La Malouine de Dinard offers a refreshing change of pace from the French Mediterranean coast

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La Malouine, an exclusive neighborhood in the coastal town of Dinard, in Brittany, is perfect for sea lovers who appreciate a certain level of privacy and discretion.

Located on the Emerald Coast in Brittany, the westernmost region of France, the seaside resort of Dinard presents a change of pace for those who love the beach, but not the summer crowds along the Mediterranean shore. The city offers swimming, sailing and surfing, not to mention the exclusive golf, tennis, sailing and horse riding clubs nearby.

If English influences are found throughout Brittany, Dinard is known as the “most British” of French stations. Around the 1860s, many Britons flocked to the area, and their contact can be seen in the architectural style of the villas at the tip.

“English families were very important at that time for Dinard because they created this” seaside resort “” or seaside resort, explained Christophe Martin of Sotheby’s International Realty – Côte d´Émeraud.

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According to Barnes International Realty, most villas were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by the property developer Auguste Poussineau. He bought the land from Duke Gaston d’Audiffret-Pasquier in 1879 and divided it into plots to make it a luxury subdivision. The location offers breathtaking views of the bay of the historic town of Saint-Malo, from which La Malouine takes its name.

Most of the English and other foreigners who lived in La Malouine left in the 1930s, and few returned until the 1960s. Since then, Dinard has become known for its international film festival, which attracts stars from all over the world. autumn, while notable members of the French economic and political elite frequent the coasts during the holiday months.

It is easily accessible by train via the TGV high-speed rail network, as well as by sea from England, Guernsey and Jersey. Dinard is also served by an international airport.

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Limits

La Malouine is located on a rocky cliff overlooking the sea. It is located between the city center of Dinard and the historic district of Saint-Énogat. The area of ​​less than one square kilometer is bordered by Boulevard Albert Delacroix to the south and Boulevard de la Mer to the west, with the beach at Écluse just to the east. The sea is to the north.

Price range

The price of villas in La Malouine varies from 1 to 4 million euros (1.1 million to 4.4 million dollars). The price depends, of course, on the location, size, character and size of the garden of each property and, above all, on the sea view. The “first line” villas located directly on the coast generally vary from 2 to 4 million euros.

Home prices in Dinard stabilized between 2008 and 2012, after the global recession, but have increased steadily by about 2% to 3% per year since 2014, according to Bertrand Couturié, director of Barnes Bretagne. Prices tend to be higher in La Malouine due to the extremely limited supply in this area.

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Housing stock

The stone villas of La Malouine generally have large bedrooms. Most have large reception areas, including living rooms and dining rooms, with seven to 10 rooms on the upper floors of the house and staff accommodation downstairs.

Some of the famous villas on the point include Kerozar, Belle-Assise, Roche-Plate, Vélox, Ker Annick, Villa Cézembre, Bel Esbat, Bambino, Petit Bambino, Ajonc and Kermerance.

The entire coastline is protected by French law, and many villas are classified as heritage sites, preventing owners from making major changes. There are no new constructions in La Malouine.

What makes it unique

La Malouine offers discretion and luxury. Residents can find a lot of peace and tranquility among the large houses and private courtyards that line the coast, while the entire city has a more laid-back atmosphere than other resorts.

Then there is the breathtaking view of the sea from the hilltop villas in the area.

“It’s special because everywhere on this coast there are houses with a fantastic [view]”Said Mr. Couturié, adding that the light is” fantastic “in Brittany. “You see the sea, the coast, the sun in the morning, the sun in the evening, the sun all day. ”

The other attraction of the neighborhood is the wide range of outdoor activities within easy reach. Families can go horse riding, golf, surfing, sailing and swimming on the same day.

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“People first go to Brittany for the sea,” said Couturié, noting that there were many sailors and speedboat enthusiasts among the people of Dinard.

Residents also appreciate the more temperate climate. “In Brittany, you always have fresh air, so active people are more interested in Brittany than the south of France,” said Couturié.

Indeed for many wealthy French people, La Malouine is becoming an attractive alternative to the more famous luxury spots like Saint-Tropez or Cannes. Martin de Sotheby’s said that an increasing number of families who traditionally spent their time in the south were now looking to buy from Dinard. .

According to Arnaud Lhuissier of Agence Breteuil-Dinard, many French retirees who have decided to leave Paris now travel between Provence and Brittany throughout the year.

“We have a lot of customers with something in the south and they discover Dinard and absolutely want to buy something here because the weather is not too hot, there are a lot of golf courses, it’s a nice place to stay and live, “he said. “There are no people like the south of France in July and August. ”

Other draws include the Dinard Film Festival, an international music festival, usually held in September or October, an international chess festival and a robust theater season. The city also hosts annual golf and tennis competitions, as well as the international equestrian competition “Jumping De Dinard”.

