Located on Northern France’s ‘Flower Coast,’ Deauville Offers Historic Half-Timbered Townhouses and Lavish Countryside Chateaus
Located on the beautiful Côte Fleurie—“Flower Coast”—of
Deauville has been an upscale holiday resort for wealthy French and international tourists since the 1800s, attracting celebrities, well-heeled Parisians and passionate equestrians, who are drawn to the area for its stud farms and world-famous horse races.
Dubbed “the queen of the Norman beaches,” it is one of the most prestigious seaside resorts in France, known for its historic half-timbered houses, its grand casino and extensive golf courses, its wide sandy beach and abundance of luxury hotels, boutiques, restaurants and spas.
Deauville has seen a huge property boom over the past two years as buyers searching for large family properties with extensive grounds and seaside access have sent demand skyrocketing, local brokers said.
“What is very special about Deauville is that it’s a seaside town with an Anglo-Norman charm. It’s very sought-after by the French and in particular by the Parisians,” Sandra Sabah, team leader at Engel & Völkers Deauville, said. “Here you have very beautiful properties—manors and stud farms, because it’s truly an equestrian town—with very diverse architecture.”
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Deauville is roughly delineated by La Touques River to the east, by the Barrière Deauville golf club to the south, by the Deauville Cemetery and the Rue de Gheest to the west and by the English Channel to the north. It is surrounded by small villages that fall under its purview, including the nearby Bénerville, Tourgéville, Trouville-sur-Mer and Bernerville-sur-Mer.
Bénédicte Belvisi, associate director of Barnes Deauville, said that historic properties in central Deauville and larger countryside manors just outside the town are equally sought-after.
“In Deauville you can find family villas with gardens for between €1 million and €4 million (US$1.18 million to US$4.72 million),” she said. “In the countryside around Deauville you have villages such as Tourgéville, Saint-Pierre-Asif and Beaumont-en-Auge, where people look more for family properties with at least four or five bedrooms, tennis courts and swimming pools, which are priced between €1 million and €3 million, depending on the amenities and the condition.”
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Within central Deauville, the most exclusive area is known as the Golden Triangle, Ms. Sabah said. Bordered by the Hippodrome de la Touques, it is located between the Hotel Normandy and the Hotel Barrière Le Royal Deauville.
“In this neighborhood you find very beautiful houses in the Anglo-Norman style, which date from the end of the 19th century. The starting price for these properties is €1.5 million for around 200 square meters,” she said. Historic Anglo-Norman houses with slate roofs, stone walls and traditional half-timbering can sell for up to €3 million euros, she added.
Another area is the Boulevard Cornuché, where apartments with a sea view range from €7,000 to €14,000 per square meter, she said.
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“The most sought-after luxury properties are villas with a view of the sea, which seduce clients looking to buy in Deauville and all the areas immediately surrounding Deauville,” Ms. Belvisi said. “Properties with large amounts of land and beautiful views of the countryside and the sea are primarily located in Mont Canisy, which is an area of high elevation that is very in-demand. There you can find large properties of up to 500 square meters with many hectares of land, swimming pools, tennis courts and other luxury amenities.”
The diversity of properties is adapted to a wide range of buyers.
“Luxury homes in the heart of Deauville often have medium-sized gardens and a few have swimming pools and gyms,” Ms. Sabah said. Within Deauville, the most desirable properties are traditional historic Anglo-Norman houses but the town has surprisingly diverse offerings, including stud farms, manors and modern villas, she said.
You can even find English, Scandinavian, Gothic and Moorish architecture. “That’s what makes Deauville so original and so charming. Every neighborhood has its own character,” she said.
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What Makes It Unique
With its harbor, beautiful sandy beach, marinas and casino, Deauville has long attracted France’s high society and is often referred to as the Parisian Riviera. The town is famous for its beachside boardwalk, which dates back to the 1920s and is lined with picturesque beach huts. Featured in Marcel Proust’s iconic novel “In Search of Time Lost,” Deauville has plenty of historic charm but boasts thoroughly modern amenities. Each September it hosts the American Film Festival, attracting international celebrities and critics.
Above all, it is known for its equestrian events. “Horse racing, horse sales, horse riding, major equestrian sports competitions: Deauville and its region live all year round to the rhythm of the horse,” Ms. Sabah said.
Thanks to its location, Deauville has an abundance of amenities. “There is golf, sailing, tennis, all types of sports teams and activities related to physical well-being, but you can easily come to Deauville just to relax and enjoy yourself,” Ms. Sabah said.
The town also offers excellent health and education infrastructure. “There are plenty of good doctors and surgeons and there is a very big medical center just outside Deauville. There are schools for students of all ages and also private schools,” she added.
Deauville boasts lots of “chic boutiques, including Hermes and Louis Vuitton, and lots of very beautiful historic hotels,” said Ms. Belvisi. The town’s excellent restaurants include some with Michelin-stars. A fruitful collaboration between French chef Charles Tuillant and Korean chef Mi-Ra, Michelin-starred L’Essential serves up creative contemporary Normandy cuisine with a Korean twist. Maximin Hellio, located close to Deauville port, bases its Michelin-starred menu on local produce, including freshly-caught seafood. The Michelin guide also highlights seafood restaurant L’Etoile des Mers and La Flambée.
Who Lives There
During the week, Deauville is a sleepy seaside town, with a year-round population of just 3,700. “It’s a town that comes alive in the holidays and at weekends,” Ms. Sabah said, adding that 72% of local properties are secondary residences. Most are owned by Parisians seeking a coastal escape. Since the pandemic, however, many have chosen to sell their main residences in Paris and move to Deauville full-time.
The town also attracts Europeans, including British, Belgian, Dutch and Swiss buyers, Ms. Belvisi said.
Deauville’s famous residents have included late French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and the Rothschilds, according to published reports.
“There are many figures who are very well known in France, including actors such as Gérard Depardieu, Claude Lellouch, the singer Michel Sardou, actresses like Isabelle Adjani and Claudia Cardinale, and we also have a lot of French politicians who have their second homes in Deauville,” Ms. Sabah said.
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The pandemic has caused an unsustainable boom. “We’ve seen a huge number of sales during the last two years, so demand has outstripped supply, which has sharply increased the prices,” Ms. Belvisi said. “Deauville remains very popular but we cannot continue to see the same increase in prices as we’ve witnessed over the past two years.” She said that more properties are likely to come onto the market in the coming months, as sellers who want to buy overseas regain the ability to travel.
Ms. Sabah said that locals who live in Deauville year-round are unable to compete with the purchasing power of wealthy Parisian buyers, shutting them out of the local market and forcing them to remain in their current homes. “To some extent the real estate market has become a victim of its own success because today the supply has fallen to 29%, while demand has risen to 53%. We have a lot of demand and not enough houses and apartments to meet it.”
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Tags: Luxury Apartments