Toyah's Menton Money-Maker

Toyah Willcox: pop singer, serious actress, successful author… and now property magnate. This diverse performer once famed for her punk haircut is now persuing a fourth career as a property investor overseas and has bought two apartments on the French Riviera.

Closest to her heart is an apartment in the seaside town of Menton, which she completed on last June and cost 271,800. She spent five months improving the property, which she says she fell in love with instantly.

“I’ve always dreamt of owning a property with French windows that open out onto a sea view and when I walked into this apartment, I felt instantly attached to it,” she says.

Wisely, Toyah rents her two-bedroom property out when she’s not there, using a local agent, Tracy Egan at A-Plus Properties for between 600 and 950 Euro a week. “She finds the sort of people I’d want to rent it out to – people who love gardens and the outdoors, and who will respect it,” she says.

The property is typical of bohemian Menton, with its sun bleached shutters and antique appearance.

“The French don’t go for properties like this, they don’t like anything old or decrepit,” Toyah says, which is more in line with her second property, an ultra-modern steel and glass one-bedroom apartment in nearby Eze, which she bought off-plan. 

The apartment appeals to the local French rental market, which generally prefers more modern buildings. It was the 720-a-month that this investment earned that allowed Toyah to buy her Menton apartment. 

Toyah is an astute business woman, with a property portfolio of three houses in the UK as well as her apartments on the French Riviera. She is mortgage free in the UK and spots the potential for investment in Menton, saying: “My apartment in Menton is a place of peace for me – but it’s also a very exciting business venture. I’m always looking at what else I might want to buy here.”

A Place In The Sun
August 2008