The Herault department was created during the French revolution. Part of the ancient Languedoc province, it was several times devastated by civil revolts and natural disasters. The neighbouring departments are the Tarn, Aude, Aveyron and Gard. The west of the department is connected with the Mediterranean sea. One of Herault gems is its diversity: this southern French department combines different assets such as the Cevennes mountain range in the north, beaches and access to the sea in the south. Between these two ‘poles’, the landscape is composed of gently rolling hills and meadows.
The prefecture of the Herault is Montpellier, a very dynamic city with a young population often quoted when it comes to quality of life in the south of France. This city is thus very attractive and one of the reasons explaining the rapid growth of the department in population numbers.
As far as property is concerned, Herault has miscellaneous property styles on offer. Buyers interested in an apartment in a city or a house in the countryside can all find their dream property there. The proximity of both the mountain and the sea and the climate which is typical from the south all provide ideal conditions for buy-to-let investments. The image of this part of France is generally very positive amongst potential buyers.
Eventually, accessing this region is generally swift, with two airports located in Beziers and Montpellier, high-speed train links connecting the department with Bordeaux, Paris, Marseille, Lyon, and Spain. Motorways also are of high quality, with links to Lyon, Clermont-Ferrand, or Toulouse. No wonder why the region is so dynamic and is famous as currently being the fastest-growing one in Europe!
The property market in Herault presents several profiles depending on the precise area you are interested in. For instance, if Montpellier is an ideal place if you plan to let your flat to a student, coastal resorts such as Agde and properties in the hinterland will be easier to let as buy-to-let investments, a medium-sized house with a garden being in this case the best choice to seduce holidaymakers.
In the Herault department, the average price is quite high, currently being around €3,053.96 /sq m for a house. With an average rental price around €11.82 /sq m/ month the buy-to-let option is definitely a good choice.
Prices in Montpellier (€2,980.48 / sq m) and in coastal resorts such as Sete (€2,671.85 / sq m) or Agde (€3,462.38 / sq m) can be ‘frightening’, so you may have to be cunning and buy a property in the surroundings of these towns if your budget is limited. Beziers is a much wiser choice for example, being a town which appeals to holidaymakers but with reasonable house values (€1,781 / sq m) and good transport links.
To get updated info about the housing prices in the Herault departement, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
Click here to have an overview of Languedoc-Roussillon Property Prices.
Herault is not really renowned amongst foreign buyers in spite of its numerous assets, and this is good news for you as prices are relatively reasonable in this department. This is a very appealing region of France, with – amongst other qualities – an almost permanent sunny weather which is a wonderful “advertising partner” for buy-to-let investors.
Weather and climate: this French department is renowned for its dry and warm climate throughout the year and especially for its mild winters and really hot summers. Consequently, the Herault soaks in the sweetness and warmth all year long. Benefitting from 2,506 sunshine hours a year, the region however presents different climate areas depending on the exact location within it. Rainfalls are rare and the temperature averages are 23.7°C (?) in Summer, 8.1°C in Winter (which is quite mild).
Economic assets: the traditional economic activity in the area was based on wine and vineyards. It has evolved in recent years towards a more technological economic structure, with some famous IT companies settling there such as Dell and IBM (engineers and other high-profiles are welcome!). Ikea also recently opened a big shop there, which is a sign of good economic growth for the department. The Herault is generally welcoming to new economic activities, so why not set up your own business there?
Tourism - sights: Herault is located between mountain and sea, an ideal setting for holidays in any season! The Mediterranean is renowned for its different fish species and the Cevennes mountains range are very famous for being full of character. The area is home to many hiking paths, with breathtaking views all along, and many activities such as canoeing, potholing, swimming, climbing – amongst others.
Lifestyle: the lifestyle is very relaxed in all areas of Herault, which is a quite natural behaviour given the warm weather during in the main part of the year. Suntanning (I would say sunbathing) is the locals’ favourite sport. People like to eat good food, drink good wine and know how to enjoy themselves (many celebrations, feasts and parties take place along the year). Why not join them?
Food and wine: the area has some culinary treasures on offer. The local food makes a great use of fish and other seafood produce. Fish soups, bourride (monkfish), bouillabaisse are very renowned. Other famous recipes are based on vegetables, shells, mussels and many local cheeses (such as the Cevennes cheese), just come over and you will not want to leave! Wines in the area are simply terrific, with names such as Corbières, Côteaux du Languedoc, Côtes du Roussillon or Saint-Chinian. Fancy a tasting?
Herault is a typical Languedoc Roussillon area with many stone houses and quaint villages lost in its hinterland.
Village houses: the Herault is full of cute hamlets. The house style in these villages generally is made of stone-made properties facing the east. The architecture remains traditional, witness of the former inhabitants’ social status: mainly poor workers and farmers. Streets are generally narrow. Houses were built using schist or sandstone collected locally. These villages are ideal places where you can invest if you have a renovation or restoration project.
Farmhouses: these traditional houses from Herault correspond roughly to the template of the French farmhouse, strictly speaking, the house of the farmer. Breeding was the main activity of farmers in the area. The design of these houses was simple and local materials were used to reduce the expenses of the building process. Most Herault farmhouses have an L or U shape. These houses are particularly adapted to the local climate.
Mas houses: the Mas is the traditional Languedoc Roussillon farmhouse property. These houses originally were farms producing fruit, vegetables, grain, milk, meat or silkworms (in this case, called Magnanerie, not Mas). The main features are: rear of the property facing the dominant wind direction, small windows, rectangular shape and gently-sloping roof.
Click here for more info about Languedoc-Roussillon’s Architecture.
|Take a closer look at the Herault property market:|
|Agde Property Information||Beziers Property Information|
|Montpellier Property Information||Palavas-les-Flots Property Information|
|Pezenas Property Information||Sete Property Information|