Loir-et-Cher is one of the six departments composing the Centre region. The name of the department originates from the two rivers which run through the area: the Loir River in the north-west and Cher River in the south. Blois is the administrative centre of Loir-et-Cher. The department accounts for about 315,000 inhabitants.
The Loir et Cher department houses many castles and outstanding monuments. During the Middle Ages, many strongholds and castles were built in order to resist to numerous invasions. As regards geography, the department has a good location: at the heart of the Centre region, nearby the Paris Basin. Situated at the crossroad of very rich French natural areas – Perche, Beauce, Sologne and Touraine – Loir-et-Cher boasts a diversity of landscapes. Nature lovers appreciate this area of France where we can find plenty of ponds, lakes, rivers and huge forests.
When it comes to economy, Loir-et-Cher is located near two major French economical zones: Val d'Oise and Paris Basin. Blois, Vendôme and Romorantin-Lanthenay are the three main economical centres of the department. The services sector is the most active with more than 65% of the population working in this field (logistics, call centres, finance, etc.). The industrial sector and agriculture are also important. Thanks to a fertile soil, many produce of the area received the AOC label: wines, cheese, etc. Tourism is essential in the Centre region. About 150 monuments of the Loir-et-Cher department are listed monuments and several towns have the French label ‘town of Art and History’.
Given the numerous assets of Loir-et-Cher, everyone will be delighted by this department. A rich history, stunning architecture and monuments, unspoiled nature... From the large forests in the Sologne to the troglodytic sites in the Vendômois going through medieval cities at the edge with the Cher department, the choice is wide. Let’s discover this great French department, you won’t be disappointed! Many kings, queens and artists have been seduced by this area, now it is your turn!
As far as the property market is concerned, Loir-et-Cher is a good place to settle in as the area offers properties at low prices. The average price for a property to buy in the area is €1,668 /square metre, which is really inexpensive given the relative proximity to the expensive Paris. Rental prices are also very interesting in comparison with the national average: in May 2009 it costs about €9.12/square metre/month to rent a property in Loir-et-Cher (€12.22 /sq m /month for the national average). It seems that apartments are more expensive than houses: €1,806 /sq m against €1,733 /sq m in average.
When it comes to houses, prices vary a lot according the areas. The average price for a house was in 2008 €143,400. Blois is one of the most expensive town of the department with an average price of €2,050 /sq m in May 2009 againsg €1,870 /sq m in Vendôme, €1,630 /sq m in Montoire-sur-le-Loir and €1,630 /sq m in Romorantin-Lanthenay.
The proportion of second homes is small (9.2%) in comparison to other French department such as Alpes-Maritimes or Finistère for instance. 84.14% of the properties in Loir-et-Cher are main houses and 78.5% are detached houses. The area doen’t not offer as many rental opportunities as Paris as only 31.1% of the inhabitants are tenants and 19.24% of the dwellings are apartments.
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.
Tourism - sights: the Centre region is an important French touristy region and the Loir-et-Cher department has both an outstanding natural heritage and numerous monuments that are worth seeing. When visiting the area, do not miss its wonderful castles (24 are opened to the public), museums, as well as the manors and religious monuments (churches, cathedrals, chapels, etc.). Loir-et-Cher’s most beautiful castles are located in the following towns: Chambord (the most visited castle of the department with more than 700,000 visitors per year), Blois, Chaumont-sur-Loire, Fougères-sur-Bièvre, Cheverny and Talcy.
Good food: as said before, the Loir-et-Cher department produces delicious wines, but also good cheese and vegetables such as strawberries , mushrooms and asparagus. Wine lovers will appreciate to sample AOC wines: Touraine, Touraine Mesland, Cheverny, Cour-Cheverny, Côteaux du Vendômois, Valençay. When it comes to cheese, AOC cheeses Selles-sur-cher, Valençay and Saint-Maure de Touraine are produced in the area. Loir-et-Cher boasts fine local produce that you will definitely enjoy tasting.
Location – transport links: Loir-et-Cher benefits from important infrastructures in terms of roads with four major motorways: the A10 (Paris - Bordeaux), A11 (Paris - Nantes), A71 ( Orléans - Clermont-Ferrand ) and A85 ( Angers - Vierzon ). The town of Vendôme is accessible from Paris in 42 minutes only with the TGV high-speed train, Blois can be reached in about 1h45. If you prefer to travel by air, Tours’ airport has international flights to UK, Germany, Spain and Italy amongst others. From the Centre region, you can reach European capitals and airports in a few hours.
Return on investment: given the nice setting and stunning heritage of the Centre region, it is definitely worth investing in this region especially in the Loir-et-Cher department which is one of the most touristy French ones. Many foreign holidaymakers visit the area every year, enjoying wonderful views, visiting castles and varied monuments and tasting the fine local food and wines. Moreover, prices are really affordable in the region located in the Paris Basin. Do not hesitate longer and search for your dream property in Loir-et-Cher!
Activities: given the pretty countryside of the region and varied landscapes, outdoor activities are very popular in Loir-et-Cher. Walking and cycling, hiking in the marshy-forested area of Sologne, practising river-based activities on the numerous rivers and lakes, fishing on the ponds, playing golf, etc. Whatever people like doing, there will always be leisure activities for everybody.
Sologne properties: houses in the area of Sologne really have a particular architectural style. They melt walls made of bricks or tuff with an half-timbering structure. The roof of such properties is made of tiles, often brown or red. Between the timber frames, cob and bricks are inserted. Sologne houses are authentic properties which are really sought-after.
Farmhouses: these properties are located in the countryside and have large dimensions. They used to belong to poor farmers and were thus constructed with local and pretty poor materials. Farmhouses come with a large piece of land, a courtyard, outbuildings, etc. Given their location, they offer tranquillity and beautiful sceneries. They may be in need of renovation, but their value will be much higher after these works. Inside farmhouses, wood beams are sometimes exposed and some walls are made of stone, which is also visible, giving all its authenticity to the properties.
Longères: you may find some Longere houses in Loir-et-Cher. They have a rectangular shape and are built in a row. They offer good dimensions and may come with a piece of land, a garage, courtyard, etc. Longères offer accomodation on only one storey. They are traditionally oriented with the back of the house facing the dominant wind direction. It is also possible to find other properties in Loir-et-Cher such as town houses, maisons de maitre or troglodytic houses or simply apartments.
Click here for more info about the Architecture in Centre.
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