With a US$1 billion price tag, is this the world’s most expensive house?
Features include 50-metre swimming pool and 35-acre botanical park
Should you be looking for a European summer hideaway, Villa les Cèdres on the South of France's sparkling Cote d'Azur is up for sale.
Estimates for the 10-bedroom, 30-stable property, owned by drinks company the Campari Group start at 200 million euros (US$226 million) and go up to 1 billion euros (US$1.13 billion).
And what will that sum get you? In addition to bedrooms and stables, there's a 50-metre swimming pool, 35-acre botanical park and a list of noteworthy former owners and guests including former Belgian King Leopold II, Charlie Chaplin and Elizabeth Taylor.
While some local agents say speculation over the price may have gotten carried away, there are concerns about the resilience of the French property market in the wake of recent terror attacks, including the Bastille Day massacre in the city of Nice.
Local estate agents divide the market in the South of France into Prime (5 million euros-plus, or US$5.65 million-plus) and Superprime (10 million euros and above, or US$1.13 million-plus).
According to Alexander Kraft, chairman and chief executive CEO of Sotheby's International Realty France: "The market on the French Riviera has been quite depressed for several years now, especially for properties priced at more than US$25 million."
Kraft points to the withdrawal of Russian buyers as a key factor.
"Since the Ukraine crises, Russian buyers have almost completely disappeared," he says.
"Chinese stock-market jitters, Brexit and economic worries have further weakened demand. As a result, prices have fallen by approximately 20 per cent-25 per cent and inventory is high."
Simon Smallwood, Joint Managing Director of mortgage broker International Private Finance notes a similar trend.
"The Cote d'Azur has the most international buyers," he says.
"Five years ago the most active buyers were Russian and Eastern European. Recent geopolitical tensions have seen interest from these buyers wane."
For those looking at a significantly lower price point, David and Victoria Beckham have recently put their South of France home on the market for 2.75 million euros (US$3.11 million). Located in Bargemon, an hour's drive from both Cannes and Saint-Tropez, the six-bedroom villa is equipped with an infinity pool and comes with a chapel. However, the Knight Frank description for the property, "Stunning Property in Private Idyllic Location", may put off potential younger buyers.
According to Alex Balkin, Head of Savills' French Riviera group, "wealth is becoming younger as the new generation has been successful in multiplying its parents' savings. Younger clientele are keener on locations closer to the hotspots – such as Saint-Tropez, Cannes and Monte Carlo - than were their parents who tended to prefer more tranquility."
Contrary to terrorism incidents dissuading potential buyers, Balkin believes the recent attacks have only served to boost the determination of buyers to make up their own minds.
"A few clients who were not very decided pointed to the Bastille Day attacks as a reason to abort a purchase but more people are saying 'I won't have my life dictated',." he said.
Away from the French Riviera, reports are mixed. Although Paris saw second quarter foreign tourist numbers dip by 12.9 per cent year-on-year, the city is also said to have benefitted from currency dynamics. IPF's Smallwood says, "Paris has proven popular with international buyers, in particular US-based buyers."
But areas favored by the British, whose financial firepower has been damaged by sterling's post-EU referendum slump, may be finding times leaner. According to Smallwood, "areas popular with the British include the West Coast (Normandy, Brittany, Dordogne) and the South/South East (Languedoc). These areas have seen a fall in demand compared to what we would expect to see at this time of year."
Nonetheless, Savills' Balkin remains confident that the Brexit vote ramifications are just a temporary "blip".
"The love affair between Brits and France is 180 years old and will not change because of (currency) fluctuations."