Saint Brieuc Property Guide and Information

Saint Brieuc is the main town of the Cotes d’Armor department, officially named prefecture. Located in the well-known Bay of St Brieuc and crossed by the two rivers Gouët et Gouëdic, this charming western town based its economy – and reputation – on water and fishing activities activities, from biological and food transport surveys to sailing and fishing holiday deals.


Saint Brieuc and its surroundings are particularly appreciated for the natural reserves and preserved areas they hold. The Hillion peninsula divides the bay into two parts comprising beaches, reed beds, salt licks and dunes – some rare postcard-like settings! An astonishing show of migratory birds also lures both visitors and nature lovers from October to March. Natura 2000 is another protected zone (“zone spéciale de conservation”) of 1,400 hectares, part of the public domain.

Retaining the charm of the medieval architecture and holy monuments, the historical heritage of Saint Brieuc includes the impressive 14th-century hill-top Tour de Cesson, the 11th-century Saint Etienne Cathedral and 19th-century Notre Dame Basilica – to give but a few.

Apart from being one of the most terrific sites of Brittany, St Brieuc appeals investors and foreigners for it is a very dynamic centre, offering miscellaneous activities (with both rivers and the Channel) and job offers (in business parks, universities and major research institutes of biology and ornithology).

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Saint Brieuc Immobilier & Property Market Trends

Due to half-coastal half-central location, Saint Brieuc is attracting more and more people eager to experience the Breton lifestyle but also enjoy the typical French countryside. The population reached 46,400 inhabitants (when including all the communes linked to the main city) in 2006, and the popularity of the area has been growing since then. Buy-to-let properties and holiday homes account today for a great part of the total accommodation, with about 50% of tenants.

Housing prices have soared accordingly: the average price for an ancient house to buy has gone up from €1,504/ sq m to €1,670/ sq m at the end of 2008. The main asset of Saint Brieuc when it comes to rentals is that the town has a wide choice of apartments on offer (approx. as many 2 and 3-room as 4 and 5-room flats), which ensures good returns to owners during summer.

To get updated info about housing prices in the Dordogne, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.

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4 Reasons to Buy a Property in Saint Brieuc

Saint Brieuc is much appreciated by Brits who long for peaceful weekend breaks to escape their hustling daily life or for refreshing family holidays at the very heart of the Brittany region. You may find out below the reasons why this thriving coastal town is the place to go when feeling like authenticity and nature.

  • Outdoor activities: Saint Brieuc is the perfect destination for those who are keen on water sports. Kite surfing and rowing are very popular there, as well as hiking throughout the dunes and hills and woods (like in the “Bois de Pledran”), canoeing and kayaking in the rivers Gouët et Gouëdic. The nearby river Léguer is renowned for salmon fishing whilst the bay of St Brieuc hosts many sport events like the National Cycling Championship (which is planed from June 25 to 28, 2009)
  • Historical and cultural heritage: Saint Brieuc is an exceptional combination of the Celtic, Gallo and more recent Breton cultures! Ancient buildings from the Middle Ages, holy monuments (major buildings of the regional diocese were built in Saint Brieuc), and authentic mill houses recall the different eras the Brittany region has been through.
  • Tourism and rental potential: Saint Brieuc has hugely developed its tourism spots, bearing in mind to preserve its environment and target the widest range of visitors. Disabled-friendly accommodation, rural gites and sport events for holidaymakers, remaining Viking sites for history enthusiasts, eco-friendly tours for nature lovers – everyone in Saint Brieuc can make the most of the quaint Bretagne!
  • Transport links: fresh new links have been introduced between Saint Brieuc and the UK – Skybus airline now serving Saint Brieuc airport from Newquay (in the Cornwall). Several national roads also connect the central Breton town to great cities like Paris and Nantes (RN12), or to not-to-be-missed sights like the Mont Saint Michel.

Property Styles and Architecture in Saint Brieuc

As Saint Brieuc was originally founded as a monastery and then, in medieval times, used as a fortified town, the area abounds with former functional stone houses and authentic medieval buildings. The mayor, Bruno Joncour, lately decided to take care of this precious architectural heritage and a specific council with experts, officials and building professionals will be created soon to boost the attraction, vitality and activity of the so-called “city of the valleys”.

  • Timbered houses: the main feature of the town centre is certainly the typical timbered houses dating back to the 16th century, some of them have even been granted “historical monuments” in the 20th century. They are generally high and narrow, in the winding streets, with an original half-timbered façade, sometimes complemented with corbelling. Recent tax advantages have been implemented for property sales in the historical site, this action has highly increased the number of foreign buyers (from Parisians to Brits).
  • Hamlets: recalling the Normandy style, Breton rural houses often form little hamlets. The latter feature several stone buildings around a courtyard or sharing acres of land, generally used for agricultural storage, as farmhouses or bakeries. The living space is generally made from the local granite and faces the south. Today, those properties are really sought after – as they are quite isolated, at the heart of unspoilt Cotes d’Amor, quite far from the crowded coast, they are perfect deals for chambre d’hotes or gite businesses.
  • Mills: as the nickname lets us guess, the “city of the valleys” bases its architecture on water and the lush nature along the rivers. Mill property generally offer several outbuildings now often renovated and turned into detached studio flats or warehouses. Stone walls, pebbled paths, lovely surrounding gardens and of course, flat-tiled or slate roof are the main features.

Click here for more info about the Brittany Architecture.

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Take a closer look at the Cotes d'Armor property market:
Dinan Property Information Guingamp Property Information
Lamballe Property Information Lannion Property Information