With a new direct Eurostar route from London commencing from 1 May this year, local property professionals are reporting an increase in investor interest in the southern French city of Marseille.

Tim Clark, area manager for Leggett Immobilier in Provence and the Côte d’Azur, told the Financial Times: “Marseille is a very vibrant place and overseas buyers are beginning to treat it as a serious option. The recent strengthening of sterling against the euro is giving the market a huge boost among UK buyers, and the announcement of the direct Eurostar service also increased interest in property in and around the city.”

Thierry Bogtchalian, an agent at Connexion Immobilier, said that many buyers from outside of the city focus on the hilltop enclave of Le Panier. “Some out-of-town buyers use their homes as a buy-to-let investment and rent out to tourists,” he says, adding that the any future price rises in Le Panier will probably be attributed from buyers from outside of Marseille, since local demand is currently flat.