Toulouse (Tolosa in langue d’oc) is a south-western city of France. Located in the heart of the most populated area of Haute Garonne, it is also the head of the department as well as of the Midi Pyrenees region. With 437,715 inhabitants in 2006, Toulouse is the fourth city and the fifth agglomeration of France in terms of population.
A city with a typical architecture style, Toulouse was nicknamed the pink city - la ville rose in French - due to the traditional local material colour used for the building i.e. terra cotta brick. Another nickname given to the city is the city of the violets - la cité des violettes in French. Indeed, a brotherhood is based in Toulouse and produces a huge quantity of this flower.
In Toulouse, the plain is surrounded in the west with Lomagne’s hills and in the east with the Saint-Félix-Lauragais’ hillsides. In the north of the city, a large wood, called Buzet wood, stretches over 1,000ha.
As regards climate, Toulouse’s special feature is to be situated at the junction of the three temperate climate types. Indeed, the ocean climate has Mediterranean and continental impacts. Thus, winter is dry and hot, autumn is sunny, winter is fresh and springtime is subject to heavy rains and stormy.
Haute Garonne industry is mainly based around Toulouse’s pole.
In few years, Toulouse became a dynamic city. Aviation industry, spatial sector, electronics, information technology and biotechnologies are the keywords of this Ville Forte label which allows the city to be recognized in an economic level. Indeed, Toulouse is the fourth town of France in terms of population, no.1 in Europe for aviation industry (no.2 worldwide), no1. in Europe as regards the spatial sector and no.1 in France concerning embedded electronics systems. Thus, we can find there some A380 assembly lines and EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company) sites.
However, this growth occurred with the respect of Toulouse’s quality of life: proud of its heritage, the city displays its culture. Toulouse, an exceptional art city, is the home to the largest number of monuments: churches, old houses, museums… all these monuments attest Toulouse’s history, from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. As a result, Toulouse remains an importance art and cultural centre and plays the role of regional capital.
The north of the Haute Garonne department is much more expensive than the south due to its economic dynamism. There, 88.2% of properties are main homes, 79.7% of which are apartments. 64.1% of the inhabitants are tenants. These figures reflect the high demand in apartments and thus a great potential for a buy-to-let investments. Studio flats are little numerous in the city - only 17.8% - so it will be easier to find large apartments, which are, on the other hand very sought-after.
Then, Toulouse being a big city, it is preferable to target the kind of quarter you would like to invest in. If you are looking for an apartment to let to a student, the best would be to buy in the following quarters: Saint Cyprien, Saint Michel or Patte d’oie. If you are willing to settle in a chic area, then le Capitole, Busca or les Carmes are perfect locations. Remember that the most expensive quarters are located in the town centre, in the south east of Toulouse and in new quarters such as Borderouge.
As regard accommodation prices in Toulouse, the average price is €3,304 / sq m for a property for sale and €12.11/sq m a month for a rental. Let’s analyse more deeply the property prices for apartments for sale in Toulouse first on a general basis and then according the selected quarters.
In 2009, a 4-room apartment is worth from €1,820/sq m to €3,050/sq m whereas a studio flat costs from €2,360/sq m to €3,050/sq m. The deduction is clear, the larger, the cheaper. Indeed, as explained previously, Toulouse holds a great number of large flats and thus the offer is large, and the price lower. Few studio flats are available in the town in terms of offer, which explains such high prices. As a result, since large flat are very sought-after and cheaper, your investment will be profitable faster.
Concerning ancient flats in the city, do remember that the closer to the city centre they are, the more expensive they will be. For instance, le Capitole and les Carmes are more expensive (respectively €3,225/sq m and €3,035/sq m) than quarters such as Busca, Saint Cyprien or Saint Michel (respectively €1,815/sq m, €2,635/sq m and €2.465/sq m).
If your choice focuses on new built apartments, then the average price will be about €1,000 more expensive than ancient flats.
To get updated info about the property prices in the Haute Garonne department, please browse our Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
7 Reasons to Buy a Property in Toulouse
Either you are a tourist or a newly resident, Toulouse is a city where anyone will be satisfied: dynamism, employment, cultural heritage, festivals, sport and hobbies, you will not have the time to be bored! British people are attracted by this city thanks to Airbus’ development. Today, about 10,000 Brits are said to live in Toulouse, and are more and more numerous to settle in.
University centre: third French university centre after Paris and Lyon, Toulouse has developed its particularities. Today, over 97,000 students attend Toulouse’s universities (l’université Toulouse I, l’université de Toulouse-Le Mirail and l’université Paul-Sabatier) and higher education institutions. Paul-Sabatier university is the largest of Toulouse and the second of the province with 28,056 students. Numerous college-preparatory in Toulouse allow students to attend a high education institution. They are famous all over France and well-ranked in the national ranking which is a successful mark of students. With 11,000 researchers (in biotechnology, aviation industry and chemistry), Toulouse agglomeration is the third French research pole after Paris and Grenoble. As a result, the city of Toulouse offers an excellent framework for your children’s studies but also for their future career.
