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
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