Blois received the French label ‘town of Art and History’, which proves that the area has much on offer, especially a rich historical heritage. The town is situated between two French natural regions: the Beauce (agricultural area in the south-west of Paris) and Sologne (foresty area between the Cher and Indre departments). A royal castle, numerous museums, a beautiful countryside, temperate climate and refined way of life, Blois has all the assets a town needs to attract holidaymakers.
As far as economy is concerned, the town houses the Chamber of Commerce of the Loir-et-Cher department. The following industries can be found in the area: car industry, pharmaceutical industry, production of sushis and so on.
The town has a central situation in the Centre region. Blois is the chief town of a community of communes: Agglopolys, a group of 26 towns and villages in Blois’ surroundings which aim at the development of the urban area.
As regards property market, it is possible to buy a property in Blois at an affordable price. The average price is pretty low: €1,644 /square metre in May 2009 against €3,197 /square metre for the national average. Between February 2008 and January 2009, it cost between €1,200 /sq m and €1,700 /sq m to buy an apartment in Blois. The range of prices for new apartments was €2,340 /sq m and €3,320 /sq m. In May 2009, it cost about €2,044/sq m to invest in a house in the prefecture of Loir-et-Cher. Prices for a house to buy were comprised between €136,100 and €160,500 for a 4-room house and €140,000 and €198,000 for a 5-room one in 2008.
Rental prices in Blois and its surroundings are interesting with an average price of €9.12 /square metre/month against €12.22 /sq m /month for the national average. There are great opportunities if you are looking for a buy-to-let or a property to rent there: 64.3% of the properties are apartments and 61.1% of the inhabitants are tenants.
To get updated info about property prices in Loir et Cher, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
Click here to have an overview of Centre Property Prices.
Culture, art and historical heritage: Blois has a very rich historical heritage as all the monuments and places of interest can testify. Its castle was one of the favourite places of residence of the French kings during the Renaissance. This monument is wonderful and houses all kinds of architecture: medieval architecture, Louis XII style, Renaissance style, classical architecture from the 17th century, etc. Gardens such as the Jardin des Lys and Jardin de l’Évêché contains plenty of varieties and offer outstanding views over the area. ‘Gabriel bridge’ dates from the 18th century and is the last humpback bridge which was built over the Loire River by Jacques V Gabriel, the King’s architect. The town also has an interesting religious heritage with the Saint-Louis cathedral (Gothic style), Saint-Nicolas church (ancient Benedictine abbey) and Saint-Saturnin church and cloister.
Museums: numerous museums will help you to learn more about Blois and the area in general: the Natural History Museum, Archaeological Museum, Fine Arts Museum, ‘Object’s Museum’ (musée de l’objet- collection of contemporary art), Museum of Resistance and Deportation, Museum of Religious Art and ‘Astrespace’, a museum about Science and Astronomy. The most recent and renowned one is the maison de la magie (‘magic house’). This touristy centre promotes Blois’ most important heritages: history and magic. It is the only public museum in all Europe which houses both a collection of magic and a permanent show. The ‘magic house’ is dedicated to the French magician Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin who originated from Blois.
Events: Blois is home to varied festivals all year round: a music festival in July called Tous sur le Pont, a comic book festival in November, a festival about history in Octobre (conferences, debates, exhibitions, etc.) and so on.
Location - transport links: Blois is well linked to other French big cities: located between Orléans and Tours, close to the A10 motorway. Tours’ airport (aéroport Tours Val de Loire) has flights to London, Dublin, Edinburgh and Belfast in UK, Bremen, Köln, Düsseldorf in Germany as well as several towns in France, Spain and Italy amongst others. Blois has rather good connection with the rest of France by train. You can access the capital in about 1h30 as there are regular direct trains to Paris Austerlitz.
Rental opportunities and return on investment: given its central location in France, close to Paris and the jewels that the area offers, Blois is a perfect place for rentals. The town is also an important student centre as several écoles supérieures and colleges so there is a sustained demand for properties, especially rentals. Whether seasonal short terms or long term lets (students), the return on investment is definitely good for those who invest in Blois.
Detached houses: located either in the town or in the countryside, there are plenty of detached properties in Blois. Most of them are in need of renovation and have a great potential. They will definitely be of a great value once restored. Such properties have several bedrooms and come with a garage, garden, cellar, and/or attic. Detached houses can be constructed in stone, brick or cement. The roof is often made of tiles or slates. Detached houses are perfect for families or couples.
Apartments: as said before, the proportion of apartments is important in Blois and many locals rent their dwellings. So all kind of apartments are available in the town: small apartments, studio flats, 5-room lofts, etc. Apartments are located in the town centre and thus close to all amenities. They are great for buy-to-let investments or for a first investment.
Other kinds of properties: it is also possible to find properties such as farmhouses or Longères in Blois and the surrounding villages. The main feature of these properties is authenticity. Farmhouses come with outbuildings and are situated in the countryside. Longeres have a rectangular shape, they are built in a row and one-storey properties.
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