Belfort is the capital of Territoire de Belfort, located in the Franche Comté region, east of France. It is also the administrative centre of the Belfort arrondissement, the only urban district of the department. This former stronghold accounts for 50,863 inhabitants, the Belfortain(e)s and is one of the most important French historical site. Its name is said to come from Beau Fort, which means ‘beautiful fort’. Due to its emblem, Belfort is called the ‘City of the Lion’.
This town appeared around 1226, when a market town developed. The latter was nestled in a fortified castle built on an inaccessible rock. Because of its strategic location, the town suffered from a series of invasions and used to be a keystone in the Eastern Marches defensive system. But this hectic past has left its stamp and given Belfort a rich heritage.
It is located at the gates of Alsace, Lorraine, Switzerland and Germany. The town has the particularity to spread on to different massifs, the Jura mountain range and the Vosges Massif. It is circled with hills and the Savoureuse River flows through it. The climate can be variable with frequent showers but it however benefits from a good duration of sunshine period (1,800 hours /year).
Belfort is the first zone of employment of the Franche Comté region. It has mostly developed thanks to its strong industries, notably Alstom. It has turned towards new technologies. The Techn’hom, the new technological pole of the town, is to become the biggest and most powerful of France. Besides, tourism brings a lot in its economy.
After going up and down these over the last few years, Belfort real estate market stabilized and is going well. The average buying price is €1,716 /sq m, which is a little higher than the regional average but really attractive compared to the national average (€3,197 /sq m).
Prices vary according to the type of property. The buying price for an apartment is €1,758 /sq m on average; for a house you can count approximately €240,463 and €312,107 for a villa (€2,119 /sq m).
About 84% of the dwellings are apartments, which is characteristic of big towns. Belfort accounts for only 26.5% owners. It can be explained by the fact that rental prices have remained really affordable. Three room properties are the most to be found ones and the average area is 113 sq m.
In order to match the demand, the town recently implemented a big business estate project. It is therefore the right moment to invest, all the more that this commercial turmoil begins to be reflected in the residential property.
To get updated info about the property prices in Territoire de Belfort, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
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A city in the countryside: a fortified town, Belfort has an unusual scenery. It is a lively and modern town where time flies through its twists and turns. The town centre sometimes lets you feel like in the Middle Ages and is full of history. Surrounded with nature, Belfort has a unique atmosphere and is famous for its prevailing high quality of life. It was proclaimed sixth ‘green town’ of France. In the evening, the illuminations of the citadel are really enchanting and were awarded the national ‘Lights and Monuments’ prize. Belfort is the perfect town to revive with a lost art of living.
Art and historical heritage: the castle and fortifications are really not to be missed. Spectacular structure, it was the key element in the 103-day resistance of the town during its siege by the Prussians in 1870. The Lion of Belfort is an impressive statute dedicated to this heroic resistance. It was sculpted by Frédéric Bartholdi, who also made the Statue of Liberty. By the way, you can find 250 smaller lions scattered throughout the town. Abounding in colours, fountains and statues, this town is besides an idyll for art lovers. In the town centre, you can admire a huge fresco by Ernest Pignon Ernest (a famous French artist) depicting 47 characters portraying the ‘European mind’.
Miscellaneous activities: on earth, water or in the air, you have lots of possibilities. You can have a go at horse riding, skiing, mountain biking, swimming, or have a first flight. And this is not an exhaustive list. Simply strolling throughout the town is really worthwhile. If you prefer cultural activities, Belfort has several museums, theatres, auditoriums and other cultural places with various events organized all year round. The building Phare has a modern architecture and unites all these activities with a triple purpose: academic, sports house and events.
Town houses: they are to be found mostly in the town centre. Town houses are usually built in grès des Vosges, a typical sandstone of the region. They also have the particularity to have exposed beams. A great number of them are colour-painted, which gives them a warm atmosphere.
Apartments: they are generally good located near shops and most of them are either recently built or renovated. In the town centre they are quite small and tend to be bigger while approaching the outskirts. Apartments are usually to be found in little co-ownerships.
Savourines: these new properties are located at the proximity of the town centre in a green and residential area. From the two rooms flat to the villa, these terraced or detached houses are environmentally friendly. The architecture is sober to allow the interiors to be laid out as one chooses but are however modernly fitted.
Click here for more info about the Architecture in Franche Comté.
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