Nord Pas de Calais is the northernmost French region. It is composed of two departments: Nord and Pas de Calais, hence the name of the region. Nord Pas de Calais is one of the most populated regions of France and accounts for more than 4 million inhabitants. The region covers the area of several former French province: Artois, Boulonnais, Flandre and Hainaut. Given its borders with Belgium, the area is highly influenced by Flemish traditions and culture. Let’s discover the ‘Ch’ti Mi’ (people speaking the local dialect) and their fascinating culture.
Given its location and rich resources, Nord Pas de Calais was invaded many times from the Middle Ages to the Second World War. We can notice this heavy history of wars and invasions in the whole region: belfries, fortified towns and diversity of architecture, food and dialects amongst others. The famous Vauban built 13 citadels to protect the area where we can also find many commemorative monuments for WWI and WWII.
As regards economy, the major activity of Nord Pas de Calais was mining extraction until the 90’s. But it declined then and this activity was replaced by new industries and services. Nowadays, Nord Pas de Calais is a thriving economical region. Textile industry and agriculture (cereals, potatoes, beetroots, etc) have always been important in the area.
The Côte d’Opale is definitely the most touristy area of the region. It boasts plenty of long sandy beaches and famous seaside resorts such as Le Touquet-Paris Plage or Berck-Plage. The coastline offers numerous sport facilities and places of interest. Cultural tourism is also possible in Nord Pas de Calais with towns such as Lille, Arras or Calais which offer outstanding architectural monuments as well as many museums and popular events.
The Nord Pas de Calais region is very famous amongst British holiday makers as it can be reached in a few hours only. Weather being quite similar to the one in southern England, tourists from across the Channel appreciate this French region full of traditions where locals are renowned to be very welcoming. Traditions include belfries, giant puppets and carnivals.
With an average price of €2,427/square metre in May 2009, the Nord Pas de Calais region is quite affordable in terms of real estate. The national average being of €3,197 / square metre, the region is a good place to invest in. Here are some informative prices for different kind of properties in the region: €3,392/sq m for a house, €1,948/sq m for an apartment, €2,457/sq m for a villa, €2,426/sq m for a farmhouse.
Below are some prices for apartments and houses to buy in the region. Prices for new properties are not given, but they are of course higher than the figures in the following tables. For instance, it costs about €2,890 / square metre to invest in a new apartment in Nord Pas de Calais.
|Number of rooms:||3||4||5||6||Average|
|Nord Pas de Calais||€110,600||€138,600||€162,300||€187,000||€159,100|
|Pas de Calais||€106,400||€126,000||€147,700||€170,100||€144,500|
|Studio Flats||2 rooms||3 rooms||4 rooms||5 rooms||Average|
|Nord Pas de Calais||€2,710 / sq m||€2,380 / sq m||€2,180 / sq m||€2,010 / sq m||€1,950 / sq m||€2,200 / sq m|
|Nord||€2,630 / sq m||€2,350 / sq m||€2,100 / sq m||€2,020 / sq m||€2,020 / sq m||€2,170 / sq m|
|Pas de Calais||€2,910 / sq m||€2,470 / sq m||€2,450 / sq m||€1,980 / sq m||€1,660 / sq m||€2,300 / sq m|
|France||€2,890 / sq m||€2,690 / sq m||€2,400 / sq m||€2,160 / sq m||€2,080 / sq m||€2,380 / sq m|
To get updated information about the house prices in the Nord Pas de Calais region, please browse our French Property market reports published in the News Section every month.
Click here to have more details about Nord Pas de Calais’ Property Prices.
The Nord Pas de Calais region is too often considered as an uninteresting region which has a very bad weather all year round (low temperatures, rain, snow, etc.), but the area is far from being poor and the weather is not so bad, even if it is surely not as good as in Midi-Pyrénées or Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur. Once the prejudices are forgotten, you can discover the numerous assets of this welcoming region…
Culture and historical heritage: Belfries are essential in the Nord Pas de Calais’ history. Given their architectural heritage and the values that they promoted in the past (local liberties…), belfries describe best the region. These parish towers had different uses throughout the centuries: watch towers, jails, tribunals, places of local meetings, etc. Destroyed during wars, they were rebuilt identically, showing the attachment of the locals for these monuments. A total of 17 belfries of the region are listed in the World Heritage of UNESCO (11 in Nord and 6 in Pas de Calais). Giant puppets are as old as the belfries. They represent imaginary or historical characters and parade in the streets for special celebrations.
Events: varied events take place in the region throughout the year. The most famous are the following ones: Dunkerque’s carnival (middle January-end March), ‘Enduro du Touquet’ (motorcycles racecourse) now called ‘Enduropale’, Bailleul’s carnival (February-March), Lille’s flea market (September), Gayant’s celebrations in Douai (June-July) and the ‘Paris-Roubaix’ (bicycle road race). Numerous festivals are held in the area such as cinema festivals or music ones. The majority of events takes place around Lille and Arras as well as along the coast.
Museums: the region houses a total of 30 Fine Arts Museums! These museums are home to varied collections of French, Flemish and Italian art amongst others. You will also find many War Museums and museums about sea life or aquariums and about local history: the ‘international city of lace and fashion’ in Calais, ‘La Coupole’ in Saint-Omer (WWII Museum), Matisse Museum in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Ecomuseum of Avesnois, etc.
Activities: all kind of activities can be practised in the region Nord Pas de Calais. From water sports along the Côte d’Opale such as sand yacht or sailing to activities such as climbing, hunting, horse riding, motor racing or fishing, the choice is wide and everybody should be satisfied and finds their favourite leisure activity in the region.
Good food: the conviviality of the region is also expressed in the gastronomy. From simple dishes to more sophisticated ones, Nord Pas de Calais has numerous local specialties: carbonnade flamande (beef cooked with onions, sugar and beer served with pasta or potatoes), sugar tart, speculoos ice cream and sweets accompanied with a delicious local beer. Go in a brasserie and ask the waiter to advice you, you will taste the local gastronomy and will definitely not be disappointed. Chicory, seafood, sweets, fine meat…everything is available in the region.
Location – transport infrastructure: Nord Pas de Calais has a strategic location in France. It is a real gateway to the whole country for UK citizens and also Belgians. Thanks to the numerous ferry crossings and train available in the area, many big cities can be reached in a few hours only: London, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Paris, etc.
Brick properties: the major construction material in the north of France is bricks. Thus, many properties are made of red or brown bricks, having a particular charm. Brick properties can be located in the town centre or in the countryside. They often come with a piece of land/garden and a garage.
Farmhouses: these properties can be found everywhere in France. They have large dimensions and come with outbuildings such as barns and stables. Located in the countryside, they offer great views and quietness. Farmhouses in the north of France have the particularity to have closed courtyards. Most of them are made of bricks and stone.
Longères: such properties are very sought-after. They are one of the most typical French property types. Properties are built in a row, they have a rectangular shape, hence their name. Longere in Nord Pas de Calais are constructed with bricks. These rural properties offer great dimensions and have flat tiles roofs.
Half-timbered properties: it is possible to find some half-timbered houses in Nord Pas de Calais. Bricks are used to replace cob between the timber frames. Half-timbered houses often have roof or windows. Roofs of these properties are generally brown or red and flat.
Click here for more info about the Architecture in Nord Pas de Calais.
|For a deeper insight:|
|Nord Property Insight|
|Pas de Calais Property Insight|