From the Cap to Juan-Les-Pins: a buyer’s guide

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Internatio­nal -

With the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val in full swing Liz Rowl­in­son re­views the Rivieria’s vil­las

Sur­vey­ing the su­pery­achts and speed­boats glid­ing across the gulf of Juan­les-Pins from one of the mul­ti­mil­lion-pound vil­las on Cap d’An­tibes, it’s hard not to feel like a char­ac­ter in The Great Gatsby. It may be Cannes and the Es­to­ril moun­tains that can be glimpsed from this gilded sum­mer play­ground – and not the Long Is­land Sound of the 1926 novel – but it is from such a villa on the Cap that F Scott Fitzger­ald wrote his best­selling novel af­ter a sea­son spent in the “hot, sweet south of France”.

The Roar­ing Twen­ties was a golden era for the Cap. In Fitzger­ald’s words it was where “the whole world de­scends to for­get or re­joice, to hide its face or have its fling”. Fast­for­ward to 2016 and a con­stel­la­tion of Hol­ly­wood stars have just de­scended on the iconic Eden Roc for the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val (May 1122) or to one of the pied de l’eau (wa­ter­front) prop­er­ties nearby that can cost €100,000 (£79,000) a month to rent.

The lus­tre of a home on this promon­tory that hangs like an an­chor in the Med be­tween Nice and Cannes has not faded over the decades. Nar­row roads wind be­tween um­brella pines, cy­presses and the high-walled do­mains of 2,000-odd prop­er­ties.

Much less dense than the towns of An­tibes and Juan-les-Pins from which it juts, this pro­tected area of for­mer rose farms of­fers its res­i­dents pri­vacy and tran­quil­lity. This, com­bined with easy ac­cess to both Nice air­port (8½ miles away) and the bright lights of Cannes, have com­bined to make Cap d’An­tibes one of the two most sought-af­ter ad­dresses on the French Riviera, along with StJean-Cap-Fer­rat, which is fur­ther along the coast be­tween Nice and Monaco. En­try level for a home on Cap d’An­tibes is around €2.3 mil­lion (£1.8m), which will get you a three­bed­room Six­ties home, ac­cord­ing to Olivier Maugery-Pons of agent Sav­ills. “On the east side of the Cap where there are smaller houses, the typ­i­cal price range is €3.5m-€7m (£2.75m£5.5m),” he says.

“For the sun­nier west side, the av­er­age price is €10m-€12m (£7.9m£9.5m). And prices triple in the most pres­ti­gious of all, Bil­lion­aires’ Bay – also known as l’Anse de l’Ar­gent Faux (‘bay of false money’) – in the south.” A prop­erty sold there for €180m (£142m) in 2006 and you will also find the es­tates of the Rus­sian oli­garchs Ro­man Abramovich, Suleiman Ke­r­i­mov and An­drey Mel­nichenko.

Abramovich has ren­o­vated the clas­si­cal Château de la Croë that was leased by the Duke and Duchess of Wind­sor in the For­ties af­ter buy­ing the three neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties. Next door, the glitzy annual par­ties of the “Rus­sian Great Gatsby” Ke­r­i­mov have fea­tured the singer Bey­oncé, while Mel­nichenko’s home wed­ding is re­ported to have cost £20m. Other neigh­bours are the Heineken fam­ily and the Warner brothers.

The lat­est Rus­sian buy­ers have lower bud­gets, and prices have dropped 30 per cent from the mar­ket peak, ac­cord­ing to Knight Frank. “Agents might tell you less, but this is the dif­fer­ence be­tween prices be­ing asked and achieved,” says Mark Har­vey of Knight Frank, who adds that the av­er­age value of half-a-dozen sales in the past three years on Cap d’An­tibes has been €7m (£5.525m).

Alexan­dra Con­nolly, a prop­erty con­sul­tant (alexan­dra-lloyd.com), re­ports that your money goes 30 per cent fur­ther on Cap d’An­tibes than St-Jean-Cap-Fer­rat, but that is not the only rea­son to seek one over the other. “The sur­round­ing area is also the big dis­tinc­tion, with buy­ers pre­fer­ring Fer­rat to be close to Monaco, for net­work­ing, or An­tibes and Cannes for its younger party scene,” she says. “You’d be shocked at how lit­tle you get for €10m on Cap Fer­rat.” Quite.

And for those of us with a mere €1m

Best for af­ford­abil­ity: the view, main, and liv­ing room, above, of the new com­plex the Parc de Cap, from €599,950 through Sav­ills (020 7016 5034; sav­ills.com)

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