Languedoc-Roussillon Property Guide & Information
Languedoc-Roussillon is a region of France situated in the extreme south of France and borders the Mediterranean Sea. It is composed of five departments: Aude, Gard, Hérault, Lozère and Pyrénées-Orientales. With its 200 km of coasts, the region has a strong sea culture, but also a land culture, with its endless vineyards. It is said that the Languedoc has the oldest and largest vineyard surface area of the world. A heavenly piece of earth, the Languedoc-Roussillon and its so nice weather attracts tourist from all over the world.
The Languedoc-Roussillon is a contrasted region, in terms of landscapes, heritage and gastronomy. For ages, several people (nations) fought for this rich region. Greeks, Romans, Celts, Sarasins, Iberians and other people were present in this region and left their knowledge and their sensitivity as a legacy. Lots of vestiges of a glorious past can be seen across the region, such as the Bullring and the Maison Carrée in Nimes, the medieval walled citadel of Carcassonne, the Roman aqueduct called Pont du Gard, the fortifications of Aigues-Mortes or the strongholds of Vauban. Lots of these genius symbols are classified as World Heritage by the UNESCO, as it is the case for the Canal du Midi, much more recent but equally prestigious.
The preserved littoral, the omnipresent history, warm people, gorgeous hinterland, countless activities and southern gastronomy are only some of the many reasons which attract people to the region. As a consequence, it has the fastest demographic growth of France. Nowadays, the region reaches 3,000,000 inhabitants. This increase of people, mainly due to an internal migration, brings to light the unemployment problem. With around 12%, the region has one of the higher rates of France.
However, the economy is quite dynamic with this influx of people. The major sectors are obviously the tourism and the viticulture, but also the building industry.
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Languedoc Roussillon Immobilier & Property Market Trends
Since the national average for house prices is around €3,200/sq m, Languedoc Roussillon, with €2,640/sq m in July 2009 is a surprising affordable area. Of course this is only an average and prices can vary a lot depending on the location of the house you fancy buying. Obviously, a house in the Mediterranean coast will be more expensive than the same house inland.
However, if you wish to invest in a property in the Mediterranean coast, then the Languedoc Roussillon region is a good location. Indeed, as a comparison, house prices in PACA are around €4,593/ sq m, in July 2009, this is say, almost 75% higher than in Languedoc Roussillon.
As far as rentals are concerned, the region offers great opportunity. Indeed, offer for this market is rather high. Depending on where you want to buy your property, you will be able to let your house to students (in Montpellier) or to holiday makers.
To get updated information about the house prices in the Aquitaine region, please browse our French Property market reports published in the News Section every month.
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5 Reasons to Buy a Property in Languedoc Roussillon
- Cultural heritage: culture is very important in the region, especially as it has inherited two different cultures, with two different languages (even though they are fairly close). As a matter of fact, in Languedoc Roussillon you will find both the Occitan heritage (the name of the region comes from Langue d’Oc), and you also have a Catalan part. By visiting some remote villages in the mountains and the inland you will discover the authenticity of these unspoiled cultures.
- Beach resorts and tourism: with 220km of Mediterranean coast divided into 180km of white sand beaches and 40km of rocks and cliffs wild beaches, the region is a paradise for beach lovers. The area is also proud of being the safest place amongst the Mediterranean coast (compared to Morocco, Tunisia, and even Italy). Languedoc Roussillon is the fourth touristic region, after Ile de France, PACA and Rhone Alpes as it welcomes over than 15 million visitors a year.
- Wine: the region produces 40% of the French wine, and thus, offers marvelous landscapes and walks between the vineyards. There are 15 different appellations (brands) divided into Vins de Pays (according to the area), Vins de Cépages (according to the type of grape), Vins doux naturels (sweet wines with high degree of alcohol) and Vins de liqueur.
- Landscape: 200km of coast, several rivers like the Rhone, mountains as the Pyrenees or the Cevennes… so many natural elements which mark the boundary of the region offer plenty of various and breathtaking landscapes. Between the coast and the mountains you will find an intermediary step with hills and garrigues, where the culture of vines and olive trees is favourable. The mountains offer visitors the opportunity to ski (in the Pyrenees) and to hike (Canigou).
- Transport: many ways to get to Languedoc-Roussillon exist. Either by road, train or plane, the region is easily reachable. Many low-cost companies are now operating to and from the region, which gives a good link to the United Kingdom. Indeed, there are 5 airports located in the region: Beziers airport, Carcassonne airport, Montpellier airport, Nimes airport and Perpignan airport.
Property Styles and Architecture in Languedoc Roussillon
- Languedoc Roussillon farmhouses: these properties are quite common in France, because at that time, farming was the main activity allowing them to make a living. Quite simple and built with local material, this kind of houses gives you a good opportunity if you are looking for a house to renovate.
- Causses Traditional houses: the Causses is an area constituted of chalky plateaus mainly located in the Lozere department and a few in the Herault department. You can find typical houses in the region, normally built in stone only. Most houses in the Causses area of Languedoc Roussillon have two vaults. One arch supports the ground level and the first level while the other one supports the roof. The stone arches are the spine of the house since they have to support the very heavy Lauze roofs.
- Languedoc Roussillon Mas: the Mas is a typical farmhouse of the region- but it differs from the farmhouses previously described by its size. The Mas is a medium-to-large rural property. The traditional Languedoc Roussillon Mas is nowadays a very sought-after type of properties.
- Lozere Traditional houses: in this department, houses are often built with stones. However, the type of stones used for the construction may vary from grey or beige granite stones to basalt, schist or calcareous stones, some of them being yellow, when only calcareous stones were used for the Causses houses. All these colours give a strong character to properties in this department.
- Cevennes traditional houses: the Cevennes are a range of mountains. The traditional houses you find there are also mountain houses made of Limestone, Schist or Granite. Windows are, once more, of small dimensions and placed on the side of the house facing the dominant sun direction, to protect it from extreme temperatures.
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