Mende Property Insight

Mende is the Lozere department's major city, bordering the river Lot, at the very heart of the Cevennes mountain. Located 741 metre high, this charming town was founded in the 5th century, original capital city of the Gevaudan. Mende indeed retains the charm of this former region, with all the architectural and cultural heritage it holds.


The prefecture of the Lozere department is highly regarded for its ancient buildings and rural traditions. Having been through the violent Religion Wars in the 16th century, Mende is a precious witness of the Gevaudan’s history.

Although Mende is the smallest prefecture in France, it combines all the facilities of southern towns with the assets of rural Lozere. Staying in Mende would indeed give you the chance to discover some medieval monuments (like Saint Privat cathedral and hermitage). The accommodation includes typical homes with lauze roofs along the river Lot, surrounding gites and former farmhouses with their delightful produce.

But there is more to life in Mende than the Gevaudan traditions as Lozere’s prefecture has become a dynamic cultural and economic centre. Many telecom companies have recently settled in and the town council is reinforcing the links with the neighbouring Rodez, Puy-en-Velay and Aurillac, creating a boosting network between towns.

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Mende Immobilier & Property Market Trends

The Lot River splits the town into two parts – one being home to the historical quarters and the other hosting the new residential properties. As the region has developed an important policy of architecture preservation (since 2000), renovation projects are strictly regulated in the town centre when new builds are thriving on the opposite bank.

As eco-tourism is another priority, Mende’s council plans to introduce modern tourist facilities, this aims at boosting the economy of the region while preserving its natural gems (especially because the town itself is like “encircled” by impressive reliefs and then, not really connected to road and railway networks).

In 2009, the average price for an ancient property to buy is around €120,000 (+ €200,000 if you look for a large plot of land) which is definitely reasonable given the ideal location of the town.

Mende is a great location for buy-to-let investments as the region it belongs to provides a much wide range of reliefs and activities and lures thousands of visitors every year. This is no surprise that housing prices keep on increasing there – despite a global slowdown.

To get updated info about housing prices in the Lozère departement, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.

Click here to browse Languedoc Roussillon Property Prices

3 Reasons to Buy a Property in Mende

  • A dynamic centre: 80% of Mende’s inhabitants are less than 60 and the unemployment rate is about 6% which means that the town is boosted by its active inhabitants, complementing the regional developments and plans. Transport links are constantly improving and cultural events lure more and more people. Mende is today a prosperous little town nestled in a postcard-looking, unspoilt scenery.

  • High Quality of life: apart from the terrific surrounding landscapes, Mende has plenty of activities and events on offer. It has got a quite huge rental potential since alternative holiday deals were introduced (such as guided tours in the Causses, thematic visits about the Gevaudan legends, eco-friendly accommodation, etc.). Mende provides a relaxing daily life and high quality services for both visitors and residents.

  • Cevennes national park: created 38 years ago, this natural park is now renowned worldwide as it provides a wide range of reliefs and vegetation. Covering parts of the Auvergne and Languedoc regions, it overlooks the surrounding mountain ranges of the French Massif Central. A must-visit that is just one hour away from Mende, but you will also easily find lovely gites to rent nearby if you just fancy a short break.

Property Styles and Architecture in Mende

From high, dark-coloured schist homes in the Cevennes to light limestone houses in the Causse, holidaymakers as well as prospective buyers cannot help being seduced by Mende property styles.

  • Schist houses: schist houses account for small but convenient properties built directly in the hills – less liable to flooding. They used to include great plots of land in the nearby plains that the former rural population could use as orchards, kitchen gardens or pastures. These lovely houses feature some quartz or pebble decorations on their fronts that soften the dark shade of the schist material.

  • Limestone houses: the main features of these rural houses are their steeply pitched roofs made of lauze (kind of slate) with effective systems to save rain water. As far as the architecture is concerned, limestone buildings are often based on a vaulted structure, which gives them even more character.

  • Granite houses: rural houses built from the local granite and stone. Such homes used to be owned by farmers and dairymen, including several massive buildings according to the different functions of the farm (cow or sheep sheds, warehouses, etc.) and generally built near a river or a small lake. The dwelling usually comprised a small living space connected to the other buildings – so that the farmers could easily go through the whole property without going outside (especially during harsh winters.

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Take a closer look at the Lozère property market:
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Le Rozier Property Information Sainte Enimie Property Information