Auxerre Property Insight

Auxerre is a town located in the Yonne department and in the Burgundy region. With 40,000 inhabitants, called the Auxerrois the town is the administrative centre of the department. As far as the pronunciation of the town is concerned, you should pronounce it (/o'sɛʁ/), indeed the ‘X’ is pronounced ‘SS’, as many other places, such as Bruxelles, or Auxonne. Auxerre is mainly famous for its wines (Chablis amongst others), but also for its football club (AJA) and its ex-famous coach, Guy Roux.


First traces of the town date back to the Gallo-Roman era, unfortunately there is no vestige of that time. It was first called Autricum, then Roman called it Autessiodurum, and with the French evolution it became Autcedre and finally Auxerre. Influence from Middle Ages and the Renaissance is strong, as you will see in the medieval centre. There are many religious monuments and the centre is full of half timbered houses and Renaissance mansions.

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Auxerre Immobilier & Property Market Trends

Since the national average for house prices is €3,200/ sq m in 2009, Auxerre is rather an affordable town with €1,800/sq m. This is understandable when comparing to the department average (€1,765/s m) and to the regional average (€1,745/sq m). It is also logical that Auxerre is more expensive than these two averages; indeed, as the area is very rural, prices tend to be low, while Auxerre is rather a big town, whence prices are higher.

As regards the rental market, Auxerre is a great location if you wish to invest in a buy-to-let property. Indeed, with 57% of residents being tenants, you will not have difficulties finding a tenant. However, it is also a really nice and pleasant town to live in, especially if you are a football fan! The town gets very busy and noisy when some important European or national games take place.

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5 Reasons to Buy a Property in Auxerre

  • Culture, art and historical heritage: Auxerre is an Art and History Town, so as a consequence, it has managed to preserve along the years its architectural and historical heritage. Main monuments are religious, as it always happens in France. Among them, do not miss the Saint Etienne cathedral, built during the 11th and the 16th centuries. It is a huge Gothic style monument and it displays one of the most beautiful stained glass windows in France. The Saint-Germain Abbey is another incontrovertible monument. Do not miss the 9th century crypt, decorated with the oldest wall paints discovered in France so far.

  • Good food: there are many traditional dishes in Burgundy, and especially around Auxerre. Amongst them, try the Gougèreswhich is a savory choux pastry with cheese. Grated cheese may be mixed into the batter, cubes of cheese may be pushed into the top, or both. Gougères are sometimes called ‘cheese puffs’ in English. You will also try the famous Bourguignon snales, the Bourguignon beef, the Bourguignon fondue. You might have heard about the Fondue savoyarde, melted cheese into wish you dip your piece of bread...the Bourguignon fondue, works the same way, except that you dip pieces of meat into boiling oil. You eat the fried meat with various sauces.

  • Architectural style: Auxerre historical centre (67hectares) has been protected since 1995. It displays many medieval houses, especially by the Yonne River, as it was the former quarter, and many mansions from Renaissance and 18th century. In the centre you will also see many wood sculptures and do not miss the amazing Clock tower with 2 facades, dating back to the 15th century.

  • Football: according to the office du tourisme, many visitors go to Auxerre thanks to football games, and they then visit the town. The Association de la Jeunesse auxerroise (AJA) was created in 1905, and since 1980 it plays in the first division (ligue 1). So far, the club has played more than 1,000 national games in Ligue 1, and more than 100 European games. The club also stands out as it is the only in France to own its own infrastructures. You can not talk about AJA without mentioning Guy Roux, who was the coach of the team during 40 years!

  • Wine: Auxerre is at the heart of one of the most famous Bourguignon wines. The most famous one is probably the Clos de Chainette, one of the oldest vineyard in France; its first traces date back to the 7th century. It is renowned to be one of the best Bourguignon wines. It is a very special and unique wine,as only 6hectares are cultivated of red and white grapes, an you must wait some years if you fancy buying a bottle. There are also other wines around Auxerre: Chablis, Coteaux de l’Auxerrois, Irancy, Saint-Bris, Coulanges-la-Vineuse and Chitry le Fort.

Property Styles and Architecture in Auxerre

  • Half-timbered houses: in Auxerre centre there are plenty of medieval half-timbered houses. As the centre is under protection, they all have been restored and they look exactly as they used to during Middle Ages. Many of half timbered houses in France have been covered with concrete or white lime; however, nowadays it is again fashionable to see the colombage facade, and as a result they are taking off the concrete and the lime from all the facades. That gives a medieval look to narrow streets and it is much nicer than white or grey facades.

  • Maisons de Maitre: You will find this kind of houses just outside the town, or even sometimes in the town (more likely to be mansions than maisons de maitre, but the difference in features is very slight). This kind of property come with a piece of land (a huge garden or a wood), and with few outbuildings. They are usually at least 2 storey-high and often even 3 storey-high. On the ground floor you will usually find the kitchen, with a fireplace and a big oak table, a living room, a bathroom, a dining room, and a study. Up the oak stairs you will usually find the bedrooms, with another bathroom. The parquet in the whole house is usually a beautiful oak parquet, but the kitchen which has a tiled floor. Traditionally on the ground floor used to stand the servant’s room, and there is also the attic.

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