Property in South West France is always in demand, but these are the five most sought after locations by Home Hunts’ clients in 2015
The beautiful and diverse regions of the Midi-Pyrénées and Aquitaine make up France’s South West corner. Infinitely popular with overseas buyers, the glorious mountains, ocean-side beaches, charming villages, sweeping vineyards, thriving, modern cities and fast airport access offer opportunities for all.
“The quality of life, the international community and the stunning views, not to mention the long sunny summers, ensure that buyers enjoy owning a property here,” says Rory Ramsden, Home Hunts’ consultant for South West France. “Yet, when it comes to sell, a buyer can be found pretty quickly.”
Whether a second or permanent home is desired, or a property with income opportunities, such as a vineyard or a B&B, buyers are spoilt for choice when looking for prime property in South West France.
“As with all property investments, where you choose to buy is as important as what you choose to buy,” says Rory. “South West France attracts international buyers who understand the value of peace and quiet but still want to feel they can jump on a plane to a long-haul hub if they need to.”
After an analysis of enquiries and transactions Home Hunts has found that there are five areas that proved to be the most coveted in 2015: properties within a half-an-hour of Bordeaux and the departments of the Dordogne, Lot, Gers and Lot-et-Garonne.
Solid investment opportunities in Bordeaux
Over the last twelve months, Home Hunts has noticed a significant increase in the number of clients who want to be close to Bordeaux, but live in the country with few neighbours. In the middle of a 30-year development strategy, the city is gradually being transformed and buyers move here to enjoy the culture, restaurants, shopping and transportation options. A world-class wine region, unsurprisingly many of these buyers are also keen to find properties that are also surrounded by their own vines.
Access to the international airport and high-speed train – currently TGV but to be LGV (Ligne à Grande Vitesse) from 2017, which will connect with Paris’s Gare Montparnasse in two hours – have also made this area wildly attractive. Those looking for an investment property in South West France, buying near Bordeaux can offer excellent opportunities.
“Businesses in and around Paris are moving offices to Bordeaux because of the new fast train link,” says Rory. “As a result, property prices are starting to feel the effect, so for those looking for a solid investment that will be quick to sell, being close to Bordeaux works.”
Dreaming of the Dordogne
The Dordogne, with its rolling green hills, bastide villages and ever-growing expat community is a perennial favourite with the British and an excellent choice for those wishing to go into the B&B or gite business.
“The area is a busy tourist destination in summer and there are some beautiful châteaux, chartreuses and village houses to buy if you know where to look,” says Rory. “There are also some spectacular renovation projects currently available on the market for buyers that have some experience and know-how.”
For space and solitude live in the Lot
Located around one hour from Toulouse’s international airport, the Lot’s landscapes are often rugged and wild, with valley peaks that offer breath-taking views over the countryside. For buyers looking for privacy and space, this is a good place to start looking.
“Clients can be blown away by the solitude of a property knowing they are still within minutes of the essentials in life (such as a “boulangerie” and village shop),” says Rory. “Buyers are mainly looking for second homes, but those with a commercial goal should consider the Lot too as there is a distinct lack of quality small hotels.”
Cahors, the capital of the Lot department, is a stunning medieval town on the River Lot that is famed for its wine made from the Malbec grape. Here there is a bustling weekly market, some good quality restaurants and historic must-see sites, such as the UNESCO-protected Valentré Bridge, which was built in the 14th century.
Overwhelmingly beautiful Gers
An agricultural department and overwhelmingly beautiful, this coveted corner of France (often referred to as Gascony) is popular with buyers looking for country estates amidst the peaceful, patchwork countryside. Condom, Lectoure, Fleurance and the other towns and villages in between are some of the most sought-after locations in the department, and they are also just an hour or so from the vibrant city of Toulouse, with its international airport, buzzing restaurants, cafes and plentiful boutiques.
“There are some stunning properties on the market in Gers that could work either as a permanent home or as somewhere to spend just a few weeks in the summer,” says Rory. “Clients often find that a rental income is also possible as holidaymakers enjoy visiting Gers to get away from it all, often for biking and walking trips. Gers is famous for its Armagnac, so walks and visits to the local vineyards are a common holiday pursuit.”
Lot-et-Garonne: practical and picturesque
Often called the largest orchard in France, Lot-et-Garonne is renowned for its picturesque countryside, pretty bastide towns and wine production, and is one of the most coveted areas in South West France.
“There were around one hundred bastides built during the Hundred Years’ War and more than half are in the Lot-et-Garonne, which is also a popular tourist destination in the summer,” says Rory. “Bergerac airport serves the area for the Brits, and Toulouse or Bordeaux serve as airports for those who have bought further south. Castillonnès, Monflanquin, Fumel and Villeneuve-sur-Lot are all worth further investigation for those looking for a country house or renovated farm.”
To search for luxury property in South West France, visit www.home-hunts.com, but to speak with consultant about the advantages of each area and your criteria, speak to a consultant at Home Hunts on +33 (0)970 44 66 43.