If you are looking to buy property in France, out of all the incredible locations and landscapes the country has to offer, where is the best place to live?
France is the world’s most visited country with 84 million visitors each year. It is also a country proven to be a safe haven for real estate investment globally, a market that thrives due to the aesthetic diversity of its locations and economic opportunities it offers.
Whether you want an Alpine getaway by a world-class ski resort; a waterfront villa with panoramic views along the coveted Côte d’Azur; a permanent family home in the countryside minutes from a thriving smart city; or a traditional stone farmhouse surrounded by vineyards and olive groves; purchasing property in France can fulfil even the most demanding of expectations.
Bordeaux voted best destination in Europe
But where, amidst all this glorious choice, is considered to be the best place to live and own property in France? According to the “European Best Destinations” organisation – based in Brussels with the remit of developing and promoting culture and tourism in Europe – the best destination in Europe, for 2015, is Bordeaux.
There were 20 destinations selected to compete for this prestigious title, which included Lisbon, Athens, Milan, Brussels, Vienna, Rome, Barcelona, Istanbul and Madrid. But after a period of online voting over three weeks, which saw 244,696 people vote, Bordeaux was crowned the best destination in Europe.
“The city of Bordeaux’s inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 and its bold modernism have made it a key destination for everyone interested in French culture, lifestyle and wine,” says the organisation. “Centre of a legendary winegrowing region, this vibrant and sophisticated city is a top gourmet and culture destination. Synonymous with fine wines, Bordeaux is one of France’s most elegant cities.”
The best place to buy property in France
For the Home Hunts team, this Bordelaise accolade has not come as much of a surprise. The increasing interest in the Gironde department from clients, especially in the area’s vineyard properties, shows that out of all the property in France, real estate in the Bordeaux area is more popular than ever before.
In terms of location, Bordeaux is ideally situated for exploring world-class wine châteaux. It is also a short drive away from exquisite seaside resorts on the Atlantic coast, such as Arcachon and Andernos-les-Bains, and just a few hours away from the slopes and thermal spas of the Pyrénées. But Bordeaux is also a city that is successful due to its lively and complex interplay between old and new.
Why Bordeaux is hard to beat
Bordeaux is a modern metropolis with a village feel. It is an old town, with a 2000-year history, yet also at the forefront of France’s digital technology goals. It has one of the country’s most advanced transport systems and while it is fiercely proud of its traditions and culture, it is also focused on discovering new ways that the city can be experienced by people. True to this trend, its venerable winemaking past is soon to be enshrined in a new €66.6 million futuristic wine tourism centre, a “Guggenheim bordelaise”.
The “mirroir d’eau” – the world’s largest reflecting pool set between the famous Place de la Bourse and the Garonne River – is one good example of how the old riverside, which is lined with 18th and 19th century architecture, has been transformed and regenerated through the creation of a contemporary landmark. A stunning, modern statement that nurtures community and connection in a city, it is details like this which make Bordeaux, France’s fourth biggest city, stand out from the crowd.
Why and where in Bordeaux?
“For those looking to invest in property in France, Bordeaux is one of our most popular locations,” says Tim Swannie, director of Home Hunts. “The drop in house prices across Aquitaine, along with the low interest and mortgage rates, means that buying in this exceptional location is now even more accessible for buyers.”
In terms of locations, Bordeaux can offer vineyard properties (showcased now through Home Hunts’ dedicated vineyard property arm), but also striking city and countryside properties. In terms of where to buy, demand in the city centre – in places such as Jardin Public and Saint-Bruno – is high because it is fairly small compared to most cities. Outside of Bordeaux the Entre Deux Mers region is popular, which extends to Monségur in the south, Pujols in the north and Sainte Foy La Grande to the east.