Brive-la-Gaillarde is a nice town located in the south west of the Correze department, the subprefecture of which is. Generally simply called Brive, this town is the Limousin’s second most populated one after Limoges. We account for 50,000 Brivistes (locals). Brive La Gaillarde and its surrounding towns (Malemort, Ussac, Saint-Pantaléon, Cosnac and Varetz) form a urban area that includes over 94,000 inhabitants.
The name of the town derives from the Gaul language, ‘Briva’ meaning ‘bridge’. At the end of the Middle Ages, a 13-arch stone bridge used to step over the Correze River. It was then replaced by the pont de Bouy - a Roman bridge linking Lyon to Bordeaux through the valley of Corrèze. Brive la Gaillarde has varied economic, commercial and industrial activities and is the second economic centre of Limousin, Limoges being the first one. The town is the headquarter of the chamber of commerce and industry of the Pays de Brive (a group of 24 towns showing a geographical, cultural, economic and social cohesion). Another asset of Brive la Gaillarde is that the town has a good location from which you can easily reach most of Correze’s key sites.
Brive la Gaillarde reflects the national tendency: rising of the interest rates, difficult access to credits, etc. All these factors contributed to the drop in real estate prices in 2008 and during the first months of 2009. With an average price of €1,754 / square metre for a property to buy, Brive’s property market is pretty affordable.
Many properties have been recently built in Brive la Gaillarde, especially the university campus that put an end to the shortage of accommodation. Prices for accommodation in buildings are slightly decreasing, whereas properties in the city centre are remaining pretty stable. Several quarters - such as Arsonval, the quartier des sports and the hospital district - attract more people due to accommodation of high quality being built recently.
89% of Brive’s properties are main homes. Brive la Gaillarde is however a very attractive town that keeps on growing, so investing in property there is worth it.
To get updated info about housing prices in the Correze departement, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
Brive has many assets that explains why it is a lively place. The town offers all the shops and amenities that are needed for modern living whilst retaining its charm. Here are some reasons why you should invest in real estate in this part of France.
Cultural events: Brive is home to plenty of cultural events all year round, the book fair being the most important one. It gathers hundreds of authors of varied literature styles. People can attend many shows, conferences and exhibitions during this special event that attracts many tourists. The Orchestrades universelles (60 free concerts in the town’s historical places), the Cinema Festival of Brive and the livestock farming festival (2nd French agricultural event after the agriculture fair in Paris) are also famous.
Historical heritage: the town’s historical heritage is rich and varied. No less than 17 monuments are listed as historical ones. Many monuments date back to the Middle Ages with numerous hotels, theatres, castles or even convents from the 15th centuries or later on.
Gastronomy: Brive has many delicious local produce on offer: foie gras, pie dishes, confits and duck filets, but also Correze’s buckwheat pancakes, flognarde aux pommes (clafoutis with apples and pears), chocolate served with local liqueurs. But the town is renowned for its mustard: the moutarde violette de Brive. This condiment has this name (‘violet mustard’) because of its colour coming from the grape, its main ingredient. The mustard is often served with black pudding and chestnut sausage. According to the legend, Pope Clement VI - a native of Correze living in Avignon - regularly requested it on his table.
Transport links: the A20 motorway (Paris - Toulouse) serves Brive-la-Gaillarde, as well as the A89 (Bordeaux - Clermont-Ferrand). The long awaited airport of Brive Souillac will definitely be an asset for the development of the region. The construction of this airport began in 2005 and the opening date is scheduled for June 2009. It will for sure encourage prospective buyers to invest in Correze and Limousin.
Villas: there are many villas in Brive and its surroundings. Constructed in stone or cement, some properties date back from the 19th century whereas others are pretty recent. With large dimensions, a huge garden and a swimming-pool, their setting is always great! Sometimes, a lake or pond can be a part of the land, giving an authentic charm to the property. If you are looking for a quiet but lively area where you could buy a property, Brive is the perfect place.
Renovated Barn: these properties are always made of stone but can have recent extensions built in cement. In some cases, the roof space was converted to a living-room or bedroom. A large garden provided with a swimming pool is another asset of the majority of renovated barns. Why not invest in an authentic and modern house at the same time?
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