Valenciennes Property Insight

Valenciennes is a 42,000-inhabitant town located in the Nord department, in the Nord-Pas de Calais region close to Belgium. The town is the sub prefecture of the department since 1824 and lies at the confluence of the Escaut and Rhônelle Rivers.


Valenciennes belongs to a former province which spreads on both northern France and Belgium: the Hainaut. Even if the town was seriously damaged as a consequence of the two world wars, it retains beautiful monuments from the past. It is the case for the Saint-Géry church or the Jesuits’ library for instance. In Valenciennes’ museum of Fine Arts, you will find pieces of art of local artists: Pater, Watteau, Harpignies and Carpeaux as well as beautiful Flemish collections.

The town is one of the biggest industrial centres of northern France. Until the 1970’s, steel and textile (lace) industries were its main sources of income, but they are now disappearing and Valenciennes has to reconvert its activities in new industries. Nowadays its main activities are car, mechanics, rail materials, pharmacy and chemistry industries. With 34 other towns, Valenciennes forms a community of communes – Valenciennes Métropole - of which it is the headquarter. The town is also the headquarter of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the area, the Valenciennois.

Valenciennes benefits from good road and railway networks, important cultural sites and a nice environment: 5,000 hectares of forests in the plains of Scarpe and Escaut. The town houses a university since 1968 - Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis - and welcomes thousands of students every year.

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Valenciennes Immobilier & Property Market Trends

As regards property prices, Valenciennes offers properties at affordable prices. The average price is €2,430/square metre for a property to buy in the town against €2,595/sq m for the Nord department and €3,197/sq m for the national average. Rental price is €11.19/square metre/month, the national average being €12.22/sq m/month.

In May 2009, it cost about €1,850/square metre to invest in a house in Valenciennes and €2,280/square metre for an apartment. There are as many houses as apartments in the town, but the proportion of people renting their property is bigger than the one of people owning it: 59.8% against 36.5%. In 2008, the range of prices for an apartment to buy there was €1,520-€2,190/square metre. Studio flats are very expensive in the town: between €4,060 and €4,140/square metre in 2008 too.

To get updated info about the property prices in the Nord department, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.

Click here to have an overview of Nord-Pas-de-Calais Property Prices.

5 Reasons to Buy a Property in Valenciennes

  • Historical and architectural heritage: Valenciennes’ town centre was almost entirely destroyed during WWII because of a fire, but the town was rebuilt and is home to plenty of wonderful monuments which are worth seeing. The old Jesuits’ college was built in the 17th century and houses an outstanding library with very old works. Saint-Géry church dates back to the 13th century but was rebuilt in 1958 after destructions of the wars. The town hall (13th- façade 19th c.), Notre-Dame du Saint-Cordon basilica (built in the 11th c., destroyed during the French Revolution and rebuilt in a neogothic style in the 19th c.), tour de la Dodenne (tower, unique vestige of the fortifications of the town) and ‘Spanish house’ (half-timbered house built when the town was invaded by Spanish) are not to be missed either.

  • Good food: amongst local specialties, we can quote the following ones: smoked tongue - ‘Langue Lucullus’ - ‘Germinal’ (cake tasting chicory and bitter chocolate), ‘Carpeaux’ (butter and iced chestnuts cream between macaroon) and ‘Goyère’ (kind of souffle with maroille, northern France cheese). For sweets lovers, there are the ‘Sottises de Valenciennes’, delicious sweets produced in the area since 1930. As regards drinks, good local beers include ‘bière de garde’ and ‘Sebourg’.

  • Tranquillity and scenery: nature lovers will be delighted: five minutes from the town centre, there is a water-based recreation centre which spreads over 54 hectares, offering a great natural setting for relax times and leisure activities. Scarpe-Escaut regional natural park is very close to Valenciennes which is thus surrounded by 5,000 hectares of forests in the plains of the area. The site boasts excellent scenery and tranquillity all year round.

  • Location – transport infrastructure: Valenciennes is located 30 minutes by car from Lille-Lesquin airport and about 1h30 from Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris. The town is situated pretty close to several major European cities: 106km from Brussels, 200km from Paris, 280km from London and 300km from Amsterdam. There are good tramway and bus networks within the town which is well-linked to the major French cities and towns.

  • Rental opportunities: as said before, the town is home to a university, which implies that many students live in the town and may look for accommodation. There are rental opportunities in Valenciennes and good return on investment: the university welcomes about 14,000 students each year so there is a sustained demand for properties in the area.

Property Styles and Architecture in Valenciennes

  • Brick houses: as in many towns of northern France, the majority of properties in Valenciennes are red-bricked houses. Attached or not, their walls are done in red or brown bricks and their sloping roof made of red or brown tiles too. When they are detached, they offer larger dimensions and often more rooms. They come with a garden and a garage and are more likely to be located in the countryside. Brick houses are attached when they are situated in the town centre. In this case, it is rather rare to see a garden or garage coming with the property.

  • Maisons de Maitre: made of bricks or stone, these properties have many rooms of large dimensions, balconies and an imposing entrance door. Most of them date back to the 18th century and have decorations on their front. They are great pieces of architecture and very sought-after.

  • Apartments: you can find all kinds of apartments in Valenciennes. Depending on your criterion, there are apartments in housing estates for students, in houses converted into several studio flats, etc. Small or large, with one room or more, just make your choice. Apartments are located in the town centre and thus close to all amenities.

Click here for more info about the Architecture in Nord-Pas-de-Calais.

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Take a closer look at the Nord property market:
Cambrai Property Information Dunkerque Property Information
Lille Property Information