French News Archive

Property Market

Old Farms Remain Popular Choice in France

Monday 16 July 2007

The prices of old farm properties in France rose by over 8% last year, with continuing strong interest from French and international buyers alike, according to SAFER the French land agency.

The average national price last year for former French farmhouses for renovation, with around 2 acres of land, was €206,000, an increase of 161% in ten years. This compares with an increase for older, non-farmed houses, of 126% over the same period.

Despite the interest of foreign buyers in this type of property, 89% of such purchases were made by the French themselves, leaving only 11% captured by those from abroad.

In some measure, this reflects the easier access of French buyers to former farms, often sold by word of mouth, or through the auspices of the French land agency SAFER, which is relatively unknown to those from abroad.

Buyers from the UK accounted for around 70% of all international purchases, with Brittany, Lower Normandy and the South West (Limousin through to the Gers) continuing to be the most popular regions.

The UK presence was less significant in Provence Cote d’Azur, where the majority of international buyers were from Scandinavia.

There was also strong evidence of competition between UK buyers and the French from the same country properties in the West and South West of France, although unlike the Brits, the French also had a penchant for the Cote d’Azur and country properties around Paris.

In order to find the bargains, buyers also seem prepared to travel further in order to find the right property at the right price. With improved rail, airport and road links, country properties away from the major cities were approaching those with more direct transport access.

Cheapest average prices for old farms could be found in the Creuse and Indre (€105,000) Ariege, Vienne, and Puy de Dome (€114,000), whilst more established areas such as the Dordogne, Lot, Tarn and the Gers were around €200,000. The most expensive county was the Alpes-Maritimes, with prices around €500,000.

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