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Holiday Homes in France 2020

Friday 13 August 2021

A new study shows the substantial growth in the number of second homes in France and the departments where it has occurred.

There are around 3.2 million second homes in mainland France, nearly 10% of the housing stock. Around 90% are owned by French nationals, mainly along the French coast. Between 80,000 to 90,000 are owned by UK nationals.

Not surprisingly, at a regional level the largest number of holiday homes in mainland France is in the sun-drenched Mediterranean of Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, with each having around 500,000 holiday homes, accounting for around 14% of the total stock.

A recent study by Insee, the French statistics agency, has highlighted the monumental growth in holiday homes in France over the past 50 years, increasing from 1.2 million in 1968 to nearly 3.4 million in 2017.

The largest numerical increases over 100,000 have been in the departments of Var (+144,045), Alpes-Maritimes (+143,241), Herault (+115,771), and Savoie (+108,282), with Paris and Haute-Savoie not far behind. In the case of Herault that equates to an increase of nearly 700% in 50 years, driven in large measure by new development along the coast. Aude, Savoie and Hautes-Alpes have all had increases of over 500%.

However, growth has not been a universal phenomenon, for in several departments the number of second homes has declined, notably Essonne (-53%), Seine-et-Marne (-48%), Oise (41%), and Val d'Oise (-36%).

The table below shows the change in the number of second homes in each department between 1968 and 2017, the latest date for which records are available.

Since the Covid outbreak there is every indication from agents and published sales figures that the number of second homes has increased, as a result of urban dwellers buying property in less congested areas. Estate agents report that the demand for holiday homes on the coast, in particular, is resulting in a double-digit increase in property prices in popular areas.

Second Homes by Department
Region/Dept19682017
AUVERGNE-RHONE-ALPES
Ain 14,02717,375
Allier9,77015,149
Ardèche 12,14036,734
Cantal8,16620,628
Drôme8,36521,782
Isère 24,38954,272
Haute-Loire 16,80023,298
Loire 18,16316,487
Puy-de-Dôme19,13039,541
Rhône 27,61928,431
Haute-Savoie 24,379122,182
Savoie20,090128,372
BRITTANY
Côtes d'Amour22,70159,080
Finistère21,11674,511
IIe-et-Vilaine 16,76337,612
Morbihan20,00683,413
BOURGOGNE FRANCHE-COMTE
Belfort
9171,042
Côte-d'Or11,43715,844
Doubs
5,95012,414
Haute-Saône5,7727,949
Jura
8,94415,299
Nièvre15,01121,199
Saône-et-Loire15,98923,228
Yonne
22,56021,409
CENTRE-VAL DE LOIRE
Cher
10,49413,457
Eure-et-Loir
14,85213,045
Indre
7,84214,476
Indre-et-Loire
9,26814,761
Loir-et-Cher
10,60314,472
Loiret
14,48316,568
GRAND EST
Ardennes
3,3574,914
Aube
6,8517,505
Haute-Marne
4,6857,592
Marne
4,9678,024
Meurthe-et-Moselle
4,8767,242
Meuse
3,4234,532
Moselle
2,98510,450
Bas-Rhin
5,94517,126
Haut-Rhin
4,88811,796
Vosges
8,11320,631
HAUTS DE FRANCE
Aisne 9,4959,372
Nord 7,50518,156
Oise 15,8639,280
Pas-de-Calais15,17544,942
Somme 14,46924,531
ILE-DE-FRANCE
Paris28,182124,703
Seine-Saint-Denis6,5316,722
Haute-de-Seine6,56628,141
Val-de-Marne 6,93910,767
Val d'Oise
11,9666,314
Yvelines17,25816,265
Essonne18,9778,860
Seine-et-Marne33,75417,880
NOUVELLE-AQUITAINE
Charente 6,12012,265
Charente-Maritime 25,79495,395
Corrèze 8,70423,432
Creuse9,09917,765
Deux-Sèvres 3,5989,306
Dordogne 11,41736,878
Gironde 27,61475,694
Landes 9,56052,582
Lot-et-Garonne 3,90311,556
Pyrénées-Atlantiques13,45654,992
Haute-Vienne8,73717,040
Vienne
7,29913,901
OCCITANIE
Ariège 8,77527,096
Aude 10,11566,216
Aveyron 10,58631,347
Gard 15,38655,081
Gers2,90110,481
Haute-Garonne 12,46831,325
Hautes-Pyrénées 9,76237,609
Hérault 16,754132,525
Lot8,00522,155
Lozère 6,98219,695
Pyrénées-Orientales17,91299,344
Tarn 6,28515,734
Tarn-et-Garonne 4,0507,607
NORMANDY
Calvados
23,07974,586
Manche
15,88244,282
Orne
7,91617,314
Eure
16,21118,969
Seine-Maritime
13,99624,510
PAYS DE LA LOIRE
Loire-Atlantique
33,63478,008
Maine-et-Loire
8,31812,044
Mayenne
4,7858,315
Sarthe
7,92013,862
Vendée24,322101,959
PROVENCE-ALPES-COTE D'AZUR
Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
12,67540,049
Alpes-Maritimes48,911192,152
Bouches-du-Rhône
23,08046,382
Hautes-Alpes
9,64061,342
Var38,386182,431
Vaucluse
6,05224,292

Source: Insee

The department with the highest percentage of properties in second ownership is the Hautes-Alpes, where 45% of the housing stock residential are holiday homes, mostly of course ski chalets or apartments.

In other mountain departments in France - Savoie, Lozère, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Pyrénées-Orientales, Ariège, Haute-Savoie, Hautes-Pyrénées, Creuse, and Cantal - a quarter to a third of the housing stock are second homes.

Other departments with over 20% of the stock as second homes have a more canicular basis for their attraction - Var , Aude, Vendée, Alpes-Maritimes, Charente-Maritime, and Hérault.

The following graphic gives a pictorial representation of this distribution, indicating the percentage of holiday homes in each department.

Related Reading:

French-Property.com Survey

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