Ask the Agent

Monique Clé­ment of Im­moroy­ans tells us why the Vercors is a hid­den gem for Bri­tish buy­ers look­ing for a French home

Living France - - WHERE TO LIVE - im­moroy­

How much are the cheap­est and most ex­pen­sive prop­er­ties that you have for sale in the Vercors?

The cheap­est prop­erty we have for sale is on the mar­ket for €45,000; the most ex­pen­sive is €760,000.

Can you tell us about the lo­cal ar­chi­tec­ture of the area?

The ar­chi­tec­ture is dif­fer­ent de­pend­ing on whether you are on the plain or in the moun­tains. On the plain, it is char­ac­ter­ized by farms with wal­nut dry­ers (this area is known for its AOC Greno­ble wal­nuts). Th­ese dry­ers are usu­ally built in stone or wooden planks on the ground floor. In the moun­tains, the houses are also in stone but the roofs are steeper and they have lauze stairs (made from flat stones found in the re­gion). The think­ing be­hind stairs like this was to have easy ac­cess to the roof so that res­i­dents could get rid of snow af­ter big storms.

Do you have many Bri­tish buy­ers?

We have a few for­eign clients, es­pe­cially English and Dutch. I re­mem­ber one English cou­ple par­tic­u­larly well. I sold a house and three gîtes to them seven years ago ( turn to page 28 to read their in­ter­view). The prop­erty was in a poor con­di­tion but this brave English cou­ple ren­o­vated the en­tire prop­erty and made it into a mar­vel where they could wel­come cy­clists from all over the world and help them dis­cover the Vercors by bike. Their suc­cess is re­ally re­mark­able.

What kind of bud­get does your typ­i­cal Bri­tish buyer have?

It varies; usu­ally be­tween €120,000 and €200,000. What is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber is that a beau­ti­ful house in the Vercors costs the same price as a stu­dio in Lon­don.

What do you think Bri­tish buy­ers tend to want to buy?

The English are very fond of old stone houses which have ‘soul’. They’re not too con­cerned about whether the prop­erty has good in­su­al­tion or not beause many don’t live here dur­ing the win­ter.

What’s the most un­usual re­quest that you’ve had from a client?

I had clients who wanted to buy a prop­erty with space where they could land their small plane – they were avi­a­tion en­thu­si­asts. How­ever, it was dif­fi­cult to meet all of their cri­te­ria. So I sold them a house on the edge of the lo­cal aero club and they are de­lighted with their pur­chase.

What is the prop­erty mar­ket like in the Vercors at the mo­ment ?

There has been a long pe­riod of calm but over the past eight months or so, it feels like the mar­ket has been bounc­ing back. In­ter­est rates are at their low­est and threat­en­ing to rise, so peo­ple are en­cour­aged to in­vest now rather than re­main a ten­ant.

What are your pre­dic­tions for the prop­erty mar­ket in the Vercors?

I am quite op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture of our prop­erty mar­ket be­cause the Vercors is re­ally a re­gion that has many as­sets. The prices are not as low as in the cen­tre of France but they are much more ac­ces­si­ble than in the south. There­fore we are a good mid­dle ground for buy­ers who do not have a very big bud­get but who still want to be in a dy­namic and sunny area that is close to the moun­tains.

What’s the best thing about liv­ing in the Vercors?

The Vercors is ideal for lovers of na­ture and sport ac­tiv­i­ties. I think liv­ing in the Vercors is a good way to main­tain your youth!

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