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Property guide to Central France

Benefitting from historically low mortgage rates and with a wide choice of properties to choose from, it’s no wonder that so many home buyers are looking at the spectacular value that Central France offers says Leggett Immobillier’s Area Co-ordinator Kevin Andrews.

There are glorious châteaux, sumptuous country estates and swanky ski chalets. And you’ll find some of the lowest priced, best value, property in France.

Much of this area is rural France at its best. With unspoiled views, peaceful towns and villages, where “local produce” means that the person selling the fruit and veg probably dug it up or picked it that morning.

Ignoring the newly created map of France, we’re labelling central France as the four traditional regions of Centre, Limousin, Auvergne and Burgundy. Each of them has a very different landscape and “feel” but all share the common traits of beautiful countryside, friendly locals, historic towns and great value.

CENTRE

Centre is renowned for having the most beautiful collection of historic châteaux in the world. Scattered along the lovely river Loire they seem to dominate the landscape and provide a stunning backdrop to the countryside. The popular towns of Orléans and Tours are welcoming, pretty and packed full of historic buildings. Buy a house within striking distance of either and you’ll never be short of something to do on a rainy day.

LIMOUSIN

Limousin has been my home for many years. I moved across with my family and we saw our quality of life sky-rocket. We are surrounded by clean air, open spaces and delicious food.

The region is best known to holidaymakers for its outdoor pursuits. There’s a proliferation of rivers flowing through the area, as well as numerous springs and lakes. Cycling, sailing, canoeing, kayaking and fishing are very popular such as at Lac Vassivière. It’s  a man-made lake of 1000 hectares where you can swim and do all manner of water sports. There are also walking trails and boat rides to a central island with a sculpture park, café and museum. Summers here are long and hot.

This is the least populated region in mainland France, though that doesn’t mean there’s not plenty to do year-round. A roll-out of high speed fibre optic in Limousin as well as Government support for the area to be rejuvenated as a potential tech centre has seen both second and permanent home status rocket in the last two years. The properties available here are simply remarkable value for money. The average house price in my department – Haute Vienne, which is home to the city of Limoges, is €121,500. While in the neighbouring Creuse they are just €80,000!

BURGUNDY

Burgundy is the place to explore if you like vineyards, rolling hills and exceptional food. The locals are proud of the wide choice of incredible wine they can choose from. Much of it comes from little known vineyards, off the beaten track. Local agent knowledge about where to live is the key here as it’s such a diverse area. Without that expertise you could miss out on discovering the most popular villages, where to get the best wine and which markets offer the freshest produce. If you enjoy the finer things in life you’ll love Burgundy.

AUVERGNE

Auvergne has the most dramatic landscape of all the regions. It’s a land of dormant volcanoes, hulking mountain ranges and bustling towns and cities. If you like the outdoor life then this region has to be on your shortlist. Hiking, biking, skiing, snow-boarding and jumping off the side of a mountain in a wing suit are just some of the madcap things on offer. And, if you like being close to a ski-lift but find the prices in the Alps or Pyrénées a little heady, then take a look in the Auvergne.

Mont Dore ski resort at the foot of Puy de Sancy is ideal for beginners, intermediates and families. The resort has a connection to Besse ski resort.  A Spa town with traditional restaurants, shops, ice skating rink, bowling alley, casino and cinema. Equally as busy with summer activities and music festivals. It’s ideal for permanent residence, a holiday home or just a rental investment with almost all year round rental potential.”

The average house price in the Puy de Dome is just €160,000.

Find out more properties in the Auvergne: www.frenchestateagents.com/auvergne/

(Dated 2022)

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