The lights are on and the Nice Christmas Village is open!

Its Christmas time in Nice and the festivities are underway as the Christmas Village in Place Massena is now open featuring many attractions and activities until the 2nd of January.

This year the “Noel à Nice” offers attractions like the Big Ferris Wheel and other children’s attractions, Christmas Tree Forest, Artisan Craft Chalets, Ice Skating, Pictures with Santa on his Sleigh, shows and music performances, and lets not forget the Oyster and Champagne Bar!!

Throught the city of Nice different activities will take place such as christmas parades by the local schools, collection for Letters to Santa with 5 drop off locations on the Promenade des Anglais and what about those beautiful Christmas lights and decorations throughout the city especially in the Place Massena!

With so much cheer and festivities, “Noel a Nice” is sure to bring you memorable holiday season. Happy Holidays and an even better 2013 New Year!

For the schedule of holiday events and activities, please visit the Nice Tourism website: http://en.nicetourisme.com/.

The Old Time Charm of Nice Port

A Port with a new Visage

As you walk from the Quai des Etats Unis around the point into the port of Nice, also known as Lympia port from when the work on the port first began in 1745, you just can’t help but feel that lively notion of the past when Nice used to be a small fishing village.  Whether you are taking a morning jog, or an afternoon leisure walk, the spirit of this area still lingers in the air.

Although the times have changed since the days of the local fisherman bringing in their daily catch, (which is now around 10 fisherman), polished streamlined yachts and leisure boats now fill the harbor along with the daily ferries to and from Corsica. There are two ferry terminals in the port and can accomodate  ships of 180 meters long (a bit larger than the size of a football field). However, you will still find those small and colorful small sailboats that gives the port its authentic charm and they make for great sightseeing photo opportunities.

In the last few years, the port has also received a “make-over” expanding the pedestrian and cycling lanes.  The investment made by the City of Nice and the Conseil General came at 180 million euro price tag and provides locals and tourists alike with a larger, safer and more pleasant area to walk and enjoy the vivid scenery of the port.

Surrounding the port are the picturesque colorful facades of the Nicois style apartment buildings with many busy al fresco cafes and pubs down below.  It is a great place to have a seafood lunch or to simply enjoy a beer in the sun with your friends.

Realistic Motivations to Buy Property in the French Riviera

Villefranche sur Mer panoramic view
Let the truth be told…the effects of global warming are clearly evident now.

As the world recently watched in horror and disbelief the fierceless destruction of Hurricane Sandy as it tore through the eastern seabord of the United States, the effects of global warming can no longer be ignored. It is the unfortunate reality we face globally and one that will affect future decisions we make.

When it comes to real estate, weather is a realistic motivation.  Whether (no pun intended) you are considering buying a vacation property or primary residence abroad such as  the Carribean, Tahiti, or any other destination, considerations with the changing global climate should be included in the decision making process of your real estate investment.

Factors like frequency of storms or hurricanes and harsh seasonal weather are things that will eventually affect your real estate investment.  Obviously, a property located in a place that undergoes frequent harsh seasonal weather would probably require more repairs and conditioning (new paint, wood treatments, mold, etc).  It is not to say that you shouldn’t buy real estate in tropical places, rather it is more about taking a step back to further consider where you purchase and what your purchase.  A dream house on the beach in one place might be more vulnerable than somewhere else, or perhaps a condo might be less maintenance than a house in a tropical climate.

There are many wonderful places to live or vacation in the world, however we just need to be a little more savvy these days.

Sunshine 300 days a year

The French Riviera has always been known for its year long pleasant and weather.  It is one of the reasons throughout its history of why so many people were drawn here. A true Mediterranean climate with dry, hot summers and mild winters, sunshine averaging 300 days a year and 4 distinct seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter to enjoy.

Temperatures in the hot season from June-September average above 24˚C(75.2˚F) and in the cold season average below 15˚C (59˚F), which makes for perfect skiing weather. www.weatherspark.com

The French Riviera does experience the strong cold winds of the Mistral which tends to be the strongest in winter and sometimes in spring and can get up to 100km (62miles) in velocity lasting a few days.

In respect to rainfall, moderate precipitation is most common type of rainfall during days with precipitation with thunderstorms more common in the warm season precipitation.

Although the French Riviera is not immune to the effects of global warming, it is definitely a place that has a more stable weather pattern all year long, and that is an added value to any property investment made here.

