Aquitaine is the largest region of France, this beautiful coastal region offers a wide range of landscapes. Similarly to the variety of landscapes, the property prices and architecture vary significantly throughout the region. Most notably the cheapest property areas are found inland - i.e Dordogne and Lot-et-Garonne - whilst on the west coast, including Gironde, Les Landes and Pyrenees Atlantiques, prices remain higher due to the increased demand for coastal property from foreigners and French weekenders from Bordeaux or Paris. Higher prices are also found in the urban areas, notably the fashionable cities and towns of the region.
According to a 2008 survey the Aquitaine was named as the best place to live in France, please see our news article. The region offers variety and good supply of traditional and new property. To find out about the different property styles in the Aquitaine, please see our architecture pages for more information. As in other popular regions of France the expansion of low cost airlines (Ryanair, Easyjet, Transavia) and the advent of cheap flights have contributed significantly to the increased demand for property from foreigner purchasers.
Over the last 15 years there has been sustained demand from British, Dutch, German and Belgian property buyers. Many have relocated permanently or purchased a second home in the region during this period. The improving road network and the Bordeaux TGV station are other important attractions, offering regular services to Paris and easy connections to the Eurostar, northern France and Europe.
The Aquitaine property market was thriving during the years leading up to 2005, it has since slowed notably. Aquitaine house prices increased by 4.5% in 2007-2008, compared to a 17.5% increase in 2004-2005.
Bordering Spain and the wild Altantic Ocean, the Pyrenees Atlantiques department which is home to the fashionable towns of Biarritz, Bayonne and St Jean de Luz offers the most expensive properties in the region. House prices in the Gironde are also high, inflated by the development of transport services, economic activity and cultural events in Bordeaux. Conversely in the more rural departments of the Dordogne and the Lot et Garonne house prices remain lower than in the coastal departments. Indeed, despite its popularity with foreign investors and Particularly the British, the Dordogne department remains the cheapest department in the region.
To get updated information about the house prices in the Aquitaine region, please browse our French Property market reports published in the News Section every month.
Click here to have more details about Aquitaine Property Prices.
Aquitaine is highly regarded for its scenery: covering the historic Gascony region, this area is a real gold mine for nature lovers.
Exceptional wines: Bordeaux is home to the best wines in the world. The locals are so fond of their second to none wines that you can even buy a property along with a private vineyard in some cases.
Thriving tourism: with such assets, the tourism industry in the region is thriving. This means that rental opportunities are numerous and that activities related to tourism are generally quite successful.
ROI: the return on investment in this area of France is quite fast, partly because of the major improvement made on local motorways. With the future development of a high-speed train line connecting Paris with Bordeaux in 2 hours, it is likely that rentals and tourism will thrive.
Natural environment: part of "the moors of Gascony", the Landes forest is the greatest pine forest in Europe, and the Dune du Pilat, the largest sand dune.You can also enjoy beautiful beaches. You may alternatively see famous holiday destinations like Biarritz, Saint-Jean de Luz and Arcachon, and smaller beach resorts like Seignosse, Carcans and Contis along the Côte d'Argent ("silver coast"). Holding some cultural and historical treasures, remote areas like Dordogne or Lot-et-Garonne abound with picturesque villages. Such places are ideal for second home buyers, offering stone houses, authentic pigeonniers and ancient properties to renovate. Let's not forget also the slopes in the Pyrenees Atlantiques where you will be able to ski, but also to hike in summer.
Delightful French food: both locals and visitors are glad to enjoy Aquitaine specialities such as Bordeaux wines, Roquefort cheese, Perigord truffles and duck foie gras to give but a few.
Southernmost area: belonging to the French Pyrénées and neighbouring Basque Country, this area is nowadays really fashionable as it is perfectly located between the seaside, the mountains and Spain. Plus, the local traditions are a benchmark when it comes to French culture: Ferias (street feasts) in Dax and Bayonne are renowned all over the country!
The Aquitaine region generally matches second home buyers' expectancies as it offers many different property styles, from traditional farmhouses in the countryside to trendy villas by the sea.
Bastides: the best known house type - and certainly the most typical of the South Western architecture. The bastides are in fact similar to what is generally called "mas" in south eastern France, referring to practical farmhouses often fortified and with large courtyards.The term "bastide" is related to the fortified towns scattered throughout the South West. These towns were fortified during the 13th and 14th centuries and even today many of the mediaeval fortifications remain. A Bastide property represents the perfect second home, full of character and charm where you can readily enjoy the French lifestyle.
Longères: this type of property is found primarily in the northern half of Aquitaine. It is less common in the southern departments and neighbouring inland areas. The longere property is recognisable by its particularity which is to be a massive single-storey building with useful storage rooms, and for this reason they are much appreciated by wine-growers.
Perigord houses: the Dordogne department boasts an abundance of rural stone property, including the popular farmhouses known locally as Maisons du Périgord Noir.
Holiday homes: to the west, all along the Atlantic coast, you may more easily find holiday cottages and villas to rent or for sale, but let us mention that prices have hugely soared (almost twice the average Aquitaine property prices)! As the west coastline from Saint Jean de Luz to Royan tends to be a must for both surfing and hip holidays, beach resorts and summer houses are a common sight now.
Click here for more info about the Aquitaine Architecture.
|Take a closer look at the Aquitaine property market:|
|Dordogne Property Insight|
|Gironde Property Insight|
|Lot et Garonne Property Insight|
|Landes Property Insight|
|Pyrénées Atlantiques Property Insight|