Since when has the agency Vizcaya been operational ?
Alexandre Lanfranco : The agency Vizcaya was born almost 30 years ago now on Quai Papacino. It was one of the first large agencies to be established on the Port. Patrick and I were there from the beginning, it enabled us to witness first hand the evolution of this territory, its supply and demand.
Patrick de Mersseman : The agency Vizcaya was born almost 25 years ago now on Quai Papacino. It was one of the first large agencies to be established on the Port. Patrick and I were there from the beginning, it enabled us to witness first hand the evolution of this territory, its supply and demand.
Indeed, how would you define the evolution of the Port area ?
Alexandre Lanfranco : To be brief, from a working-class Niçois area, the Port has become a fashionable, trendy area, and desired by a cosmopolitan clientele.
Patrick de Mersseman : Our clientele, who has always been half foreign, has also changed. At the beginning of our activity, we worked a lot with Italian clients who were looking at investing in a holiday resort to spend their holidays and weekends. It was the first major foreign wave. In the 90's it was very fashionable in Italy to have a residence on the other side of the border.
The Italians did not have the equivalent on their shores ?
Alexandre Lanfranco : Not really! The Italian Riviera never had the same aura as the French Riviera. The French charm, its way of life, more here, under the sun, always seduced our transalpine neighbours. The second wave was more varied on an international point of view in particular with a flow of British and Scandinavian people.
Did the request basically change ?
Alexandre Lanfranco : It is worth reminding that the larger a property is, the higher are the yearly expenses such as condominium charges, land tax, housing tax, are also expensive. It has been a parameter long integrated by our clients since the successive crises. Property dealers were the first to adapt to these material contingencies and to the market trends. For example, the separate kitchen is now nonsense. Nobody wants one anymore. It is integrated to the living room. The space recovered being transformed into a bedroom. Thus a one bedroom with a kitchen becomes today almost systematically a two-bedrooms.
Patrick de Mersseman : Ways of life have also changed. Families are fragmented. There are more and more single people. The flats known as "family flats" are less popular. Most of the 180 m2 are now divided into three or four flats. All these parameters mean that a real demand is expressed today on this type of human-size property, very pleasant to live in but without any expensive risks for one's wallet.
Alexandre Lanfranco : Les modes de vie ont également mutés. Les familles sont éclatées. Il y a de plus en plus de célibataires. Les appartements dits familiaux ont moins la cote. La plupart des 180 m2 sont aujourd’hui divisés en trois ou quatre appartements. Tous ces paramètres font qu’une réelle demande s’exprime aujourd’hui sur ce type de biens à taille humaine, très agréables à vivre mais sans risque dispendieux pour le portefeuille.
Did your agency have to rethink other fields ?
Patrick de Mersseman : On our investors' request we developed our property management department. We had started with our Italian investors but the rental market is a segment that never stopped growing and takes a sizable share of our activities.
Alexandre Lanfranco : In terms of property sales, we are today members of the MLS charter. It is a concept of sharing exclusive mandates between member agencies, much practiced in the USA. It is in the sellers' interest to put their property in the hands of several agencies working at the same time and in a network on a central database rather than entrusting it with exclusivity to three or four agencies that each pull to their side. It is something extra we offer. That said, we also keep on working on simple mandates that do not enter the scope of this charter.
What is your activity perimeter ?
Alexandre Lanfranco : Vizcaya is present from the "Carré d'Or" to Mont Boron via the booming areas such as Garibaldi, Place du Pin, Republic or the recent "Coulée Verte", not forgetting major classic areas such as Carabacel and Cimiez. A hill offering an exceptional property estate, more varied and affordable than Mont Boron. Many Russians remain attached to this unique site that experienced the golden era of the first holiday resort.
Does the Port area remain an investment value ?
Alexandre Lanfranco : Two areas strongly progressed: the "Carré d'Or" and the port. For investment, Mont Boron is still a buoyant area. But besides its speculative value, it should be stressed that the Mediterranean charm operating from the port to Mont Boron takes a large part in the investors' craze. One can find a quality of life unequalled in Nice and that never stopped increasing its added value.
Patrick de Mersseman : Line 2 of the Tram that will soon get here will continue to allow this area to embellish. Pedestrian projects are under way, in particular to open Rue Foresta to the Old Nice. In terms of location, we are at the heart of a site that has more than ever been a value for the future.
What are Vizcaya's strong points ?
Alexandre Lanfranco : Our strategic location on the port. Experience with more than 20 years of practice. But also the know-how of a team of fourteen professionals trained from A to Z, most of whom have worked for us for more than ten years. All this gives a genuine stability to the agency, a unique field experience and a brand image for our agency recognized in Nice and beyond.
Patrick de Mersseman : We speak most of the European languages, English, Italian, German, Russian. We can answer any requests, be it a matter of financing or works. Because we also practice property management, we are partners with several trades and can guide and advise you on any renovation projects.