Property series: Buying in Menton
The key is to be by the sea
But these aren't particularly more popular with potential buyers. For an upper floor apartment of a modern residential building with sea view and in good condition, you can expect to pay around 10,000 euros per sqm.
Across the road there are bistros and brasseries all along the sea front; just behind you Menton town centre. Only one residence has its own pool - the Victoria Palace - but with the Baie du Soleil on your doorstep, who cares?
Stroll east past the market, les Halles Municipales, at the foot of old Menton, past the new Jean Cocteau Museum and you'll reach our second destination, the Porte de France which lies between the old port and the new, Garavan. "Construction is generally more recent here," says Raccosta.
"We must have just one turn-of-the-century ancien palace." If you prefer the old to the new it, too, is called the Porte de France. If you don't, the most recent residence, opposite Garavan port, was delivered in 2010. The Hanbury Palace is named after Englishman Thomas Hanbury who in 1867 created his garden for the acclimatisation of plants from all over the world on the nearby Cap de la Mortola just over the border.
The Porte de France is slightly excentré which is only partly reflected in prices. "We might be 8,000 to 9,000 euros per square metre, voilà, it'll be just a little less expensive because you're a little further from the centre par contre you've still got a view, you're still face mer." The area is less developed than the Promenade du Soleil with fewer sea front restaurants. "It's more avenue and less sea front." Most apartments, according to Raccosta, are second homes and the demand for seasonal lets is high. He quotes the example of a small top floor studio at Garavan - 20 sqm, terrace and sea view for 600 euros per week. However, return on investment for long-term rentals is less lucrative than further inland. You can find apartments requiring renovation but don't expect to get them on the cheap. "Les prix ne sont pas spécialement bradés."
Buyers include the wealthy (for how much longer?) French who want to retire to Menton, the Italians, of course, and buyers from northern Europe, although since la crise the British have been sellers rather than purchasers, sccording to Raccosta.
The good news is these sea front properties hold their value. "We haven't seen a drop in price yet." This particular market remains firm with fewer fluctuations, so if you want to make money in Menton, bord de mer is the place to be.