ASK THE AGENT
No one knows the area like a local estate agent. We asked Maggie Kelly, of L’Abri-Tanique, for the inside track on Pas-de-Calais
A property agent covering Pas-de-Calais gives their insider knowledge
What’s the cheapest property you have on your books?
We have a lovely little town house on our books for €50,000. It is set in an elevated position with cobbled paths overlooking the rooftops and local church with an open-plan lounge, fitted kitchen, bathroom and two bedrooms plus a sunny terrace to the rear.
How much would you expect to pay for: a three-bedroom town house?
a detached property with land in good condition?
I’d say about €130-140,000.
a renovation project?
What’s the most unusual property you have sold in the past?
A watermill in the centre of a village on its own island, accessed via bridges. We hope to have it back on our books again as the owners are on the move.
Is there a typical architecture or style in the department?
The fermette (small farmhouse/ cottage) style properties are typical in this area and we also have a very Flemish influence in the local towns.
Why do British people buy houses in Pays-de-Calais?
British people are buying property in our department because it is one of the least expensive areas in Europe and still so close to the UK.
What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking of buying in your area?
Buy now while stocks last! No, really, the difference in property prices from the south-east of the UK and our area is immeasurable. You get so much more for your money in this area; it really is commuting distance, not of course if you are the local milkman or teacher, but if you only need to be in the office a couple of times a week, why pay a fortune for a house in Kent when we are only a 35-minute train ride away?
What local attractions are there?
We have all sorts of attractions in our area, such as many theme parks with rides and activities, beautiful beaches, golf, tennis, horse riding and sand yachting, plus we are only two and a half hours from Disneyland and Paris.
What are the area’s specialities?
Our local speciality is cheese from a farm producing cow and goat’s milk cheeses in Créquy. The Abbaye de Belval also produces cheese and a speciality beer.
What are your predictions for the area?
I predict that northern France will be the future for lots of families wanting to relocate. The property market here will afford you a life away from the heavy mortgage treadmill that so many young families are finding hard to cope with. I think this area will really open itself up to UK buyers in the near future.
Describe your area in five words.
Friendly, unspoilt, historic, accessible, commutable.