TOUR­DEFRANCE

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Special Report -

Brit­tany

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.

At­lantic Coast

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.

Provence

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.

Midi-Pyrenées

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.

Côte d’Azur

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.

Langue­doc

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.

Over­all trend

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.

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