Culture: you will find several religious monuments and in particular Catholic monuments. Saint-Sernin basilica has been part of the World Heritage since 1998. It is a southern Roman church consecrated basilica in 1878. Jacobins’ church and cloister is a 13th and 14th cloistered building made of bricks. It represents Languedoc’s Gothic art. Saint-Etienne cathedral was built around 1070. Other typical churches are also worth a visit: Notre-Dame du Taur church, Saint-Aubin church, Saint-Nicolas church… Toulouse also holds an environment heritage with numerous open spaces. The jardin Royal was created in 1754 and allows not only walks but also to have a large natural space inside the city. As regards museums, once again, you will not be disappointed. Saint-Raymond museum is dedicated to antiquity art and archaeology. The Vieux Toulouse museum is a private museum dealing with ancient documents and objects about the city. Augustins’ museum is Toulouse’s Fine Arts museum created in 1795. This is the oldest museum of the city, and the oldest museum of France after the Muséum central of Paris. The Cité de l’Espace is a park dedicated to the space and spatial conquest.
Festivals: during the year, Toulouse receives several music, cinema and other types of festivals. The popular music festival Rio Loco, the Piano aux Jacobins, Toulouse les Orgues for instance take place each year to the up-most delight of music lovers. Cinema festivals such as Les Rencontres du Cinéma Italien à Toulouse, Spanish cinema festivals are also in favour in Toulouse. Finally, the year is punctuated by several events like the Carnaval de Toulouse or the Printemps du Rire - which became the most important European humour festival. As a result, anyone may attend any festival, whatever the age or the topic. Festival for children, hip-hop, flamenco, reggae, organ, Toulouse festivals are not only festivals, they are international festivals and represent many cultures and countries. Each one will be able to fulfil their curiosity!
Economy: the economy of Toulouse is mainly based upon aviation and spatial industry, as exposed previously. However, Toulouse also holds a great number of shopkeepers and artisans. The city is committed in promoting and revitalizing shops and craft industry both in the city centre and in the quarters. Indeed, the city has tended to diversify its activities for several years. Primary, secondary or tertiary sector, any one can find a job in the field which fit into their expectations.
Transport links: in the city centre, it is very easy to travel since you can use the two underground lines, the bus network and the railway lines. From 2010, a trolley line will be set up and will complete Toulouse’s public transports. No fewer than 7 motorways are accessible from Toulouse and lead to Narbonne, Bordeaux, Bayonne, Bourges, Albi, from where you can easily join other cities and travel all over France. The train brings to Paris, Limoges, Bordeaux, Sète, Bayonne, Auch and so on. Some high-speed lines drive to Paris and Lille via Bordeaux but also Marseille, Lyon, Dijon and Lille via Montpellier. Finally, the airline remains very developed and holds the fourth rank as regards the Province airports’ ranking. As a result, Toulouse is reachable by many French cities but also by foreign destinations, which represent the best means of transport for British people willing to have an easy access to their native country. You won’t need a car anymore, everything is within reach in Toulouse.
Gastronomy: in the heart of the south west of France, Toulouse is located in a strategic area close to Gascogny. Thus, restaurants offer numerous specialities made of duck. However, the most famous dish is without any doubt the cassoulet – a dish cooked with haricot beans, Toulouse sausage and meat. Both Toulouse and Castelnaudary have claimed to be the inventor of cassoulet for many years. Other typical dishes are l’aillade toulousaine, a garlic and walnut bread crouton basted with olive oil, the brique du Capitole, a praline puff sweet, Toulouse snails, the estouffat toulousain, a dish made of beef, potatoes, onion, garlic, bacon cubes, carrots, pig’s trotter, wine and vinegar, foie gras and so many others that you will discover! Violet in another strong symbol of Toulouse and you will find it in many specialities such as cakes or sweets.
Sport: you can practice a large number of sports in Toulouse such as football, baseball, handball, paint ball, tennis, rugby, basketball, volleyball, hockey archery or automobile race. Toulouse’s typical sport remains rugby, with the famous stade toulousain.A good way to be in fine form. Located 150km from the Mediterranean Sea, 110km from the Pyrenean slopes and 250km from the Atlantic Ocean, Toulouse allows any kind of activity, travel or sport.
Property Styles and Architecture in Toulouse
Petites Toulousaines: this is the most typical kind of property in Toulouse. They are mainly built with bricks and have traditionally no floor. Indeed, this is a one-storey house with a cornice and a rectangular shape. The roof is parallel to the front of the house. When a floor is added, then it is called a toulousaine surélevée or a toulousaine à talons hauts, meaning Toulouse house with spike heels. Often, the doors and windows are surrounded with exposed red bricks. You can also find some petites toulousaines with a rendered front. The cornice of the roof is generally decorative and is less long than the walls.
Detached houses: you may find detached houses in Toulouse. Their advantage is to have calmness in the heart of the city - no neighbours upstairs or downstairs but dynamism of a city. They are close to all commodities and hold a garden/land. Some houses are part of a housing estate and have a swimming pool.
Apartments: they are the most widespread type of property in Toulouse and represent the best kind of investment. You can find flats in buildings, in a collective ownership but also in residences (some of them offer a swimming pool). You may pitch on an apartment in the city centre or in remote quarters, but in any case, it will be located close to all commodities and in particular to public transports.