Press Release No.10 - 20th December 2012 - Summary of 2012
2012 saw the strongest rental market in Cannes since the start of the Credit Crunch. Conferences were better attended this year than the previous 4 years in Cannes with bookings for the bigger conferences coming as much as one full year in advance. Summer bookings in contrast came late on - it does feel that consumers across Europe are still feeling the effects of the widespread austerity measures and remain reluctant to spend where possible. That said, the poor weather across much of Northern Europe this summer did provide a swathe of late summer rentals. Apartment rentals do fare better than hotels in such economically challenging times, offering a significantly cheaper holiday for families or groups - even in peak season the room rate per night of a 3 bedroom apartment can be as low as €71 per night which compares extremely favourably against hotel room prices for similar periods. Early indications for 2013 are that the conference market remains extremely strong. In stark contrast to recent years where clients could not confirm bookings until the new year when budgets were set, we now have clients booking conferences before year end when prime rentals are still available. One thing is for sure - in Cannes, high-end, centrally located and well maintained apartments remain in high demand and relatively low supply.
On paper the real estate market in Cannes had a difficult year in 2012 - this was a combination of changes to capital gains taxes in France as well as ongoing economic difficulties forcing some owners into selling. Realistically however this was a much needed wake up call. Sellers had spent the previous 2 years listing properties at pre-credit crunch levels in the hope they would find buyers but such hopes were simply unrealistic. So in 2012 Cannes finally seemed to get a reality check as to the realistic price levels of property in the region. As a result, transaction numbers climbed significantly from recent years with French and British buyers returning to the market for the first time in several years, the latter largely due to the more favourable foreign exchange rate of pound vs euro. We did see a slowdown in buying in the second half of the year, largely due to economic uncertainty surrounding the new socialist government's recent changes to property taxes for foreign and domestic property investors.
Chic Gites will shortly be 6 years old and is now settling down into the type of business we hoped it would be when we set up the company in 2007. Repeat customers and word-of-mouth bookings reached nearly 70% in 2012 - a wonderful statistic and one we even hope to improve in the future. 2 bottles of champagne, 1 smoked salmon and 2 tins of home-made maple syrup were the very kind and unexpected gifts customers brought me this year! It's heart-warming to see clients appreciating our apartments and service so much and throughly reaffirms our belief that there is a very strong market for high-quality and well located apartments in Cannes. Our decision not grow the company by managing properties for other owners is often questioned, but by only renting our own apartments, we can ensure our properties and customer service remain at the standards our customers have grown to expect. We wish all our clients and their families a safe and prosperous 2013.