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