Le Figaro

3 QUESTIONS A Michel CHASSAGNE PRESIDENT-FONDATEUR DE WATERFRONT PROPERTY

Depuis 1988, cette agence commercialise uniquement des biens pieds dans l’eau sur la Côte d’Azur.

 

Michel Chassagne CEO / Founder
Waterfront Property
As the name of the company suggests, we specialise in seaside properties located between Menton and Saint Tropez.
These estates are hard to find on the French Riviera mainly because they are family houses that owners don’t want to sell.
Following the 2008 economic downturn, prices have dropped between 20 and 25%. However, prices of the properties we have on offer range between €3m and €15m and up. We recently sold a 140 sq m house, close to Nice airport, with a 200 sq m garden for €1,89m. The vast majority of our clients are French nationals, Russian nationals have left this marketplace. Buyers should always rely on professionals like us who know the law by heart, especially when it comes to build a seaside property.

 


 

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Michel Chassagne and Sonia Kovac of Waterfront Property have specialized in properties right at the water’s edge, within a large area stretching from Menton to Le Lavandou.

They have visited three-quarters of the 1.957 properties concerned. Théoule is still a known area, comprised of several private estates, quiet and at the edge of the rocky shore. Among the most sought-after are Port la Galère marked by the architectural stamp of Jacques Couëlle.
The price of exceptional properties between Théoule and Agay, at the very edge of the Deep Blue Sea, ranges from 8 to 25 million euros.
Starting with a contemporary example of 360 m2 offering luxurious  appointments, in grounds of 5,300 m2 with a pool, pool house, boat shed, and a beach, not easely accessible except by boat, worth just under 15 million euros.
After experiencing ten years of tension, the area is beginning to bounce back. They are seeing lots of visits, though they admit  that bargaining is tough.
In this area insider knowledge and the utmost discretion are the key words.

 


 

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THE VAR, “WATER’S EDGE” VERSION

“The micro-market comprised of properties right at the water’s edge is a source of sound investments” say Michel Chassagne and Sonia Kovac of Waterfront Property. From Le Trays to Saint Raphaël, via Agay and Anthéor, the backcloth, composed of the famous Red Rocks, is certainly wild…. to the taste of the British. Heading towards Sainte Maxime, the coast becomes more built-up, while Saint Tropez bears comparison with the select capes in the Alpes-Maritimes. Here, budgets top out around 100 million euros, even in time of crisis. The few captains of French industry capable of forking out such sums rub shoulders with North and East Europeans. The idling economy does not seem to be hurting the luxury sector unduly, though the time it takes to sell is apparently longer.

 


 

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GRIMAUD ET SAINTE MAXIME
THE VAR IN ALL IT’S DIVERSITY

Enthusiasm for properties at the water’s edge continues to grow, in both Sainte Maxime and on the commune of Grimaud. Many buyers in fact want to get away from traffic-jams in Saint Tropez, especially as shuttle boats make regular trips back and forth to this lively destination, add Michel Chassagne and Sonia Kovac of Waterfront Property , the specialist in the field for the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var. The crisis has led to lower prices, but has failed to stern demand for properties enjoying direct access to the Deep Blue Sea, to the taste of clients from Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Holland. One of the great strengths of this address lies in its considerable difference as compared with Saint Tropez.


 

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A rare and highly sought-after commodity, villas “at the water’s edge” are to be distinguished from those merely on the front row They alone give direct access to the sea by a path or steps another characteristic specific to the genre: the use of a landing stage, thanks to a decree authorizing temporary occupancy of the public seafront area but not automatically transferred when the villa has been sold . These two assets combined with the rarity of such properties on the market justify very high prices. The Alpes Maritimes has four main capes : Cap Martin, Cap Ferrat, Cap d’Ail  and Cap d’Antibes which draw a very wealthy international clientele, very fond of properties at the water’s edge of the sea. The most prestigious, and also the most expensive is Cap Ferrat. Waterfront Property agency specializing in the water’s edge properties has about 50 on its files.


 

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SAINT-TROPEZ ET SON GOLFE

Michel Chassagne et Sonia Kovac of Waterfront Property are specialized in these properties. A villa at the water’s edge on the Saint Tropez peninsula inevitably means astronimical prices. They start at 15 million euros, with a large majority ranging from 20 to 30 million euros, prices sometimes three times those posted around the rest of the gulf. This market segment has many funs. But sellers, aware of the rarety of thir properties and rarely in a hurry or obliged to raise cash, maintain their prices. North Europeans, Scandinavians and Russians are particularly fond of theses seafront properties.  in the gulf an Art Deco residence of 800 m2 in grounds of 5,000 m2 for sale at over 15 million euros. The same in Saint Tropez would be worth 40 million euros.


