Télétravail-sur-mer: Remote working pushing up coastal property prices
Remote workers in France are seizing the pandemic-related opportunity to work from a coastal holiday home – and seaside house prices are rocketing as a result.
No longer geographically constrained to a commuting radius from their place of work, many are looking for a second home beside the seaside. An estimated 18% of houses in Morbihan are maisons secondaires, and as you near the department’s coast, that figure rises to as high as 80% of houses, as seen in the village of Arzon. Further to that, a study by property network Meilleurs Agents finds that 17% of French people who do not yet own a second home are considering taking the plunge.
The increased demand for these coastal homes has created a lack of supply and subsequent price hike. Property prices in seaside resorts have risen by 12.3% in 2021, compared to a 4.6% increase the previous year, according to Meilleurs Agents.
Matthieu Cany, director of Sextant Properties, commented: “Our agents have registered a growing interest from buyers who, since the pandemic, have been embracing remote working and only go to the office once or twice a month. Due to this, the requirement to live in close proximity to work has become less of a priority with some city dwellers deciding to move out of the city altogether.”
With demand for rural properties beginning to outstrip supply in some parts of France, property prices have been impacted accordingly.
Mr Cany added: “Buyers need to be prepared to increase their budget in order to secure the home they wish to buy. This is particularly the case for popular seaside locations such as Honfleur and Le Touquet, where, even under normal circumstance, buyers face a competitive property market that requires them to act fast.”
In Honfleur, Calvados, prices have risen by over 20%, and an apartment with a sea view in Le Touquet, Pas-de-Calais, now averages €13,000/m2.
In November, protesters gathered in Brittany and also in Bayonne at the southern tip of the French Atlantic coast, calling for tighter regulations on second-home ownership. Parisians make up 9% of buyers in the Brittany region, with the proportion growing to over 30% when focusing solely on the Breton coast. The concept of the ‘semi-main residence’ is gaining traction across France, with 40% of home workers planning to spend half of the year in their second home. They are hoping for a better quality of life outside the city as well as more space, fresh air and reduced stress. Living by the coast has been linked to better mental health as well as higher levels of oxygen improving physical health and quality of sleep.
From the slog of commuting and lack of outdoor space in the city, to the fresh sea air and expansive beaches of Brittany and Normandy, it’s not difficult to see the pull of the sea.
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