"Brittany’s strong point is the variety of its markets,” notes Gilles Cadoudal, chairman of the developer Céléos. “There is the market for first home buyers and investors fuelled by the economic dynamism of the region’s cities; the market for “return homers” and new immigrants, and finally, the secondary residence market.”
One significant asset is its relatively prudent pricing “compared to regions such as Rhône-Alpes or Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur,” says Gilles Cadoudal. “Today, transactions are down 30 to 40% from those in previous years,” says Jérôme Fraikin, director of l’Agence des Abers in Saint-Briac. “Properties dating back 50 to 70 years are the most common, but are also the least sought after. This makes for an increase in supply and delays that have extended from two to six months on average, due to too many excessive mark-ups.”
The same refrain from Paul Bénéat, director of the Bénéat Chauvel agency in Vannes: “The price of houses with a surface area of 80 to 100 sq. m. located a kilometre or two from the sea has doubled in seven years. As a result, supply is increasing and prices are dropping by about 5 to 10%.” In a large city such as Rennes, the situation is similar: “after a rise of 42 to 45% over five years, there is now a clear drop in business volume and price adjustment,” observes Sylvain Lame, Communications Director of Kermarrec Immobilier. Brittany real estate players tend to welcome this more settled situation. “When the market exploded, it was hard for local working people to find accommodation,” stresses Jérôme Fraikin.
But scarcity is the watchword for the high end of the market. “At La Baule, a development program now being commercialized saw its properties go for €10 - 12,000 the sq. m., the same price as Monaco eight years ago!” says Gilles Cadoudal. To the north, on the much sought-after Emerald Coast, “old houses with a view or with outstanding features are in high demand and selling very quickly,” says Jérôme Fraikin. “Beautiful old town houses with 4 to 5 rooms and 500 sq. m. of land are being snapped up at between €600,000 and 700,000.”
While Saint-Briac remains the jewel in the crown, Saint-Lunaire and Dinard are close contenders.Trailing them and ahead of Lancieux or Cancale comes Saint- Malo - more urban and now equipped with a TGV train station, boasting very highly rated enclaves such as Paramet and Rothéneuf. “A beautiful house overlooking the sea on the Sillon doesn’t even go on the market for less than €1.5 million,” says Jérôme Fraikin.
Demand and supply
On the southern coast, the few extra degrees of warmth mean a difference of “€200 per sq. m. for classic properties, and from €2,000 to 3,000 for the luxury market,” says Gilles Cadoudal. “Demand is outpacing supply for outstanding properties with a view and direct access to the beach,” says Paul Bénéat. Again, you’ll need at least “a million euros for a 120 to 150 sq. m surface area house with a sea view and 2,000 sq. m. of land,” but plan for even higher prices in the most highly prized locations such as Port-Navalo, Arradon, Larmor-Plage, La Baule and La Trinité-sur-Mer. Just one or two kilometres back from the beach and for “more typical products of around 100 sq. m." prices fall noticeably to the "€250,000 to 300,000" range.