Limoges Property Insight
Limoges is the main town of the Limousin region and is also the prefecture of Haute-Vienne. With more than 136,000 inhabitants, it is the major economical centre of the area and is known across the world for its famous porcelain, but also for its craftsmanship of enamel and stained glass. This particular economy gave it the nickname of “capitale des arts du feu” (capital of fire arts). The second activity of the town was the production of shoes which also contributed to its reputation.
Limoges is the major town of a rural department, and lies at the western part of the Massif Central mountains range. Surrounded by a vast countryside, it has been constructed along the banks of the Vienne River, which was a vector for the industrial development that permitted Limoges to be what it is today. Nowadays, Limoges is a big town with a University and thus, many students who animate the streets during the week.
In 2008, Limoges became a town of Art and History. This gave the impulse to develop many projects of embellishment of the centre, promotion of the culture, etc… Efforts are really made for Limoges to become more attractive and popular.
Just like many other towns, Limoges based its economy on industry, very active until the crisis of the last decades. Many suburbs were built for the workers of the industry. However, Limoges remains pleasant, thanks to the numerous greens that punctuate the town or to the surrounding countryside. Besides, lots of cycle tracks exist to discover Limoges and its quarters.
Limoges Immobilier & Property Market Trends
Haute-Vienne is not very populated and stands in a rural region. Thus, the property prices are not high and actually, it is even one of the cheapest departments of France. However, the towns are as often the most expensive areas.
In Limoges, only 3% of the whole properties are second houses and 70% are apartments, most of them having one or two bedrooms.
A decrease in prices begun end of 2007 and buying a property in Limoges at the beginning of 2009 cost around €1,700/ sq m. The area of the square des Emailleurs remains one of the most expensive quarter, even if today the buyers tend to prefer the western part of the centre of Limoges. Actually, it seems that they prefer to bet on developing quarters as the prices there still are affordable and inferior to those of the city centre. Apparently, it seems that buying a property in Limoges as a buy-to-rent investment can be quite ingenious. Indeed, Limoges has one of the best profitability rates of France (around 6%).
To get updated info about the property prices in Haute-Vienne, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
5 Reasons to Buy a Property in Limoges
Limoges is not really known in comparison to other cities of this dimension, because it lies in a rural and preserved region. However, it has many assets that make it a pleasant town. Its economy seems to go quite well, because the unemployment rate stands below the national average, and thus, it is a good place where to work and to live. Many people appreciate to be so close to the countryside, to take a breath of fresh air during the week-end for instance.
- Culture, art and historical heritage: many signs of the glorious past of Limoges remain in the city today. Former Gallo-Roman city and then prestigious diocese of the Middle-Age, Limoges was embellished during the 17th century by Turgot, an important intendant of the Kingdom. The main sights are religious, like the cathedral St-Etienne, the crypt of St-Martial (10th century) including the tomb of the bishop who evangelized the city, the Chapelle Saint-Aurélien (14th-17th centuries), the church of St-Pierre-du-Queyroix (12th century) and many others. But also vestiges of the Gallo-Roman era, like one of the largest amphitheatre of the ancient Gaul can be visited. Medieval castles or enamel museums offer interesting visits as well.
- Climate and weather: only 150km away from the Atlantic ocean, the town benefits from a temperate climate of oceanic type, with a slight mountain tendency due to the proximity with the Massif Central mountains range and to the altitude (the highest point of Limoges is 400m). Winters are nowadays less snowy than before. Generally, only one or two days of strong snow are noticed, usually end of January. Sometimes, the winter can be gentler and the summer is often followed by a mild autumn, occasionally by a real Indian summer.
- Craftsmanship: since the Middle-Age, the town benefits from a worldwide reputation thanks to its earthenware and enamel activities. The industry of porcelain began during the 18th century, under the impulsion of Turgot, an important intendant of the Kingdom. Today, the porcelain of Limoges is internationally known. Besides, goldsmith's art and stained glassed are also important craftsmanship of Limoges.
- Transport links: Limousin has been for a long time “remote”, due to the difficult relief and thus the bad transport links it had. Nowadays, the transport had been greatly improved. The international airport of Limoges has an important traffic, augmented in 2004 by two low-cost companies which offer cheap flights to the United Kingdom for instance. The town also counts two rail stations, the gare des Bénédictins being really mind-blowing in terms of architecture. Limoges is easily reachable by road, as it stands on the A20 Motorway. The town itself has a good transport network and is part of the four only towns of France which still have trolleybus.
- Return on investment: Limoges is the main town of the region and has a university and some specialised schools. Thus, it attracts many students who want to study in their region. This is a great opportunity for those who want to buy an apartment to let because it will be quite easy to find someone interested to rent it.
Property Styles and Architecture in Limoges
The industrial development of the two past centuries leaded to a rapid (sometimes anarchical) urbanisation around the city centre, marked by garden suburbs built for the workers. That is why nowadays, the majority of the properties are apartments and only a small proportion of houses remains.
- Half-timbered houses: the town-planning of Limoges is characterised by the presence of an historical centre, divided in two “cores” that are the Château and the Cité, surrounded by a residential set of cottage-style houses. The Cité is away from the major roads. Dominating the Vienne River, its centre is occupied by a cathedral and its narrow medial streets. Thus, the architecture of the quarter is almost totally ancient, characterised by several beautiful half-timbered houses.
- Detached houses: different areas were built successively around the city centre. The first one is heterogeneous and is delineated by the outer boulevards. On the north, it comprises working-class neighborhoods. There, in the quarters of Montplaisir, Ruchoux, Grand Treuil and Brégère, the main architecture style that can be found are small detached houses with characteristical façades of the beginning of the 20th century. These houses are named « pavillons Loucheur » after the « Law Loucheur » that allowed people to take out a loan from the State to a very low rate in order to built a house.
Click here for more info about the Architecture in Limousin.
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