The super-chic Villa L'Amour by Armani/Casa in St Tropez was raised up to provide some spectacular sea views, says Francesca Steele...
In St Tropez, the summer season has been a success despite the wider economic gloom muttered in conversations on the terraces. The white sand beaches have been shimmering, the bars have been full, Leonardo DiCaprio, Elton John and a constellation of Instagramable celebrities have been partying on yachts.
The once humble village of St Tropez is today the jewel on the French Riviera. It is more expensive per square metre than anywhere else on this famous stretch of coast, in part because it is a micro-market, where planning is difficult to obtain and large houses hard to come by.
But for the discerning property buyer, change has been afoot and there are bargains to be found. Elodie Marchi, of Savills’ French Riviera office, says that while last year there were a lot of viewings for properties around €10-€15 million, now people are more interested in the €2-€3 million market. For between €2 and €5 million you can find a small house or large flat in the old town with three to four bedrooms. For a sea view and a decent-sized garden you’d have to look at €10 million-plus.
“The market has slowed but having said that, I don’t think prices can drop further because the market is small,” says Marchi. “St Tropez isn’t an investment market; it’s a lifestyle one, which keeps it afloat even in tough times. Even during the credit crunch people forced to sell didn’t lose money on their initial purchase.”