Ask the agent
Frederika Bosman from Auvergne Properties says that, if anything, Brexit has boosted the property market in the region
How much are the cheapest and most expensive properties you have for sale?
The cheapest is a charming stone house to renovate, priced at €9,800. The most expensive is a stunning renovated château in perfect condition, priced at €1,350,000.
Can you tell us about the local architecture of Auvergne?
Farmhouses are common here and are generally stone-built and sealed with a natural product called chaux (lime), or they can also be constructed of pisé, which is basically a clay-based loam structure. Many of the older houses were built around 1900 and they generally consist of a small house with a large attached barn and/or hay loft on the upper floor. Mostly the animals had more space than the families themselves! Both the barns and the hay storage lofts are now often used to extend the living accommodation.
Apart from France, which countries are your buyers from?
Most buyers are from northern European countries, mainly the Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom, but also from Switzerland and sometimes from the Scandinavian countries.
What do expats tend to want to buy?
Expats generally want to buy older properties with lots of character, either to renovate or that have already been renovated. Also, they often want to be relatively isolated with open views.
What’s the most unusual request that you’ve had from a client?
I get all sorts of weird and wonderful requests but perhaps the client who arrived on horseback to view a property was one of the most unusual. Especially as he then asked to camp out on the property so he could “talk” to the trees at sunrise to see if they agreed to him buying it!
Do you think Brexit has had an impact on the property market in Auvergne?
Strangely enough we seem to have more British buyers since Brexit than before. I don’t think that people who were planning to buy in France will necessarily change their minds as a result of Brexit.
Where in particular can you get a lot for your money?
The best prices can be found further away from the larger cities such as Vichy and Clermont-Ferrand. In general, prices here are not very high, with an average price per square metre of around €1,000 or less if it needs renovating.
Do you have any bargains for sale now?
Yes, I have a lovely watermill in Massiac which the owners want to sell quickly and they have just reduced the price to €199,000 – an exceptional price ( see the watermill on the opposite page).
What is the market like currently?
The property market is very good at the moment. The number of transactions has increased steadily since 2015 and prices have stayed stable for now. As such this is an excellent time to buy.
What are your predictions for the property market in the coming months?
I expect the same trend to continue for the foreseeable future and I expect this will eventually lead to (reasonable) price increases over the coming years.
In your opinion, what are the best things about living in Auvergne?
It has to be the beautiful varied landscape, which ranges from mountains to rolling hills and includes two amazing nature parks. In addition it’s not very heavily populated, so it’s lovely and peaceful and there are no traffic jams!
DID YOU KNOW? People living in Auvergne live higher than in any other region in France – on average at 490m above sea level