Rennes Property Insight

Rennes is a major administrative city at both levels of the department (Ille et Vilaine) and region (Brittany). Historically, Rennes was the capital city of a Breton duchy and played a major political role. The name of the city originates from ‘Redones’, which is the name of the Gaulish people living in the area around 200 BC. Rennes is the 8th student city in France and the 11th French city in terms of inhabitants (209,613 inhab. in 2006).


Rennes is strategically located. It is actually the gateway of Brittany but is only 154km from Caen and 194km from Tours. This location is very particular as it is indeed at the very easternmost “border” of Brittany. The city itself has medieval, classic and more modern quarters, witnesses of time and building fashions of these times. Another great asset of the city is its economic development. The city itself as well as the areas around benefit from this thriving economy. Rennes is obviously a great buy-to-let market with an important number of students gathering in the city. Properties there have a high value and very peculiar architectural styles can be seen (stone houses, town houses, bastides, half-timbered properties, longeres). Houses often have many windows and thus are very luminous.

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Rennes Immobilier & Property Market Trends

Prices in Rennes are not as expensive as what they could be. The average sale price in the city is around €2,620 / m2, which is quite reasonable. Rental prices are – not surprisingly – high, with an average about €11.2 / m2 /month.

Indeed, in the French ‘students’ cities and towns, the demand is very high all year round (the number of students in Rennes being around 59,000 each year) as the offer is often not sufficient. The transport system in Rennes being quite good, you can even buy to let in the outskirts of the city.

Despite the attractivity of Rennes, prices are likely to decrease this year as next year. It is more financially sound to buy a 3+ room property instead of a studio flat, as prices per square metre are often much more interesting for large properties (- €400 / square metre on average).

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

Click here to have an overview of Brittany Property Prices.

3 Reasons to Buy a Property in Rennes

  • Sale prices: buying in Rennes is definitely a good investment. The larger the property, the better the investment, according to the latest stats. With the success of its universities and specialized institutes renowned on a national level, the rental market is thriving and will continue to be. Rennes is also a good choice for city lovers who want to relocate to France and be able to come back quickly (airport nearby) while soaking in a still traditional region.
  • Swift access: the city benefits from strong translinks: Rennes’ airport serves 80 destinations amongst which the following UK cities: Exeter, Dublin, Manchester, Southampton, Edinbourg, Belfast, Newcastle. The city is reachable by train in only 2 hours from Paris. Motorways also allow a fast and easy access from Paris, Caen, Le Mans or Nantes.
  • A city still traditional: Rennes’ city centre has been preserved and well integrated. Fortifications are visible in the city centre (as in Nantes), a delightful mix of modernity and tradition. Rennes is also honeycombed with grand monuments and elegant buildings that have religious, governmental or industrial purposes. The city seems to follow one of its mottos: ‘live cleverly’.

Property Styles and Architecture in Rennes

  • Earth houses: Rennes’ basin has a clayey soil. For centuries, houses, manors, ovens and any sort of buildings were built with this clay using the ‘bauge’ technique. Walls were done without any formwork being used. These walls, exactly as rammed earth walls, have very good insulation effects. The mix used is made of water, earth and plants, the lower part of walls being made of stone. Wooden – sometimes stone – frames are added around doors and windows.
  • Half-timbering properties: Rennes has the most ancient half-timbered properties of France. These houses were generally built during the 15th century, generally they have a corbelling structure but not only. Some of them have windows forming a vertical row, they are the most ancient ones, whilst new trends appearing during the 16th which made use of an horizontal row of windows. In Rennes’ city centre, you can easily find such properties.
  • Manors and chateaux: these luxurious properties are to be found quite frequently around Rennes. They generally come with a vast piece of land and very well designed garden. The layout of these manors is generally pretty similar to that of maisons de maitre houses, with a symmetrical layout and many windows, along with massive dimensions.

Click here for more info about the Architecture of Brittany.

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Take a closer look at the Ille et Vilaine property market:
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