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Press Release No.6 - 31st December 2009 - Summary of 2009 

2009 was undoubtedly a weaker year following the credit crunch and subsequent global recession. The initial part of the year - MIDEM, MIPIM and MIPTV remained strong as budgets and bookings had largely been set before the start of the recession at the end of 2008. The Film Festival was a mixed bag - prices were down a little from 2008 - I would say roughly 10% overall, with larger apartments substantially easier to fill than studios, of which there seem to be an endless supply for rent in Cannes at the moment. Summer bookings were certainly slower, with again very few UK bookings due to the weakness of sterling. Northern European bookings once again dominated the summer season. Last minute bookings were also evident as clients searched for late bargains. Conference demand in the second half of the year was very low with only MIPCOM in October being anywhere near full. The strong Euro remains a burden for overseas clients, coupled with the on-going recession meaning that only the most important business customers are travelling. Initial demand for 2010 is poor again with MIPIM conference guests seemingly happy to wait until the last minute for bargains, a tactic which in previous years would have been disastrous but this year may indeed prove fruitful.

On a brighter note, demand for our new flagship 3-bedroom apartment at 17 Rue Meynadier has been overwhelmingly strong. Feedback from both conference and summer clients has been incredibly positive with many already booked to come back next year. As we had thought, there are very few large apartments for rent in the centre of Cannes so clients have been delighted to find our well-equipped, modern one. The year overall has been a good one for us as being our second full trading year we have seen our first round of repeat and word-of-mouth customers which already represent over 30% of our revenue. This new revenue stream for us has more than offset the slower demand due to the recession this year and so it has been a much better year for us than we feared back in January. 

The overall property market took a nose-dive in 2009, as it has on a world-wide basis. Indeed Cannes has probably been one of the least affected areas in the world with drops of only 10-15% off the very frothy highs of late 2008. The number of transactions has undoubtedly dropped as investors struggle to raise new funds for large purchases, but there seem to be few desperate sellers either so prices have held in relatively well. I have been asked more times than I can remember this year if there are any bargains to be had in the market in Cannes - in general the answer is no and the fact that the question keeps being asked suggests there are lots of willing buyers on any further dips in price - this obviously augers very well for the market going forward.