This week Nice Properties & Riviera Radio talk about St. Jean Cap Ferrats Real Estate

On location in St. Jean Cap Ferrat with Riviera Radio

Known as “The Pearl” of the French Riviera for its picturesque natural beauty, St. Jean Cap Ferrat is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and treasured areas on the French Riviera.

With its scenic peninsula full of beaches, small coves and natural rock formations, St. Jean Cap Ferrat continues to draw in a A-list clientele that have a penchant for the Mediterranean lifestyle either as a vacation destination or a coveted residential address.

This week we were able to get Riviera Radio 106.5FM journalist, Peter McNally, out of the recording studio in Monaco and into the sunshine on the port of St. Jean Cap Ferrat to talk about the real estate property market in this highly exclusive and expensive area.

Propertywise, the real estate market in this area is quite competetive mainly because everybody wants to be here, and who can blame them? With the jet setting beaches such as Plage Paloma and Plage Passable, small coves to explore, the views and great restaurants, who would want to leave? There is nothing like packing up your backpack and heading out on the hiking trail along the peninsula and finding that perfect little spot to enjoy some snacks and a glass of wine with your friends on a sunny afternoon. La joie de vie!

That being said, when apartments become available on the market, they get bought up pretty quickly as they make for solid rental investments especially during the summer season, and is perhaps the least expensive way to have this prime address.

For those interested in the the big ticket estate properties, there some very beautiful and interesting opportunities ranging in size and style and of course price. You can find some exquisite Belle Epoque style villas and gorgeous contemporary villas. An interesting aside here are the current investment opportunities for some of the older homes.

Spotlight : the Carre d’Or in Nice (Riviera Radio)

Carré d'Or

Carré d'OrNew!  Nice Properties Property Report of the Week on Monaco’s Riviera Radio 106.5FM  airs every Thursday and will spotlight a different area on the French Riviera each week.

Reporting on the local real estate market and trends, as well as the best properties available, Juanita Viale from Nice Properties presents an insightful real estate report that also includes information about the area to give you a quick general idea of the different areas along the famous blue Mediterranean coastline.

Each town and city on the French Riviera has its own personality and unique charm, offering its residents various advantages depending on the area. For example, St. Paul de Vence, known for its medieval style splendor and artists appeal, offers its residence a tradition French authentic charm in a cozy setting on the hills with cobblestone homes.  Villefranche, on the otherhand, a sleepy little fishing village nestled in between Nice and St. Jean Cap Ferrat with its picturesque little sailboats in the crystalline blue bay, has been a long time favorite destination of foreign residents.

This week’s Property Report of the Week features the Carre d’Or or Golden Square district in Nice. Noted for its luxury hotels such as the world famous Negresco, Exedra and Palais de Mediterranee, this area offers the best shopping in Nice with A-list global brands.

This highly sought out prime neighborhood in Nice is popular for its accessibilty to everything. A few minutes walking distrance to the beach, the train station, the tram, the shopping and of course all the best restaurants.

Join us today on Monaco’s Riviera Radio 106.5FM and hear about everything that the Carre d’Or has to offer and the types of properties available in this area.  Tune iin next week, as we take you to the red carpet city of Cannes to the famous Croisette.

RUSTIC LUXE: The Best of Both Worlds

A Remodeling Trend Brings Out the True Essence of French Living

One of the latest design trends in the French Riviera property market is the Rustic Luxe type of remodeling for the beautiful vintage Provencal style homes that the French Riviera is known for. A clear advantage of this style of remodeling is that it truly brings out the essence and charm of these Provencal style villas with all the modern luxury comforts to enjoy.

A blend of rustic vintage pieces such as an oversized wooden dining table paired with lush, chocolate brown tufted chairs and a simple white antique water decanter centerpiece filled with fresh white flowers, produces a stylish authentic appeal that is just perfect for these enchanting French villas.

Natural materials such as stone floors and exposed wood beams provide substance and depth to a room while contrasting softly with the other elements in the room such as soft neutral walls, white silk linens and fabrics, or signature furniture pieces. The character of each piece is illuminated and at the same time collectively blends together in a harmonious air that diffuses a warm and cozy ambiance without being cluttered or confusing.

This simplistic design style allows one to take full advantage of all the wonderful pieces that one can find at local antique fairs, farmers markets and shops in the villages along the French Riviera such as St. Paul de Vence, Grasse, Antibes, and Nice. The result is a comfortable living space with unique style that is uncomplicated and fresh and truly personalized.

