Seine-Maritime Property Insight

Seine-Maritime is one of the two departments of the Haute Normandie region. It is located in the north of France, and has borders with the Eure department, the Picardie region, and in the north of the department there is the Channel. The department gathers 1,269,310 inhabitants, called, since 2005, the Seinomarins, living in 745 towns and villages. The administrative centre of the department is Rouen, the sous-préfectures being Le Havre and Dieppe.


Seine Maritime is a diversified department, where you can enjoy beautiful coastlines with amazing cliffs diving into the sea, Art and History towns as well as a beautiful countryside. It is also a dynamic area which stands out thanks to few records: first French ranking as far as are concerned oil refining, fertilizer production, flax production, but also the first world ranking as far as the luxury bottle manufacturing is concerned.

The Glass Valley, divided into the Seine Maritime and the Somme department, is the world cluster N°1 for luxury glass bottles. It produces more than 75% of the world production for luxury bottles for perfumes, spirits and pharmacy. The Glass Valley brings together 65 companies and more than 7000 specialized employees.

Seine Maritime identity and personality is very strong, due to its special history. It was very coveted and was invaded many times by different people. It was by turns inhabited by Celts, Belgians, Romans, Franks and Vikings, and Norwgians amog others. Besides, the area suffered during the 100 years war, as it was at the heart of it; and was also at the heart of the World War II.

Its history, along with its beautiful natural environment, and its lively economic activities, make Seine Maritime a very attractive department. Its proximity to England, as well as its common history makes it a very popular destination amongst British people.

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Seine Maritime Immobilier & Property Market Trends

Property prices in Seine Maritime department in 2009

Property types Price €/ sq m Average price € Average size
Apartment 2,801 204,782 74sq m
House 2,070 253,773 125sq m
Villa 2,003 224,480 113sq m
Seine Maritime Total €2,358/sq m

Since the national average for a property is around €3,200 /sq m in 2009, the Seine Maritime can be said to be an affordable area with only €2,360 /sq m in April 2009. It is, however, higher than the Haute Normandie average of €2,205 /sq m for the same period. The price difference is due to the dynamism of the Seine Maritime department, thanks to its harbour in Le Havre, and to its numerous flourishing companies.

Owing to the proximity to England, buying a property in Seine Maritime can be a good idea for a second-home, but it is also a good investment for a buy-to-let. With €10.70 /sq m /month, the area is once again cheaper than the French average of €12.20 /sq m/ month. Hence, you should not have difficulties finding a tenant, either a permanent one, as 45% of residents are tenants, either during touristic high season.

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

Click here to have an overview of Haute Normandie Property Prices.

6 Reasons to Buy a Property in Seine Maritime

  • Culture, art and historical heritage: the Seine Maritime department has a rich and varied historical and cultural heritage. In addition to all the castles (see below), it is home to many museums telling the story of the area. Between others you can visit: the Antiquity Museum, created in 1831 to host vestiges from the Juliobona (Lillebonne) excavation and where the Normandy history is described, from the bronze Age to the Renaissance; Victor Hugo Museum, Normand Traditions and Arts Museum where the rural life from the 15th to the 19th century is exposed.

  • Castles: even though castles in Seine Maritime are not as renowned as Pays de la Loire’s, they are as interesting and are worth visiting. There are approximately 20 castles in the area that can be visited. Particularly, do not miss the Dieppe Castle; it is a unique fortress in the department that tells 6 centuries of history through its architecture. The Mesnel Geoffroy Castle is not to be missed either. Through the French park and the castle itself you will be immersed in the dairy life of the 18th century; a reconstruction worthy of cinema movie.

  • Tranquillity and scenery: in Seine Maritime there are walks and landscapes for every tastes. You can either enjoy the sound of the wages breaking on the cliff, either walk in a quiet park. Between others, do not miss the Cleres Park, where you can visit the Gothic castle, as well as the 53hectare park with fauna and flora reserves. You will love strolling around the lake or in the beautiful gardens. With 43 gardens, the Seine Maritime department is renowned for its landscape decorating: from the French style gardens to the English ones, each architectural style is present within the department. A delight for garden lovers!

