Beyond tourism, the R&D & technology industries are the largest contributors to the French Riviera’s economy. Located in the Valbonne area, Sophia Antipolis is the largest science and technology park in Europe and home to 4,500 researchers, 5,500 students and 1,335 companies with an excess of 31,500 employees.
The playground of the global wealthy
Globally mobile UHNWIs are the driving force for the top tiers of the Riviera property markets. According to Wealth X, these individuals number 211,000 globally, accounting for just 0.004% of global population, but holding 13% of global wealth and owning around 3% of the world’s real estate. Some 5% of all the second residences owned by UHNWIs worldwide are located in France.
Our research has shown that the residential holdings of UHNWIs are concentrated in top-tier world cities, but are frequently paired with properties in ‘retreat’ locations. The French Riviera is one of the most important global retreats. With high profile events such as the Cannes Film Festival, and the Monaco Grand Prix, the Riviera provides an appealing social calendar to UHNWIs.
Analysis of Savills and Wealth X data suggests that UHNWIs holding a Riviera property most frequently hold their city base in London, followed by Paris and Moscow (Figure 4). It is no surprise that Nice airport is a top three global hub for private jet traffic.