Despite a large influx of British buyers over the past few decades, this region is still one of the cheapest places in France to buy old properties — assuming you can find them. Here the first signs of falling prices began at the end of 2005 away from the coast. There are still some popular seaside resorts where prices are still increasing but the trend is for “stabilisation” — and we know what that means.
The major centres are keeping their prices, with Bordeaux and the nearby coastline being one of the few places to report price increases over the summer. You don’t have to go far inland to begin to feel the estate agents twitter.
Stagnant is the word most often used to describe the market in Provence. Find buyers who need to sell and prices will come down quickly. This phenomenon is most pronounced at the top end of the market where prices went particularly crazy after the turn of the century.
Technology and industry in Toulouse keeps prices high, plus the French population shift southwards is benefiting the region as a whole (why stay in Lille if you don’t absolutely have to?).
Outside the main cities, however, the region is undergoing a transition. This was where profit-taking among rural property owners was at its most enthusiastic. No longer.
There are still plenty of speculators wanting to make money out of property in this perennial favourite. A careful search for serious sellers means lower prices can be found.
The principal city of the region, Montpellier, has had the highest growth in prices over the past few years as businesses relocate south. The coastal strip and suburbs are very popular but look inland to see prices falling.
The regions that are traditionally popular along the coast will hold their prices. The inland regions that experienced the strongest price growth in recent years (Midi-Pyrenées, Poitou-Charente) are already experiencing a slide in prices. So, if you’re looking for real bargains in the French property market, keep away from the hot spots on the southern coasts — and negotiate.