Miles of beautiful coastline offer you a mix of fishing villages, sandy beaches and rugged cliffs. Close in terms of distance, this area is worlds apart from the UK…
Northern and western France have always been popular holiday home destinations for UK buyers seeking easy access, excellent value for money and beautiful scenery. From the famous chalk cliffs to the sweeping sandy beaches and craggy fishing coves, this is a coastline that ticks every box says Emma Nicholson of Leggett Immobillier, award winning estate agents in France…
Hauts de France Property search
Bordered to the north by the sea and to the east by Belgium, this region is very different to its neighbours. It is just 34km from England in distance – but when you step off the ferry or train you sense the difference straightaway. Holiday homes are popular here. Visitors seek out the wonderful food, championship golf courses, dramatic coastline and rolling hills reminiscent of the South Downs. Compare the property prices and you’ll see why it’s a hit with buyers from the UK and Belgium alike.
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This is a region of historic importance to France, which is reflected in the quality of the medieval cathedrals, churches and châteaux. It is superbly located, with a short stretch of coastline that is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Baie de Somme. It also leads to the doorstep of Paris itself. If you get a chance, stop off at Chantilly to visit the château, racecourse or even the superb Parc Asterix – which was providing fun and adventure for families long before Euro Disney came to France.
Properties for sale in Picardy
Brittany Property Search
Visit the official tourist website for Brittany and you will come away thinking that there are simply too many ‘must see’ places for a single trip. Go for wild and windy walks on the Pointe du Raz – the French equivalent of Lands End. Sail to one of the 800 separate islands that dot the coastline. Visit a medieval castle – the one in Josselin is just gorgeous. Sample the world-famous oysters in Cancale. Or have your breath taken away in the bay of Mont St-Michel. The list is endless. The property market in Brittany is steady and it remains a very popular place to invest and buyers are still attracted by reasonable prices for pretty properties in an area with great transport links and lots going on.
There are plenty of very good properties coming onto the market with the average house price in Cotes d’Armor being €126,000 and in Ille et Vilaine €183,000.
Top Tips for searching in Brittany
Look out for Dinan, which tends to be the first place people head for when arriving at the ferry port of St Malo. It’s a beautiful medieval town with cobbled streets, half-timbered buildings, ramparts and a pretty river port. The town offers a host of restaurants, bars and a good variety of shops. A weekly market fills the two central car parks on Thursdays.
Houses packed with character are still very affordable in Moncontour-de-Bretagne, a small town enjoying a renaissance. Already an established ‘Little City of Character’, it has also been granted the status of ‘one of the most beautiful villages in France’. This has led to a gentle rise in tourism, and prices are starting to rise. It is heralded for its architecture: from imposing 13th and 14th century ramparts through to Bourgeois houses built for prosperous linen merchants in the 1800s.
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Property search in Pays-de-la-Loire
This region is renowned for the quality of the Vendée coastline, which plays host to the round-the-world Vendée Globe boat race and boasts the longest beach in Europe. The resort of La Baule is very chic and welcomes ordinary families alongside the rich and famous.
You’ll pay a premium price in the coastal départements but move inland to a département like the Mayenne and find some of the lowest property prices in France. This is an area where the local knowledge of a good agent really counts. You’ll never be short of things to do or places to visit. From the Le Mans 24-hour-races to some of the best golf courses in France: there’s something for everyone here.
The Mayenne has some really great properties on offer, both town and country, and has inspired a legion of fans since the TV show Escape to the Chateau showcased its charms.
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Normandy Property search
Stunning architecture with timbered and thatched farmhouses are always popular with international buyers.
Rich and famous people flock to the coastal Parisian Riviera, while local farmers produce the finest apple brandy in the pretty Calvados département. Bayeux, Cherbourg, Caen and Rouen are all steeped in history and worth a visit too.
Look out for: Falaise, with its impressive Norman chateau says Lesley Okey, local agent. The birthplace of William the Conqueror, and it played an important role in WW11. The area known as the Poche de Falaise is where a great deal of action took place following the D Day landings. Situated on the edge of the beautiful Suisse Normandie region this is a popular tourist destination and just an hour from the coast. What’s not to like?
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Paris Property market
Paris is the beating heart of France. An estimated 23 million tourists visited in 2017. Key visits include the Eiffel tower, the Louvre museum, or simply sitting and watching the world go by from a pavement café. Paris boasts some 4000 historical monuments and four UNESCO world heritage sites. Property isn’t cheap, but it’s a city that is impossible to replicate. On a world version of Monopoly, Paris would be the equivalent of Mayfair or Park Lane.
The property market in Paris is very healthy at the moment as is the economy. Paris has set itself up to offer great quality of life as well as infrastructure. The average property price in Paris is around €9,000/sqm, and prices for residential properties saw a rise in 2018. Brits account for one of the largest buying groups prime residential purchases where the average price is above €14,000.
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