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Inside the Market / Big Deals

Property Auctions in France: Picasso’s Last Home and a Bargain Haussmannian Hotel

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Property auctions in France are a great way to snap up unused or decrepit properties for a bargain price. A recent deal saw a 19th-century 175-bed luxury hotel go for only €19,000, while Picasso’s last home is also to be put up for sale. 

Recent activity in property auctions in France has demonstrated the variety of deals that can be sought. Whether it’s snapping up the home of the world’s most famous painter or striking a bargain on a potentially lucrative property that has sat unused for years, the opportunities are diverse.

Picasso’s last home, Mougins

His abode from 1961 until his death in 1973, this 800-m2 villa is going to auction in the Grasse commune’s tribunal for property auctions. An hour north of Cannes and on the edge of the Prealps d’Azur National Park, it is an eye-watering offer, covering two hectares and containing a pool, tennis court, multiple buildings for guests and house staff.

It also right by a famous chapel called the Mas de Notre-Dame de Vie (pictured above). Such a stunning location, features and history combine to give a worthy starting price: 15 million euros. Some are saying this could even be surpassed during bidding, the Cote d’Azur boasting some of the world’s most expensive properties. Last year, a villa on the prestigious Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula (near Nice) was put up for sale for 1.1 billion euros.

Hotel des Princes, Bearn

Abandoned since 1975, this 175-bedroom hotel lies in the Pyrenean commune of Bearn. Built in 1860, it was frequented by none other than Eugenie of Montijo, the wife of Napoleon III and the last countess of France.

It was bought in 2003 for 1.3 million euros by a property developer, but the project to renovate it fell through after bankruptcy resulted in jail sentences and €500,000 in damages to the commune authorities. With no one picking up the mantle since then, it recently went for only €19,000 euros at the Paris property auctions.

However, the SCI fund behind the deal – whose members have chosen to remain unknown – will have to fork out over 20 million euros in order to make the property habitable and abide by modern property regulations. But once done, a luxury hotel with a story to tell will be the reward.

image © Wikicommons

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