You don’t have to be George Clooney to appreciate Cannes. The Hollywood star was at the 69th Cannes Film Festival last week but as the red carpet is rolled away it is just the start of a summer of super-smart events in the French Riviera’s most fashionable resort.
Cannes is the ultimate festival town, where boat shows, regattas and concerts combine with a curvaceous bay, sandy beaches and dazzling light. “It is only 20 minutes from Nice airport and perfectly placed between Monaco and St Tropez to attract holiday home buyers,” says Jack Harris of Knight Frank.
“Rental demand is strong, something of increasing importance to second-home owners.” Cannes offers an inspiring quality of life, whether partying — Bâoli is the place to be seen — winter skiing at Isola 2000 or crossing into Italy for San Remo’s Friday market.
CALIFORNIE FOR PEACE
Californie, a five-minute drive from the centre of Cannes, is a calm residential oasis in the hills overlooking the sea. Eden Cannes, a rare new homes project on the district’s tranquil eastern edge, is due to complete in 2018.
The 15 three- and four-bedroom flats in three low-level buildings will have big terraces, underground parking and sea views, with communal infinity pool, concierge and gym. The parkland site has views to Cap d’Antibes. From £2.36 million for 1,700sq ft, through Knight Frank. Annual service charges from £7,000.
Buying off-plan in France is straightforward with firm legal safeguards and is cheaper than buying a resale home — purchasing costs are about two per cent instead of the usual seven per cent.
LA CROISETTE FOR BUZZ
Property prices in Cannes peak on the Croisette, the mile-long promenade beside the Med lined with Belle Époque hotels, flats and exclusive shops. No 7 Croisette, opposite the Palais des Festivals and the beach, has 23 new-build flats with parking, and two are still for sale through Knight Frank. The cheapest, with two bedrooms and 753sq ft, is £1.1 million.
LA BANANE FOR VALUE
For value in the town centre, La Banane is the place, an arc stretching from the Old Port towards Palm Beach.
Prices per square foot are up to a third of prime Croisette locations. A bit further inland, they fall sharply. A compact two-bedroom flat with underground parking, roof terrace and communal pool but no views is £389,600 and rents for up to £1,180 a week.
A triple-aspect two-bedroom top-floor apartment in a flat-fronted building in Rue Félix Faure, two minutes’ walk from the Croisette and overlooking the Old Port, is £826,000 through Knight Frank. Light and roomy, it has a lift and good views but no outside space and would rent for up to £3,900 a week in summer.
Leggett Immobilier has a renovated five-bedroom flat by the Gambetta food market for £625,000. The port, with regular ferries to St Tropez and the charming, traffic-free Lérins Islands, is a short walk away.