Saint-Lo is a town of the Manche department in the Basse Normandie region of France. This is the prefecture of the department. Saint Lo is located at the heart of the Cotentin peninsula and is surrounded with ramparts. It is the second town of the department in terms of population (19,643 inhabitants) after Cherbourg.
The town is located at the heart of the Saint Lois hedged farmland. The town centre has developed on a schist overhang part of the Armorican massif and is crossed by the River Vire. This particular situation has given it the nickname of L’Enclos (the enclosure). Saint Lo benefits from an oceanic climate characterized by mild winters and temperate summers. Rainfalls are rarely heavy and most often only drizzles. It is an ideal location for relaxation and tranquillity.
Saint Lo boasts a rich historical past and an architectural diversity. Despite the destructions of WWII, numerous points of interests are displayed throughout the town. Strolling in the town will let you discover all its gems such as the museums, ramparts, towers, typical streets, religious monuments… A site not to be missed is the Place Général de Gaulle: there you will see the Laitière Normande, a bronze sculpture created in 1887. This sculpture has its own history: it was melt by the German during WWII who used it as cannons. But thanks to the shopkeepers of Saint Lo, the Laitière Normande came back in the town in 1984.
In 2009, a property in France is sold €3,197 /sq m. In the Manche department, the average property price is €2,030 /sq m. Since the late 2008, prices in Saint Lo have dropped significantly. Indeed, they decreased by €500 /sq m. First, a property was sold €2,000 /sq m but is now sold €1,500 /sq m on average. Thus, this is the right moment to buy a house or an apartment in Saint Lo.
Prices however vary according to the type of property. You can count on average €1,280 for an ancient apartment and €121,600 for a house. Saint Lo offers great rental opportunities as over 64% of the inhabitants are tenants. Considering the low property prices there, it is the perfect location for a buy-to-let investment. Indeed, renting your property should be fast profitable. All the more so that the town is currently developing its rental housing stock.
To get updated info about property prices in Manche, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
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Historical heritage: the town has a rich history, as almost all the towns of Normandy. Saint Lo was a martyr of WWII. In 1948, the commune received the Légion d’Honneur – Legion of Honour – and was nicknamed Capital of the Ruins. As exposed previously, other anecdotes reflect the history of the town such as the Laitière Normande. The Madeleine memorial recounts the history of the Normandy landing.
Tranquillity and scenery: a small valley called the Petite Suisse (little Switzerland) constitutes the pleasant surroundings of Saint Lo. Locals appreciate walking in this area because they find tranquillity and beautiful landscapes. There you will find small rivers and ponds nestled in very natural settings. This charming valley is an idyll for nature lovers who will appreciate this breath of fresh air.
Activities: several activities can be practised along the Vire River, like fishing, canoeing, kayaking, horse-riding, biking, climbing…. Strolling alone allows to enjoy the beautiful landscapes and the soothing setting. For those more interested by culture, a theatre and museums are on offer and diverse events are organized all year long.
Location – transport links: Saint Lo railway station leads to Caen, Rennes and Paris, from where you can travel to many European and international cities. In the town centre, moving is easy thanks to the public transport and 4 bus routes. The closest airports are Caen, Cherbourg and Rennes (destinations: Manchester, Paris, Exeter, Dublin, Manchester, Southampton, Edinburgh, Belfast and Newcastle)
Rental opportunities: with more of 60 % tenants in the town, Saint Lo offers excellent rental opportunities. It is an ideal location for those who are looking for a buy-to-let investment. Besides, the town has many ongoing projects aimed at improving the already prevailing rental market. Furthermore, property prices in the area are very affordable and buying a property there should be fast profitable to you.
Apartments: 55% of the dwellings in Saint Lo are apartments. Considering the number of tenants in the town, an apartment could be the ideal kind of property for those who are looking for buy-to-let investments. They are often located in the town centre and are thus close to all amenities i.e. shops, schools… Some of them come with a garage and cellar.
Detached houses: they often offer quietness but are however close to the town centre. They come with a garage, cellar, piece of land. The roof is either made of slate tiles or red tiles. Inside, beams are usually exposed and give more charm to the property. Some of them are constructed with stones. Some detached houses are newly built and have painted walls.
Click here for more info about the Architecture in Basse Normandie.
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