For someone looking to find that unique French charm in a home, these types of properties are absolutely ideal.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Cimiez, a Historical Place of Enchantment

Rich in art and cultural heritage, Cimiez, the northern hilly suburb in Nice, is still one of the most prized addresses in Nice as it was in the early 1900’s when royalty, the social elite, and celebrities would come to spend their holidays while prominent artists would come to find their inspiration.

Interestingly, Cimiez’s in-vogue appeal dates back even further when it was the capital of the ancient Roman province called Cemenelum until the Lombard invasions. Some of the Roman ruins still exist today and is one of the top attractions in Cimiez where visitors can see the ancient remains of the amphitheatre and the excavated Roman thermal baths, as well as explore the entire history of Cimiez from the Roman period to the Middle Ages at the Archaeological Museum of Nice-Cimiez.

Located between these two historical Roman ruins and set against a nostalgic backdrop of an olive grove, the Matisse Museum is housed in a beautiful and brightly frescoed 17th century style villa and houses the awe-inspiring works of Henry Matisse who actually lived and worked in this villa permanently after falling in love with Cimiez during his winter stints.

The olive groves at the monastery in Cimiez

Apparently the Franciscan Monks also relished a fondness for Cimiez as they built the Cimiez monastery, Monastere Notre Dame de Cimiez, in the 16th century and is located on the eastern end of this same property that houses the ruins and the Matisse Museum. The monastery also features the church Eglise Notre Dame de l’Assomption, the cemetery (where Matisse is buried), a museum that was formerly the convent, and is surrounded by the most exquisite gardens that were originally the monk’s vegetable garden restored in the 1920’s. Inside the church you will find the incredible work of Italian Renaissance artist Ludovico Brea’s Pieta, Crucifiction and Deposition as well as original pieces of art and historical documents dating back to the 15th-18th centuries. It is just amazing to see how the monastery has been a religious epicenter in Cimiez for centuries and continues to draw visitors from all over the world and still offers religious services with a small community of friars that still live there.

Cimiez also boasts the impressive Belle Epoque palace Excelsior Regina Palace built in the late 19th century specifically so that Queen Victoria of England would promise to continue to spend her lengthy French Riviera sejours here where she socialized among the Europes finest artistocracy and took leisurely strolls in the Valrose gardens of the magnificent gothic Valrose Castle nearby. Today, the Regina has been converted to private residences where owners can enjoy living in the grandeur that captured Queen Victoria’s heart.

This captivating vestige of Cimiez’s rich cultural history and art sparked the opening of Chagall’s Biblical Message Museum in 1972 by the artist himself, Marc Chagall, where he houses all of biblical Old Testament inspired works and is among one of the 33 national heritage museums in France. While the ambiance of the museum is neutrally subdued, the art speaks for itself as one is transported to a world of vivid colour and emotion with each step inside.

As one visits Cimiez and walks the paths of its cultural heritage, one cannot help but feel a strong connection with its history, fine art and beauty. This truly magical place in Nice that for centuries has drawn local and foreign people alike to live here, continues today as it one of Nice’s most prized and sought-out neighborhood to live in.

A place of enchantment.

See La Villa Cimiez (new build project in Nice Cimiez).

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Nothing Beats a Prime Location

There is alot to be said about Prime Locations

Nothing beats waking up in the morning and stepping out onto your terrace and seeing the captivating celestial blue waters of the Mediterranean.  A true breath of fresh air.

All along the coast of the French Riviera are some of the best properties with prized prime locations.
One of the most sought out addresses is the Promenade des Anglais, magestically overlooking the azureen waters of the Med, the palm tree lined boulevard, and of course, all the action!

Want to be inspired?  Everyday avid cyclists, joggers, powerwalkers, rollerbladers and runners stream up and down the Promenade donning health and an active lifestyle.  Even in the winter season, you will find the true die hard swimmers taking their morning swim.  It comes as no surprise then that nice is host to numerous cycling races, marathons and triathlons, including the Iron Man Triathlon.

Renovated 3 bedroom apartment for sale in the Promenade

Apartments located on the Promenade des Anglais not only benefit from the spectacular sea view, but also from having the best vacation rental income potential.  The easy access to the beaches, the restaurants, bus lines and all the action right at your doorstep makes for these apartments easy to rent in the high season, and even in the low season as well.

Apartments that have been recently renovated make for smart property choices. It saves you the headache of doing the work of modernizing the apartment and are truly a “plug and play” type of investment.  With key in hand, you are ready to rent the apartment out from the start and immediately start getting a return on your investment or just enjoying it for yourself!

