Property in Menton, a town of art and history

Property in Menton, a town of art and history

Menton, in 1991 awarded for its unique symphony of medieval and baroque architecture, the city, located next door to Italy, became the cornerstone of the international popularity of the Alpes Maritimes. Connoisseurs love the sea and sub-tropical climate, "The Pearl of France," as it's called by the geographer Elisée Reclus.

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The city, founded by tourists

In the beginning of XIX century holidaymakers from northern Europe in winter flooding the south of France, settled at Cape Cap-Martin. There they built magnificent villas with gardens of tropical trees. The microclimate of the region and the generous investments of the owners have managed to make a very special place of Menton. 

In the 1930s, local people gathered around the Saint-Michel basilica, which is currently located in the old part of Menton. Lemons and olives grow in the hills and valleys around the town. The boom in tourism has led to the development of hotels and construction, the expansion of the city in the valley. Construction on the beach was so active that there is no longer strictly defined boundary between Menton and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin now.

Menton is located just 13 km from Monaco and, no doubt, feeling the positive impact of the principality. The city has a population of 29,200 residents enjoys an exceptionally high standard of living, and foreign tourists love it for its authentic architecture, sandy beaches of Garavan, Les Sablettes, Fossan, Casino, Borrigo, Bastion and the lush gardens of Serre de la Madone, Maria Serena, Fontana Rosa, Les Colombières.

Aesthetic pleasure of the location between the sea and the mountains complemented by an elegant striped old narrow streets with baroque squares, such as La Conception, hotels and grand villas. This feature is very well represented in the residential area of Garavan. Menton has preserved traces of architectural plans, which were created by Tony Garnier and Hans-Georg Tersling. By far, the most profound recognition is due to Dr. James Henry Bennett, which in the XIX century, decided to turn this town into a health resort. In addition, Menton is the center of entertainment: To date, the Barrière casino brings the city a substantial income.

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Everyone is looking for himself or even better

"The real estate market in Menton revolves around two main sectors: the primary sector and the holiday homes," says Sébastien Kokot of the company K&G Properties International, related to Optimal group. "The representatives of the working class are choosing the valley, where an average price range is decreasing," says the realtor.

Rich buyers are attracted to such areas as Garavan, La Madone, Le Hameau du Cap-Martin, and the working population wants to live as close to shops, schools, service centers and highways as possible.

Those who come to the city for a time, choose the coast, the historic center of the city or the quieter areas like Garavan. In addition, they are looking for old or new apartments in good condition, as well as villas, which typically cost between one and two million euros. This amount is necessary for the villa, the living area of which is 150-200 sq.m and the plot is not less than 1000 sq.m.

Downtown flaunts his close location to the beaches and shops, although parking can be a real headache. The waterfront and Garavan area adjacent to the border with Italy, are considered calm and safe, with these places offer beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea. These factors explain the high prices and lack of available apartments. Val du Careï district is in close proximity to the motorway and pleases with quite reasonable prices. In the Val du Borrigo many new buildings are surrounded by greenery. Unfortunately, the two areas are quite noisy.

Val de Gorbio is a peaceful place where residences are located at some distance from each other. The only drawback is the state of the narrow, winding road. Here are the prices for apartments can vary by as much as 200%, depending on the area.

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Discreet charm of luxury

In the valleys the real estate prices range from €3,000 to €5,000 per square meter, while in the center of the city - from €4,000 to €5,000. In the area of Garavan the prices range from €5,000 to €7,500, as well as from €6,000 to €9,000 for the apartments by the sea. Prices for villas start at €1 million, but the view of the sea at once increases the cost by 25%.

Private apartments with terraces, swimming pools and garages are a great success, as well as the beautiful old apartment buildings. View of the sea is always the first requirement, and then the proximity to beaches and shopping. Italian buyers are not so active now than before, but they often focus on the prestigious property. Clients from Russia and the UK are also showing the interest in Menton.

The price for nice apartments, built in the early XX century, with sea views, ranges from €6,000 to €7,000 per square meter. If the apartment is located far from the sea, it will cost about €5,000 per square meter. Modern residence by the sea range in price from €7,000 to €10,000 per square meter, depending on the condition of both the apartment and the building. 

Market is oriented mostly on home and periodically demonstrates trends to reassess residences by their owners. Recently, the company K&G International Properties held for sale a house of 160 sq.m in good condition, with a garden area of 600 sq.m and a swimming pool, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, not far from Les Serres de la Madone. The mansion was sold for €870,000, although for months its asking price was €1.15 million.

This situation leads to the fact that the agencys are long unable to sell items and are even forced to reduce their cost. At the moment, for example, a house of 170 sq.m with a plot of 5000 sq.m and a swimming pool is for sale for just €1.25 million.

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What is well for a rich, is costly for a poor

Thiphaine Eon of Tiphaine Immobilier states a strong demand from the local population on the one-and two-bedroom apartments priced from €250,000 to €350,000. For example, an attractive two-bedroom apartment in Vallée du Borrigo with area of 65 sq.m, with a terrace of 21 sq.m on the 5th floor and the garage is worth €350,000. Meanwhile, 4-room apartment on the ground floor in the same area of 80 sq.m, with a terrace of 20 sq.m and parking costs €285,000.

In such circumstances, the owners that are really interested in selling begin to cut prices. Investors are showing interest in long-term investments. Worried about the fragility of the eurozone they invest from €100,000 to €150,000 in the property, which is still considered a safe investment.

Currently the facilities like Villa Palméro are under construction in the city center. It includes about thirty prestigious apartments with a sea view which cost €5,000 per square meter. There are some other buildings under construction such as La Fleur de Mai, La Rosée, Le Parc Emeraude, La Villa Mélanie and La Villa Impériale.

Retirees from northern France, having the €300,000 - €350,000 budget, can not resist the charm of Menton, but are quickly disappointed when confronted with the real prices. There is always a gap between the expectations and the realities of the market.

One retired recently paid €1.1 million for the apartments on the top floor in one of the best old houses in Menton residential area of 85 sq.m, with a terrace of 60 sq.m and a great view of the sea. And this even though the original price was about €1.5 million. Delightful sea view is certainly not bad, but not enough to justify such a furious prices.

Fact. The city of Menton (It. Mentone) is the last French town before the Italian border. On the other side of the border it is called Ventimiglia. Menton  is called the capital of the lemons. It has a very mild climate, by which the city has numerous parks and gardens.

Text: Ivan Ulitin,

Prepared according to the magazine Maisons & Appartements (France)