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

Living France - - Contents -

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?

Around €100-120,000.

a de­tached prop­erty with land in good con­di­tion?

I’d say about €130-140,000.

a ren­o­va­tion project?

Around €60-80,000.

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.

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