  • Architectural style: Seine Maritime’s architecture tells long about the past of the area. You will find monuments from the Gallo-Roman era, until the Renaissance, through vestiges from the 100 years war. The Saint Georges Abbey of Boscherville shows the architectural story from the 1st century BC to the 12th century AD. It is interesting to see how the religious architecture had evolved since antiquity temples. Jeanne d’Arc Tower is the only remaining of the Bouvreuil castle which was at the heart of the 100 years war. The castle was as much residential as defensive. The Lillebonne Roman amphitheatre is the best place to discover the antiquity Normandy.

  • Location – transport links: Normandy location, next to Paris and England, makes it a very attractive destination for British people. It is only 135km from Paris and is linked to the capital city by the A13 motorway. From Dieppe you can take the ferry to Newhaven and from Le Havre to Newhaven and Portsmouth. For international airports however you will have to go to Deauville ( Calvados ) or Cherbourg ( Manche ), both flying to England. Moreover, it is interesting to know that the Seine Maritime department has developed a bus network, with which you can travel in the entire department for only €2.

  • Gastronomy: Normandy gastronomy is mostly renowned for two specialities: theMarmite dieppoise and the Neufchâtel. The first one is a seafood soup, not to be mixed up with the Bouillabaisse. As it is from Normandy, they put butter and fresh cream, which is the main difference with the Mediterranean Bouillabaisse. Neufchâtel is a creamy cheese which has a heart shape. It has been produced since the 10th century and is appreciated for its soft taste. As regards alcoholic drinks, the area is renowned for its ciders, and its Pommeau and Poiré. Even though the two last ones are actually produced in Calvados, they are consumed in the whole Normandy.

Local Property Market: 4 Popular Towns

  • Dieppe property: this town has managed to take advantage of its strategic position at the edge of the English Channel. Indeed, its development was mainly due to harbour activities, as much fishing, than the beach resort. With €2,135 /sq m, house prices in the area are very affrodable.
  • Fecamp property: this sought after beach resort stands out for its low prices. Indeed, with only €1,905 /sq m, it is probably one of the cheapest beach resort in France. However, low price does not mean bad quality in Fecamp, and you will be amazed by its authentic architecture and its beautiful villas.
  • Le Havre property: this port city is renowned for its modern architecture due to the almost entire reconstruction after WWII. A cosmopolitan city, thanks to its harbour and its beach resort, Le Havre is a very affordable area in comparison to the French average (€2,400 /sq m against €3,197 /sq m)
  • Rouen property: located right in the middle of the Upper Normandy region, Rouen is a charming town where past vestiges will bring you some centuries ago. With €2,660 /sq m, house prices are quite affordable.
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Property Styles and Architecture in Seine Maritime

Normandy is renowned for its beautiful farmhouses. Actually, when we talk about Normandy architecture we should talk about Normandy architecture, as each farmhouse is different according to the area to which it belongs to.

  • Traditional longères: according to its name, the particularity of Longères is that all the outbuildings are laid out in a row. The stable, the barn and the housing used to communicate between each others, just separated with a mere wall. Nowadays this kind of house has been restored, and the whole area is habitable, which makes quite big dwellings. In Normandy, the roof is traditionaly covered with reeds and the walls can be either a mix between cob and wood, either between stones and wood.

  • Pays de Bray farmhouses: the typical brayonne farmhouse is made of bricks or timber frame. It is long and narrow, and as the longere, usually outbuildings lay out in a row. The logis, the habitable part of the house, is raised as it overcomes a cheese cellar. The other part of the house is made of a stable with a stair leading to the attic. The house is traditionaly composed of 2 bedrooms and one living room, not to mention the bathroom and the kitchen. However many of them have been restored and the stable and the attic have been transformed into habitable areas, making the house even bigger.

  • Pays de Caux farmhouses: this style house is different from the two others, as all the building are not laying out in a row. Indeed, the main building is usually made of bricks and is two-storey high: this is the habitable part. Around it, and almost making a circle are the farm buildings, usually between 5 and 8, but at least no less than 3. The roof is sloping and is made of tiles. This kind of property used to belong to wealthy farmers, unlike the two other ones. Hence, it also comes with a huge piece of land and sometimes with a pond and a wood.

Click here for more info about the Architecture in Haute Normandie.

Take a closer look at the Haute Normandie property market:
Dieppe Property Information Fécamp Property Information
Le Havre Property Information Rouen Property Information