ASK THE AGENT

No one knows the area like a lo­cal es­tate agent. We asked Hans Huy­gens, of Agence Bird, for the in­side track on Var

Living France - - Contents -

A prop­erty ex­pert cov­er­ing Var talks shop

What’s the cheap­est prop­erty you have on your books right now?

We have about 400 prop­er­ties on our books, but the cheap­est one we have in our area is a stu­dio lo­cated in a typ­i­cal old town house for €120,000.

How much would you ex­pect to pay for:

a de­tached prop­erty with land in good con­di­tion? This is a very dif­fi­cult ques­tion since price lev­els will de­pend on where the prop­erty is lo­cated. Prices will vary from about €500,000 up to a cou­ple of mil­lion near the coastal ar­eas and even more for those with mag­nif­i­cent sea views.

a three-bed­room town­house? If you’re look­ing for a three-bed­room town house with a gar­den, prices start from about €350,000, depend­ing on the con­di­tion of the prop­erty.

a ren­o­va­tion op­por­tu­nity? The amount you’d ex­pect to pay de­pends on the size of the prop­erty and the amount of land. We cur­rently have a small house to re­store, close to the beach and with a splen­did sea view, for €890,000. Its lo­ca­tion is ex­cep­tional and is a real op­por­tu­nity.

Is there a typ­i­cal ar­chi­tec­ture or style in Var?

We are lo­cated in the mid­dle of the Provence, so the Provençal style is the most fre­quently seen. How­ever, over the last cou­ple of years we have seen a trend of very mod­ern new vil­las be­ing built.

Why do Bri­tish peo­ple buy houses in Var?

Since we are based in the gulf of SaintTropez, I should say it is fairly ob­vi­ous! We have the best and the most renowned beaches of the Mediter­ranean and easy ac­cess via the in­ter­na­tional air­ports of Nice, Toulon and Mar­seille. Sta­tis­ti­cally we have more than 310 days of sun­shine per year. Our area is blessed with good shop­ping pos­si­bil­i­ties, great restau­rants, bars, golf cour­ses, great land­scapes, white sandy beaches… and much more!

What are your pre­dic­tions for the prop­erty mar­ket in Var?

The pound/euro ex­change rate is a bless­ing for all those who wish to buy prop­erty, es­pe­cially as we are now at the bot­tom of the real es­tate mar­ket. It is not the cheap­est area but it of­fers a cer­tain value for money, and over the long run is one of the best in­vest­ments you can make.

What are the re­gional spe­cial­i­ties?

Rosé! The rosé wine is def­i­nitely the lo­cal spe­cial­ity. You will find nu­mer­ous winechâteaux ev­ery­where. And, of course, the lo­cal mar­kets where lo­cal peo­ple dis­play and sell their home­made good­ies.

De­scribe Var in five words.

The best in the world!

What’s your favourite cor­ner of Var?

I love my lit­tle town of Sainte-Maxime. It is ideally lo­cated in the gulf of Saint-Tropez and is only 10 min­utes from Saint-Tropez via the boat shut­tle ser­vice and about 50 min­utes from Nice air­port. We have all the ameni­ties – shops, restau­rants and much more, to hand – and it is a place that is lived in year-round. I like noth­ing more than sit­ting in my favourite beach res­tau­rant over­look­ing the white beaches and the blue sea while hav­ing a meal. www.agence­bird.co.uk

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