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Luxury amenities

Dinard has several luxury hotels with breathtaking sea views to host international celebrities during the film festival and other key events throughout the year. Among them, the new Castelbrac hotel, which houses the Michelin-starred restaurant Le Pourquoi Pas, and the Grand Hotel Barrière, where the stars dine at the restaurant Le Blue B. A few steps away is the gourmet restaurant Didier Méril. There is also the Casino Barrière de Dinard.

“Dinard remains an authentic seaside town and there are not many high-end boutiques,” said Mr. Lhuissier. But there is a famous Saturday morning market and downtown, residents will find art galleries, libraries and independent craft stores in addition to local grocery stores.

There are several private schools (high schools) just across the bay from Saint-Malo. Lycée Institution Saint-Malo La Providence dates back to 1161 (and also offers a boarding option.) There is also the Lycée Les Rimains-Saint-Malo. Or, about 50 minutes by car from Rennes (the capital of Brittany), there is the Lycée Saint-Vincent Providence international school in Rennes.

A few kilometers away are the local golf and tennis clubs, both among the oldest in France. Sailors can join the Dinard Yacht Club.

At the end of the point, the town-owned villa Roches Brunes offers panoramic views of the sea and is used for art exhibitions, concerts and conferences.

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Who lives here

Despite its history with the British, most of the inhabitants of Dinard come today from the big cities of France. Many are business owners or come from wealthy old French families.

Residents who live there year-round tend to be retired but still young enough to make the most of sailing, golf and the other activities on offer. Meanwhile, wealthy, slightly younger families can come and go throughout the year.

“Families come here because it’s a quiet area where they do all the sports they want on vacation, but they are not so showy,” said Martin.

In addition to other British homeowners, international buyers of La Malouine are from Russia, Ukraine, Belgium and Switzerland, according to estate agents. There are also French citizens who live abroad and consider Dinard as a landing base in France.

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Increasingly, La Malouine buyers are looking to spend more than just a vacation on the west coast. They may be working full-time in the city, but are increasingly comfortable working from a distance, and prefer Dinard for its ease of access to Paris.

“They like to be here because they have space, a garden – not a small garden, a large garden,” said Mr. Lhuissier. “Many villas have private access to the beach.”

Mr. Lhuissier said that he began to receive requests from Parisians with families who plan to move their children to La Malouine while keeping their belongings in Paris.

“I think this is really our future for the next five to ten years,” he said.

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Notable residents

French billionaire François Pinault, founder of the luxury group Kering and the investment company Artémis, owns La Villa Greystones, one of the most renowned villas in La Malouine. He grew up in a town near Côtes d’Armor, so the manor, which he bought in 2012, can be seen less as a vacation purchase than as a return home.

Pinault was known to bring his friend, former French President Jacques Chirac, to La Malouine to stay there the summer before Chirac’s death last year. Pinault’s son and Kering’s current CEO François-Henri Pinault also spends time at the villa with his wife, actress Salma Hayek.

French economist and bank manager Baudouin Prot, who was previously president of BNP Paribas and is now with Boston Consulting Group, also owns a building, according to real estate agents.

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Perspective

Since La Malouine is such a small and exclusive area, the luxury housing stock does not experience much turnover. Demand tends to be much higher than supply, which supports prices. Often, real estate agents will only sell one or two homes in the neighborhood per year, and most transactions are done discreetly due to the high profile of the clientele.

According to Mr. Lhuissier, Parisians have been traveling the neighborhood for a few years for a semi-permanent residence – not a main or secondary residence, but somewhere in between. Locking out the coronavirus only increased that interest.

“We have many, many requests from last month with people on a big budget who want to come with their family to Dinard,” said Mr. Lhuissier, pointing to the city’s international airport and easy access from the Kingdom. – United Kingdom, Jersey and Guernsey, as well as in Paris. (Dinard is about two hours by TGV from the capital.)

Although it will affect the entire city, La Malouine is such a small neighborhood, with such a limited supply, that agents say its price would have continued to increase year by year regardless of the virus.

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“This is the best place in Dinard, so even with containment, La Malouine remains La Malouine,” said Mr. Lhuissier. “It is always prestigious. We don’t need the virus or increased demand to have customers in this area. ”

According to Mr. Couturié de Barnes, more than 50% of the houses in Dinard were open during the detention. Normally, this number fluctuates between 10% and 20% during the off-season.

However, he did not anticipate that the foreclosure would have a significant impact on housing prices in the city. This is partly due to the fact that, even if demand increases, there could also be an increase in supply if those affected by the financial crisis seek to sell.

“But at the same time, in small areas like La Pointe de La Malouine that are high-end in the industry, prices are still going up,” he said.

According to Lhuissier, there is no market data for La Malouine or data showing supply over the years, as sometimes no property sells for an entire year. In addition, transactions are often carried out discreetly.

Mr. Martin added: “When properties are priced, they go very quickly.”

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