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Inside the Market / Market Trends

Annecy’s real estate on the road to recovery

Annecy Le Thiou

After two years of steady decline, the number of property transactions in Annecy is on the rise once again. With prices perched at high levels however, buyers are increasingly turning towards the new build sector.

Prized for its famous lake and proximity to the Alps’ snowy slopes, Annecy’s real estate had nonetheless been almost deserted since 2013. But in early 2015 sales volumes stopped falling and by the spring they were rising notably in many areas of the city. In the center for instance, two and three bedroom apartments are now “selling like hot cakes,” according to one realtor.

The first half of 2015 saw a “50% rise in the number of sales compared to the same period last year,” notes Gérard Col, head of the 2A Immobilier real estate agency.

Sat at the northern tip of Lake Annecy in the Haute-Savoie region in southeastern France, Annecy is a mere 35 km south of Geneva and halfway between Lyon and the Italian border. Benefitting from its stunning mountain and lake views and its prime location a mere thirty minutes drive from Switzerland, Annecy’s property market attracts many border control officers as well as a large number of summer and winter vacationers searching for a second home.

Aside from being a popular holiday resort, Annecy is also home to several big businesses, such as sports equipment manufacturer Salomon and Ubisoft Annecy, a video game developer.

Nonetheless, the Annecy property market’s renewed popularity can’t hide the high level of its prices. Buyers are increasingly turning towards new housing with other property being out of most people’s price range. In the center, homes average out at over 4,000 euros per square meter.

Additionally, in a region where cold weather prevails, energy standards are important to property buyers. Many of them privilege new homes because heating them is often both cheaper and more efficient.

On the outskirts of town, on mountainsides and around the lake, chalets and villas are having a tough time finding buyers. After months of being on the market, their owners have not yet accepted that their prices are set too high. L’Express mentions the case of one 230 m2 villa which finally sold after many months for 100,000 euros less than it had been advertised.

Photo credit: Wikipedia / Pareloup

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