Where are the best places to live in France? And where are the up-and-coming areas that could help you make a clever purchase?
It is no secret that France is the most visited country in the world. The numbers continually prove France to be a globally desired, world-class location. Its diverse landscapes, culture, wine, cheese, markets, medieval villages, gastronomy, fairy-tale castles, vineyards and endless lavender fields – to name just a few of its most charming yet obvious attractions – are what dreams are made of.
But while some are happy to holiday in France, others want to turn their dreams into a day-to-day reality and live in France. Whether you’re looking for a second home in France or a permanent property, with the current mixture of reduced property prices, low interest rates, great mortgage deals and favourable currency conditions, it is a good moment to find your ideal French property and an enticing deal.
But where are the best places to live in France? And where are the up-and-coming areas that could help you make your dream purchase?
Some of the most popular regions are: Aquitaine, Paris, The Alps, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence and the Riviera.
It is the Périgord Noir in Aquitaine, south east of the Dordogne, which has been attracting a large number of overseas buyers. With the medieval town of Sarlat-la-Canéda at its heart, this picturesque area is steeped in history and is endlessly charming. Gironde is popular, too, especially Bordeaux. Long adored for producing world class wines, Bordeaux offers residents a difficult-to-beat combination of French tradition and modern culture. It’s been voted “Best Destination in Europe”, and the best places to buy in Bordeaux’s city centre include Chartrons, Jardin Public, Fondaudège and Parc Bordelais.
Montmartre, with its magnificent city views, winding streets and elegant Parisian ambiance, are what continually keep it as one of the most coveted places to live in Paris. It always delivers on authentic Parisian ambiance, often considered the perfect muse for creative souls.
But for families, it is the Monceau Park area in the 8th and 17th arrondissements that are popular. With a beautiful park – which includes playgrounds and flower gardens – and a British school, it attracts plenty of overseas buyers looking for family-sized properties.
Val d’Isère and Meribel (part of the Three Valleys) have emerged as the best-performing resorts in terms of price. However, with Geneva and Lyon airports welcoming a million more passengers during the summer than in the winter, it is mid-altitude resorts such as Chamonix and Megève that are sparking interest with those looking for year-round destinations.
Landscapes resplendent with olive groves, lavender and vineyards; a glittering coastline drenched with sunshine for more than 300 days each year; and the promise of a relaxed Provençal lifestyle, Provence has long been a dream destination.
But where are the best places to buy in Provence? Property along the Provence coast, in cities such as Fréjus, and in the Luberon – where gems such as Isle-sur-la-Sorgue can be found – offer stable investment opportunities as demand never dwindles.
Villages on the southern side of the Alpilles are increasing in popularity in Provence.
Renowned for its diversity – from its smooth sandy beaches to vineyards and wild mountain plateaus – Languedoc offers buyers excellent value for money.
People choose Languedoc as it hasn’t yet been taken over by mass tourism and has a more authentic feel to it. Prices are lower than in Provence and you’re close to the sea. Narbonne with its wide promenades and UNESCO-protected Canal de la Robine, is popular with the French and well worth considering.
With 900km of sun-drenched coastline and glamorous seaside resorts, the French Riviera is one of the most popular destinations in the world.
Mougins and Valbonne are the most coveted and close to international schools. But buyers can get more for their money in villages such as Biot, Opio, Roquefort les Pins and Châteauneuf de Grasse which are all close to each other. But you will find that prices vary depending on position, views, condition, style and grounds.