Through the last decades, Brittany and Normandy have remained English people’s favourite places to buy a French Property. Both regions are close to the sea and Great Britain, and offer a superb country and seaside landscape. However, if you’d rather not be surrounded by your fellow countrymen, you could move further inside the French territory.
Here is an overview of each part of France to help you to choose the right place:
– Northern France:
Northern France is ideal for people who want to pile the family and all their bits and pieces into the car. Its long sandy beaches represent an important part of the landscape in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region. They stretch from the Belgian border right round to the Pays-de-la-Loire. You may even see seals that live in groups on small islets before migrating towards Greenland.
Another appeal of northern France is the easy access to the coast and a huge choice of inland countryside. The lifestyle varies according to the location but everyone in northern France enjoys ease of access from the United Kingdom and the year-round mild climate.
As far as the local architecture is concerned, there is every shape and colour of house in northern France from the coast to the countryside. From the red bricks of Pas de Calais to the black and white half-timbered houses of Normandy, the whitewashed houses of Brittany to the golden yellow stone houses of Vendee, a variety of properties with different architecture are set in quite a small space.
Nevertheless, prices there are not the cheapest in France but there is undoubtedly something to be found within most people’s budgets. Expect to pay from €100,000 for a seaside view apartment in Vendee or a one-bedroom holiday cottage in Brittany to around €200,000 for a good sized rural property.
– Central France:
If you’re looking for a ‘green destination’, central France is made for you. There is a feeling that time is at a standstill in this rural area. For anyone who likes cycling, walking, horse-riding, fishing and lazing by lakes, the Limousin has it all. Low property prices are a big draw as well as the peaceful surroundings.
The Auvergne region suits many people who like the idea of a long letting season. The snow in winter brings skiers from the three ski resorts in the Massif Central, and the warmth of the summer draws people to investigate the numerous mountain lakes, volcanoes and the famous cheese of course!
Burgundy also attracts year-round visitors who enjoy the wines and the canals, though the likely cost of a property will be around €250,000. Saying that, for €200,000 you can acquire something slightly more modest. On average, it is far more expensive than the Limousin. But again, it’s a matter of matching the style of house and the budget to the area that will suit you most.
The Rhone-Alpes region offers the best French ski resorts in the French Alps. It has a lot of expensive properties and prices are increasing rapidly. You will find chalets, apartments and country houses amongst others.
– Southern France:
Southern France – particularly the south-west – has attracted more UK property buyers and holidaymakers than any other part of France. The warm sunny climate, vineyards, gorges or bustling villages have all attracted people to this part of France. If you intend to buy a holiday home for a rental income, you are unlikely to be short of visitors here. UK property buyers have been buying up large properties in the south-west to renovate and develop as holiday accommodation for a while.
From the Charente to the Dordogne, the Lot and Pyrenees Atlantiques, each department has something to offer but every region shares the very special nature of the south-west. The area is so vast that all sorts of properties can be found. Generally, houses will be in better condition than in the centre and north but will be more expensive (from €180,000 for a 2-bedroom cottage up to €500,000 for a gite or for anyone who is ready to make a business with a holiday home). If you are looking for bargains, you need to get away from the coastal stretch and go into the hills.
The south of France is known as the playground of the rich and famous, and the French Riviera lifestyle will always be an attractive place for those with time and money to spare.
What draws people to the south is:
-> the 300 days of sunshine each year
-> the international and glamorous lifestyle
-> the access to the Mediterranean
-> the mountains