Ask the agent

Fred­erika Bos­man from Au­vergne Prop­er­ties says that, if any­thing, Brexit has boosted the prop­erty mar­ket in the re­gion

Living France - - Where To Live -

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

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