What impact has the confinement had on the luxury real estate market and on the activity of the Magrey & Sons agency?
Despite some initial fears about the effects of the health crisis caused by COVID-19, the quarantining of almost the entire world and the closure of borders, Magrey & Sons has been able to observe, not a maintenance but a notable increase in demand.
From the very beginning of the spread, a real debate has developed on the evolution of real estate market prices: are they going to fall, stay the same or explode? From our point of view, and given the large number of requests, both for the lease and the transaction, the Magrey & Sons agency has not, for the moment, experienced any variation in its prices. In fact, due to areas of uncertainty regarding the opening of hotels and restrictions on international traffic, rental requests have risen sharply. Of course, in this exceptional period, which may lead to unforeseen events, the Magrey & Sons group has decided to adjust the clauses of its rental contracts. Indeed, faced with the confinement, and thus the instability of the country's economic activity, the agency was keen to protect and reassure its tenants. As a result, Magrey & Sons undertook to sequester any funds paid by its clients, thus giving them the possibility of cancelling their rentals and receiving a full refund in the event of an extension of the confinement.
During this unpredictable period, all Magrey & Sons employees remained at the disposal of its customers and were able to meet all their expectations. Thus, despite the organizational difficulties caused by the virus, the agency was able to adapt and implement specific techniques in order to overcome these unprecedented conditions and optimize communication with its clients but also the visibility of its properties (virtual tours, videos, video-conferencing visits...). In addition, brand new forms of internal communication have been created, respecting the confinement and social distancing, for a good team organization and constructive brainstorming. Thus, new contracts could be signed and happy future owners fulfilled. It is true that everyone's daily life was impacted by the government's decision to confine the population. The majority of the world's population, under house arrest, was forced to adapt and to organize their time, their activities and thus their daily lives differently. As a result, many homes have had the opportunity to devote more time to finding the property of their dreams, but also, and above all, to try to find the ideal villa for their next vacation. Moreover, such conditions limiting everyone's freedom, certainly for the good of all, have inevitably made people want to escape...
What are the consequences of this confinement in the medium to long term and what are your forecasts for the coming months?
As announced on May 7, just a few days before the official date of deconfinement, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region went into a green zone. This decision, indicating a lesser presence of the virus, has made it possible to organize a broader deconfinement allowing the opening of parks and gardens, small museums, certain natural sites and, above all, a faster reopening of beaches. Indeed, Indeed, on May 16, the prefects of the Var and Alpes-Maritimes authorized many beaches in the region to open. In the Alpes-Maritimes, the beaches of Cannes, Vallauris-Golfe-Juan, Mandelieu, Théoule-sur-Mer, Antibes and Cagnes-sur-Mer were once again able to welcome the public. In the Var, the beaches of Sainte-Maxime, Port Grimaud, Cogolin, Saint-Tropez, Ramatuelle or La Croix Valmer were able to start to come back to life. Following the signing of these decrees authorizing the reopening of the coasts, the Côte d'Azur is now regaining possession of its coasts.
All of these authorizations in no way preclude the implementation and mandatory application of safety regulations for all. Initially, prior to the deconfinement, the streets and shops have been completely disinfected, many masks have been made available to the population and protective devices have been made mandatory. These hygiene standards were thus adopted by all citizens and, above all, by all shopkeepers authorized to open their doors again. The Magrey & Sons agency thus ensures absolute protection for all its employees and clients, with regular disinfection of the premises, wearing of masks, physical distancing and provision of hydro-alcoholic gel. Visits to the properties were resumed in optimal safety conditions with a limited number of people and the provision, for its clients, of a kit including a disposable protective mask and latex gloves.
From a European point of view, despite the restrictions on the movement of persons at the external borders of the area, this is not a total closure of the borders but a temporary re-establishment of controls which has often been used by States. The European Commission has therefore launched an initiative to ensure that the lifting of these restrictions is carried out in a coordinated manner and in the short term. Thus, the resumption of flights within the Schengen area is currently under discussion and should take place soon.
This health crisis, and thus containment, has played a major role in the new trends and interest in high-end real estate. Indeed, this exceptional period is not without consequences and a real revival of interest in investing in stone has been observed, in contrast to securities such as the stock market, which is much more volatile. Real estate appears all the more as the safe haven value par excellence.
Also, a modification of the search criteria could be analyzed: wider living spaces, more rooms (each with its own space), essential exteriors (garden, terrace...), bright rooms... Moreover, a real movement is currently taking shape: an influx of customers, coming from the major European cities, wish to make an acquisition on the French Riviera for many reasons. Indeed, they are looking for cities on a human scale but with an international influence, such as Saint-Tropez, Cannes or Cap d'Antibes, close to an international airport. Also, the climate has become an essential criterion and buyers wish to elect residence in the heart of sunny destinations more than 300 days a year. Finally, they are looking for an investment in top-of-the-range, safe and low-volatility real estate, whose value is very little subject to negative fluctuations and thus, to decline.
The opinion of our experts: the next sold properties