs are less than half the usual seven per cent and this apartment has high occupancy summer rentals at up to £660 a week."

A four-bedroom 1911 house for £1.5m in Antibes
Antibes: a four-bedroom 1911 house for £1.5m
At the other end of the market Lee tips a £1.5 million fully-restored 1911 villa minutes from the seafront close to Antibes. The four-bedroom and four floor Bourgeoisie-style property is 30 minutes from Nice airport.

* Knight Frank: 020 7629 8171; knightfrank.com
* Winkworth France: 020 8576 5582; winkworth.fr
* Erna Low Property: 020 7590 1624; ernalowproperty.co.uk

THE BALEARIC ISLANDS


International schools, a lively capital and good flight access including new BA flights from London starting this month make Mallorca a hit with buyers.

"There is a window of opportunity in Mallorca," says Andrew Hawkins, from Chesterton Humberts. "Even in the expensive south west, superb deals can be found."

Gran Folies
Gran Folies: one to three-bedroom apartments in Mallorca reduced from £344,200 to £264,100
Chesterton Humberts has dropped prices for one-bedroom apartments at Gran Folies development near Andratx from £344,200 - £264,100 and from £625,100 - £528,300 on three-bedroom flats near Portals.

Over at neighbouring Ibiza the holiday market is more seasonal, but the upmarket white villas still reach blisteringly high prices. Reductions at the top of the market include two refurbished fincas through Aylesford International. Can Bikini is a modern country finca 20 minutes from Ibiza Town reduced by £484,200 to £2.8 million, while in the uber-cool village of Santa Gertudis a five-bedroom finca with separate guest house has been reduced by 36 per cent to £1.6 million.

* Chesterton Humberts: 020 3040 8210; chestertonhumberts.com
* Aylesford International: 020 7349 510; aylesford.com

BARBADOS


After flirting with less established islands, Caribbean buyers are focusing on good infrastructure and direct flights. That means Barbados and, especially, the Platinum West Coast where multi-millionaires holiday in five-star hotels, and villas sell for more than £4 million.

Earlier this year, when Cluttons Resorts launched apartments there from under £100,000, demand was so high that the 21 apartments in Phase 1 sold out in 10 days. Weston St James is a three-minute walk from Alleyns beach and a short drive from three prime golf courses at Sandy Lane, Apes Hill and Royal Westmoreland. It will have 42 one to four-bedroom apartments , around a communal pool and gardens. Prices in Phase 2 range from £94,400 to £327,760.

British developer Candelisa Resorts will run an optional rental pool."Our clients want excellent value in Grade A locations," says Robert Green, of Cluttons Resorts. The success of Weston proves that buyers are there for the right property at the right price."

Five minutes' stroll from the beach in St Peter, the district of Heywoods has a mix of expat and Bajan residents and property is a fraction of the price of apartments and townhouses in the marina at nearby Port St Charles.

An English family is selling its three-bedroom bungalow built four years ago for £365,600 through Bajan Services. The family is not moving far though, they have bought a larger house nearby.

* Cluttons Resorts: 020 7584 3050; cluttonsresorts.com
* Bajan Services via Knight Frank: 020 7629 8171; knightfrank.com

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