Where should you buy a bargain rural home in France ?
France’s coastal regions have seen an increase in sales of rural properties, according to research by France’s rural land agency SAFER. It recently published figures for the state of the market in 2017 for maisons de campagnes, defined as part or all of an old farmstead or a property sold with farming or natural land of at least five hectares.
Buyers are choosing a rural retreat in the coastal areas of Normandy, Brittany, Provence and Pays-basque, suggesting a renewed interest in second homes located in these desirable locations.
Other areas of interest include business catchment areas in the outer rings of Paris and Lyon but also in Brittany, Pays-de-la-loire and Nord-pas-de-calais, where buyers are purchasing rural homes closer to work opportunities.
The average sale price for a maison de campagne in 2017 was €164,600, up from €160,400 in 2016. The report explains that the increase is due to the nationwide rise in property prices and attractively low interest rates that have impacted on the rural property market. However, prices vary considerably across the regions and proximity to a big city has significant influence on prices.
For instance, rural homes in the suburbs of Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Toulouse and Lyon sell for €214,600 on average, whereas bargains under €100,800 can be found in Lot, north Aisne, Haute-marne, central Brittany, and rural areas of Indre, Cher, Nièvre, Limousin, Auvergne and Ariège.
International non-resident buyers made up 5.1% of total sales in 2017, slightly less than in 2016 (5.3%). While Britons remain the largest group of non resident international buyers, sales to British buyers fell from 47% in 2016, to 41% in 2017, due to the Brexit referendum and the subsequent drop in the sterling rate. Trends suggest 2018 will have the opposite effect, however. The most popular areas for international buyers looking to buy a rural home in France remain Nouvelle-aquitaine and parts of Occitanie, Brittany, Burgundy, the Riviera and the Alps.