Press release – New real estate trend: when the main residence becomes a second home

Publish the 10 May 2023 in Latest News

Since the health crisis and the rise of telecommuting, second homes are attracting more and more French people. A trend confirmed by the Mercure Forbes Global Properties group, which also notes new uses. While second homes have long been confined to vacations and long weekends, more and more owners are deciding to devote more time to them, or even to transform them into semi-main residences.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been strong demand from buyers looking to get away from the city and urban life by buying a second home in the countryside or more remote areas. Mercure Forbes Global Properties notes an upward trend, with 22% of compromises signed in the first quarter of 2023 versus 2022. One of the reasons for this growing interest lies in the porosity between the main home and the second home.

Indeed, the number of second homes in rural areas and small towns has increased significantly, due to growing interest in more sustainable lifestyles and telecommuting opportunities. The second-home market in France is significant and remains focused on certain regions and towns that attract buyers for their geographical, architectural and accessibility characteristics.

Olivier de Chabot, the Group’s Director, explains: “Historically popular destinations such as the Côte d’Azur, Provence, Normandy and the Grand Ouest continue to exert their appeal and maintain their prices, with a ripple effect on neighboring regions such as Languedoc, Centre Val de Loire and along the Cher. At the same time, some lesser-known regions remain particularly affordable, even though they offer excellent opportunities for second homes, such as the Hauts de France, the Marne Valley, the Drôme Provencale and the Haute Saône, with their high-quality architectural heritage”.

Across the region, second-home prices are holding up well in the fine property segment, while those requiring work are tending to fall slightly due to the unavailability of contractors and the rising cost of raw materials. The market for top-quality second homes in France also offers a wealth of opportunities for investors and buyers, with some very fine properties available that boast attractive features.

New trends

In terms of new habits, the group notes that some new buyers have even chosen to move into their second homes on a year-round basis. And this year, Mercure Forbes Global Properties has observed a new trend: the purchase of a second home in Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Nantes or Toulouse, in the heart of the city. Whereas 4 years ago, families were looking for surface area, exterior and functionality to live in all year round, today they want an apartment with character, ideally located in the city, with no need for an exterior, to establish a regular pied-à-terre, particularly for work.

About Mercure Forbes Global Properties

Specialists and true experts, the Mercure Forbes Global Properties group has been presenting the most comprehensive selection of French real estate since 1936. From charming houses and castles to country estates, urban and contemporary real estate, the Mercure Forbes Global Properties group offers over 1,000 character properties for sale and rent throughout France. With 20 locations throughout France and an international team, the group is committed to Properties of Excellence, meeting the demands of high-end French and foreign customers.

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