This Paris Life

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Aix en Provence real estate market remains stable, but not homogenous

Despite a slight recovery in its real estate market’s activity, gaps between geographic areas are widening in Aix en Provence. While property in the city center continues to attract buyers, larger villas on the outskirts are increasingly difficult to sell.

With over 140,000 inhabitants, the former capital of Provence is now France’s 23rd largest city. The Marseille-Aix-en-Provence integrated urban area is the third largest in France. However, these credentials have not helped the real estate market attract new buyers in certain areas of the city.

Without ever flourishing, the Aixois property market has remained generally stable these last few years. A slight increase in sales occurred last year, rising “from 550 to 650 signatures” notes Jean-Sébastien Duracher, in charge of communications for the chamber of notaires in the Bouches-du-Rhône region.

However, some areas are faring better than others. Prices remain at high levels in the city center, where they increased by 5% to cost 3,800 euros per square meter. Despite high prices, small surface apartments and studios in this area are in high demand, chiefly bought by investors renting to the 35,000 students the city attracts each year.

Conversely, houses and large apartments are selling with more difficulty. According to professionals, several owners are choosing to postpone selling their property rather than lowering their asking price. This trend has the effect of drying up the market and maintains prices at “artificially high” levels, according to Béatrice Liabaud of the Immobilière Aix-Opera real estate agency.

The Mirabeau district for one — lying slightly south of the city center — exhibitits an average price per square meter hovering between 6,300 and 6,600 euros.

But prices and market performance aren’t homogenous in all areas of Aix en Provence. Real estate is mostly struggling in the city’s northern areas with prices for apartments having fallen by 5%, now standing at a little under 3,000 euros per square meter. In older homes surrounded by greenery in the city’s periphery, large apartments are priced at 2,700€/m2.

Consequently this may be good news for buyers hunting for property in the South of France, as there are some bargains to be had in this particular southern French city. Aix en Provence offers some interesting purchasing opportunities and favorable price cuts, especially for houses and villas in its immediate surroundings where sellers are increasingly compelled to lower their asking prices.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons / Patrick Giraud 

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