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PRESTIGE AT THE WATER’S EDGE

 

This rare commodity reigns supreme over all other kinds of homes on the Côte d’Azur. “Location, location, location,” say the Anglo-Saxons ! What setting could possibly be more enchanting than the Mediterranean shore, a cape basking in the sun, a wild cove or a smooth sandy beach ?

Specializing in properties at the water’s edge since 1988, Michel Chassagne of Waterfront Property has counted 1,957 of them between Menton and Saint-Tropez, ranging from simple fishermen’s huts to sublime private estates. As well as implying direct access to the sea, specific geographic features have further impact on the price. Capes are worth more than a simple coastline, the Alpes-Maritimes are more expensive than the Var, the eastern part of which is more highly valued than the west, a gated and guarded estate is more pricey than an open shoreline, sand costs more than pebbles, a lively setting more than a view of the open sea. The main disadvantages raised by critics of this type of residence consist of exposure to prying eyes and the right of way along the old customs officers’ paths.
“Cap Martin and Cap Ferrat, both benefiting from their closeness to Monaco, but also Cap de Nice and Cap d’Antibes, once adored by the Italians, are now targeted by East Europeans,” says Michel Chassagne. “Clients from countries sharing a border with France are more drawn to the stretch between Cannes and Sainte-Maxime, while Saint-Tropez has always been a magnet for an international clientele.” The contemporary style now wins all the votes. Together with homes that have already been renovated. Following a long period of constantly rising prices from 1998 to 2008, the first international “subprime” crisis brought the trend to an abrupt halt. Since 2008, prices have seen a downside adjustment. In 2012, transactions orchestrated by Waterfront Property ranged from 980,000 € – the sum required for a house of 90 m2 in grounds of 1,000 m2 amidst the Red Rocks of the Estérel – to 5 M € – bringing a residence of 600 m2 in need of a revamp, in a park of 7,000 m2 between Saint-Raphaël and Saint-Tropez. The largest share of the stocks available, much more extensive in the Var than in the Alpes-Maritimes, ranges from 3 to 5 M €. By way of example, one seller is asking 950,000 € for a split-level 2-bedroom apartment of 74 m2 with a private garden of 140 m2 in a small residence at the water’s edge, surrounded by the famous Red Rocks (such seafront residences being even rarer than villas). A property of 450 m2 in need of modernization, with grounds of 1,300 m2 opening out to a creek, is on offer at 2-2.5 M € on a quiet gated estate in Saint-Raphaël. Finally, a contemporary villa of 190 m2 with top-notch appointments in grounds of 2,000 m2 is priced at 4.5 M € between Saint-Raphaël and Sainte-Maxime. The Var coast in fact boasts a few private mansions. Expect to part with 13 to 16 M € to acquire living space of 600 m2 with 6,000 m2 of grounds on the Mediterranean coast. From time to time, the market goes through periods of real sluggishness. Neither buyers nor sellers can make up their minds. More than ever before, real estate obeys the “ location, location, location” rule. And from this point of view, a property right at the water’s edge is a privilege that only 1,957 members of the happy few can enjoy here on the Côte d’Azur.

 


 

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Michel CHASSAGNE, real estate agent is well-informed on the history on these properties, making his own personnal inventory of them, and making them his speciality. His stock-taking shows that from Saint Tropez to Menton, the Riviera currently boasts 1957 seafront properties, ranging from the fisherman’s cabin to the palatial residence offering living space about 2,000 m2.

 


 

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” I’am always amazed when I drive along coast roads, especially those on the Côte d’Azur. ” This remark made in 1988, when Michel Chassagne opened his Waterfront Property agency, is still 20 years later. In the meantime, he and his “righthand man” Sonia Kovac, have visited over half of these 1957 properties between Menton and Saint-Tropez. Tenacity which has won them the immense privilege of offering more than 50 seafront homes for sale.

Between Villefranche-sur-Mer and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Irlandais, Irish, English and American clients with high purchasing power are looking for homes at the water’s edge.All along the coast, Michel Chassagne has also noticed the arrival of French “papy boomers” wanting to retire in the sun.

Just one point remains to be made, and not the least important : regulations concerning the land that separates the villa from the sea which, in fact, justifies all its worth. Generaly speaking, everything situated within three metres from the Mediterranean belongs to the state, ” explains Michel Chassagne.


 

Propriétés de France

– Carnets de visite –

Sous le Dramont : It’s obvious that not everywhere on the French Riviera has the same pretige. Saint-Raphaël is no longer fashionable, but what does it matter. This property is in a world of its own…)

We haven ‘t visited such a high-quality waterfront property for a long time.

… Superficie terrain 18 576 m² sur 350 m de littoral