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Is the Basque Country for sale ?



The data that we can retain on the prestige real estate activity of the Basque coast are unequivocal: more and more buyers (in main residence, as in second home), a number of mandates more or less stable compared to Last year. But behind this apparent stability in sales, we can distinguish a certain disparity: the real sellers (inheritance, divorce, moving) and the opportunists, who profit (or even exaggerate) from the rise in prices.

The Basque Country is not for sale, it is already sold or The Basque Country is not for sale, there is nothing left to sell….

« We could talk for hours, days on this very controversial subject. We could respond with an analytical plan, detailing the aspects / causes / consequences / solutions. The idea is not to take a stand, and even less to add fuel to the fire, as it is difficult to imagine realistic solutions », explains Philippe Thomine Desmazures, director of BARNES Basque Coast.

The consequences of the pandemic are well known, and have seen major European metropolises empty of part of their population ... medium-sized towns, countryside, and coastal towns attracting many of this population.

The Basque Country (French) alone fulfills these 3 criteria, and it is no surprise that the population has grown by more than 3,000 people since 2020. This city-dweller has substantial budgets, from jobs to remuneration. much higher than the average, and causes a game of musical chair, where the highest bidders push up the prices of properties close to the coast, and the sellers reinvest their capital gains a little further in the land.

« There are fiscal or local policy tools to limit the multiplication of rental investments, or to tax the capital gain on the sale of second homes. But the pressure of demand, faced with a very weak supply continues to cause a surge in prices. This tends to rebalance the share of primary residence vis-à-vis second home, in a region historically (since Napoleon III) driven by the second home market, »he comments


One of the consequences of the increase in the number of transactions was to put pressure on the entire construction and renovation market: architects, town planning, craftsmen. This ecosystem, which cannot meet all the demand, sees the costs increase both in terms of labor and raw materials ... when there is no shortage. Beyond the cost, it also impacts the delays.

Renovated properties therefore manage to perform well, by valuing themselves even better… and consequently undervaluing the properties to be renovated.

The merchants of goods, manage to seize undervalued goods and use their experience, their knowledge of craftsmen and suppliers of materials, their time ... to resell with a certain added value, with a relatively advantageous tax system: exemption (subject to conditions). ) transfer taxes (notary fees).

The (precarious) balance in which real estate and urban planning policies are situated goes beyond the question of the price of real estate, and also raises the question of the employment pool, of the issuance of building permits (housing), and the sizing of road networks and public transport.

« The Basque Country is not for sale, it is to be rethought, and to (re) build, while maintaining and respecting its traditions which make it this land of plenty that we love so much », concludes Philippe. Thomine-Desmazures.

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