The Nice Properties Promenade Agency specializes in finding apartments along the Promenade des Anglais and will help you find your next investment in a prime location.

To find out more information, please email: promenade@nice-properties.fr or call: +33 (0)4 92 07 09 50 or come by and visit our office located on 2 rue Halevy just behind the Ruhl Casino.

The Golden Economic Question: Which Way is Up?

Economic Question
What do  you get when you combine sovereign debt crisis, major bank scandals, and volatile stock market conditions?  
You get the one question that runs through everyones mind: Which Way is Up?

Perspectives on the precarious global economic climate are relentlessly flooding the news as well as  taking their toll on investor sentiments as reflected in the volatile stock markets fluctuations worldwide. And yes, the bank scandals don’t help either.

However, while the soveregin debt crisis takes center stage with Spain, Italy and Greece bearing the forefront of the blame of the euro’s slide, perhaps a more global perspective with respect to borrowing costs for governments being at an all time low could reveal that the economic woes are more widespread than suspected.

In a recent article by Business Insider, an analysis of 10 year treasury bonds around the world shows that these borrowing costs are at all time lows and suggests that instead of being a sovereign debt crisis as most reported, it is rather a problem of being a “growth-deficient world”.  The article states, “What this essentially means is that there’s a lot of money out there that sees no productive investments in the real world,”.

RISK VS RETURN

Investing during such an ambiguous time might seem too risky for some.  However, for others, such as the Qataris, it is a moment of opportunity, and safe haven investments such as property, can offer a cushion of protection and moreover, a positive return on investment.  Qatar’s Katara Hospitality is currently opting to purchase four luxury hotels in France, including the famous Hotel Martinez in Cannes on the French Riviera.

In a recent report by Wealth-X Research, Ultra High Net Worth investors (UHNW), are not only   looking for these types of stable micromarkets or havens per se, but also taking “lifestyle” into their investment considerations by making these investment destinations such as London, Paris, and New York, their primary residences.

This new trend is good news for places such as the French Riviera where the numbers for foreign attracted investments has remained steady as reported by the Team Cote d’Azur when they presented their attracted investment report for 2011 at the World Investment Conference in La Baule on June 20th-22nd, where their reported findings showed a 53% attracted investment in 2011 as in 2010.

The bottom line: Investing in a good location leads you in the right direction…that is Up!

 

The summer guide to fun on the French Riviera

Summer is here and it is time to have some fun!

Here are some of the French Riviera’s best summer events that you will surely not want to miss!

NICE

The Nice Jazz Festival is one of the biggest jazz festivals on the French Riviera with two different stages: Place Massena and Theatre Verdure.

This dual concert platform allows you to see more artists easily and enjoy an incredible evening of great performances.

[button colour=”accent” type=”outerglow” size=”medium” link=”http://www.nicejazzfestival.fr/Programmation” target=”_blank”]More information[/button]

CANNES

Dance the night away on Cannes chic sandy beaches with different ambiances and incredible DJ’s spinning incredible mixes.

During the summer, there is always a party to be found in Cannes!

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JUAN LES PINS / ANTIBES

Undoubtedly one of the best jazz fetivals on the French Riviera, and is famous for featuring some of best world reknown jazz and blues artists.

The venue in the park couldn’t be more perfect for an evening of great music and fun for everyone.

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CANNES

Time to pull out that salsa dress and shoes and head down to the hottest Salsa party on the French Riviera.

Some of the best Salsa dancing…and dont woryy, if you don’t know how, they will teach you!

Bachata, Merengue, Paso Doble, Salsa, Cumbia and more!

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CAGNES SUR MER

This might be your lucky day to win big at the Cote d’Azur Hippodrome in Cagnes sur Mer!

The brasserie and the fine dining restaurant overlooking the racetrack are great places to watch your picks Win, Place or Show!!

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BEAULIEU SUR MER

The lovely park Jardin de l’Olivier, filled with beautiful olive trees is one of the nicest parks on the French Riviera to have a family picnic during the day, and to enjoy a guitar festival at night.

Across the street from the beach and port, the wonderful sounds of the guitar fill the air along with gentle breezes from the sea. Truly delightful. Pack your picnic blanket, some apero’s and enjoy the spirit of the Cote d’Azur!

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MONTECARLO

Big headliners make find their way to the Monte Carlo stage this year succh as Enrique Iglesias, Duran Duran, George Benson, and Tony Bennet, to name a few.

The Monte Carlo Sporting Summer Festival is just a grand as Monte Carlo itself.

Enjoy all the glitz and glamour and the stars!!

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