From time to time a bit of news pops up that you have to read twice as it seems so incredible, such as the selling of land in beautiful Normandy for peanuts…
The Mayor of the town of Champ-du-Boult in Calvados, famous for its apple orchards and strong liqueur of the same name, wants to repopulate his village. With 388 inhabitants, the pretty village about 10k km from Vire has, like many rural towns, seen a decline in population as inhabitants head for the cities.
The Mayor offered four building plots for municipal housing at the unbeatable price of 1 € per m² and the town hall has been inundated with offers.
It isn’t an unusual occurrence in France to use shock tactics to promote sales of housing and land. Back in 2012 a story of an entire village for sale went completely viral when the auction price was announced with a guide price of €300,000. Courbefy in Limousin had 19 houses, tennis courts, public buildings and more but it had been empty for so long the Mayor decided drastic action was required. It worked. The auction house had more offers than they could shake their baton at.
Though rural life may be losing its appeal for French families who seek jobs and more facilities in the bigger cities, for expats, it can be a chance to enjoy French life at a great price.
It isn’t all about money though. Yes the prices can be very tempting, houses are way cheaper in rural France than they are in rural UK on the whole. But it’s more about the lifestyle. Being able to visit street markets and having access to locally grown fruit and vegetables, buying fresh baked artisan bread and chatting to your neighbour in the queue. Visiting a cheese farm to buy artisan produced cheese or a vineyard to buy wine direct. It tends to be a gentler way of life where communities interact and join in, where commiseration is shared when it comes to dealing with bureaucracy! Woe betide the expat who tells their new French neighbour that they “bought because it was cheap”.
If you’re tempted by Normandy and Champ de Boult, the Mayor says don’t worry if you don’t manage to get the land for a Euro, we’ve got plenty more at rock bottom prices!