The Territoire de Belfort department is located east France, has a common border with Switzerland and is very close of Germany. It belongs to Franche Comté and its prefecture is Belfort. Its 144,600 inhabitants are called the Belfortain(e)s. Second smaller department after Paris, it has however a lot to offer.
Because of its strategic location at the gate of three countries, Territoire de Belfort underwent numerous invasions. Thanks to its hectic history, it has long hold a special ‘territory’ status and become a French department only in 1922. It doesn’t have subprefectures but has still another administrative district, the arrondissement de Belfort.
The landscapes were shaped by diverse geographical and historical influences. Its relief can be divided as follows: to the south, chalky plateaux towards the Jura Range are to be found with plenty of ponds and rivers; to the north are the Vosges Massif preceded by sandstone hills and in the middle, a kind of gutter drains waters come of both sides. This department is besides the only one spanning on two mountains, the Vosges Massif or the Jura Range. The climate is semi-continental with temperatures varying from -2⁰ C to 25⁰ C. It can be very changeable and the intermediary seasons are usually short.
It has a strong industrial tradition and nestles multinationals like Alstom or PSA Peugeot-Citroën. It has lots of facilities to promote industry, logistics and services. For a few years, new high-technology industries have emerged, such as biomedical or nanotechnology. Territoire de Belfort has known how to adapt and thanks to its transformations is living an exceptional economical growth. Craft industry and tourism are also non-negligible components.
Property prices in Territoire de Belfort constantly rose until 2007 but have since stabilized to reach the average buying price of €1,749 /sq m. With a bustling economy, it is not the cheapest department of the region but if compared with the national average (€3,197 /sq m) it remains really affordable.
It accounts for 60,526 dwellings split quite equitably between apartments and houses, with an average area of 114 sq m. However studio flats make up only 4,5 % while the properties with five rooms or more make up 37,31 %. Besides, prices vary according to the type of property. The average price for an apartment is €1,788 /sq m and you can count €248,558 on average for a villa (or €1,913 /sq m).
Notably thanks to its location, this department is a dynamic European and economical crossroads. Property prices are nonetheless surprisingly attractive. For years it has lived a constant growth, it could therefore be very interesting to invest in this department, especially in business buildings.
To get updated info about property prices in Territoire de Belfort, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
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Local produce: the specialties of Territoire de Belfort are generous and very traditional, so that the recipes are guarded secrets. The Epaule du Ballon consists of a shoulder of lamb delicately stuffed with huckleberries. You can also try the Croûte aux Morilles, a kind of tasty slice of bread cooked with shallots and morels. This department also produces yummy foie gras. As for desserts, you can try the Facettes du territoire (chocolates) or the Gâteau de Belflore. It is a cake thoroughly mixed with raspberries, almond, meringue and hazelnuts. As for side drink, the Brimbul’ is a cocktail made of sparkling wine and blueberries’ liqueur.
Cultural life: in addition to several museums about art, agriculture, or regional traditions, lots of events take place in the department. Territoire de Belfort is notably a music lover. The FIMU festival at Whitsun gathers worldwide promising musicians mainly composed of students. The famous Eurockéennes of Belfort, the warm meeting place where more than 90,000 rock festival-goers have a great time each year. It also has the biggest flow market of the region and welcomes the international movie festival Entrevues. Territoire de Belfort successfully succeeds in promoting culture and invites you to take part in it.
Nature friendly: the department takes part to the European program Natura 2000, aimed at protecting and developing natural heritage. The "local house of the environment" increases public’s awareness regarding the preservation of nature in a playful way. Lots of nice sites are to discover. The Malsaucy lake is atypical with its exceptional nature made of different environments. The ancient Foussemagne quarry used to produce shale and nestles rare species. The most important is the wonderful Ballon d’Alsace, which also allows open air activities all year long. All this makes of Territoire de Belfort a peaceful ‘green’ department to live in, with a high quality of life.
Fermes comtoises: these farmhouses are huge; they had to accomodate both cattle and all the family in the ground floor. The storey was used to store hay and farm machinery. The access to the second floor was allowed thanks to an outside raised mound. They have since been restaurated and modernized while keeping their bygone charm.
Apartments: they are to be found mostly in the biggest towns, where they can be part of newly built buildings or in small more traditionnal co-ownerships. They often come with a car park and the kitchen is genearally fitted. Ancient apartments are done up or to renovate as one chooses.
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