A French town of the Val d’Oise department, Argenteuil is also the first of the department in terms of population (104,189 inhabitants) and the third of the Paris-Ile de France region. Located north of the latter, on the right bank of the Seine River, the town has a very old origin.
Argenteuil stretches over 1,770ha, 40.5% of which is occupied by dwellings. Housing in the town is constituted of 20th century’s houses and contemporary villas. Rewarded with the French label Ville Fleurie, the major open spaces are to be found in the north and in the east of Argenteuil.
The town is divided into six quarters, which all have a typical architectural, social and cultural identity:
Centre ville: with a strong urban density of the 60’s, the town centre is the symbol of cultural diversity. The historical heart boasts a rich heritage but however lives in harmony with the modern town centre. Although more and more modern and prestigious buildings are constructed, gorgeous millstone properties can be found near the town hall.
Orgemont – Volembert: located east of Argenteuil, you will find there mainly working-class houses which are the testimony of the industrial past of the town. The upper part of this quarter boasts an unspoilt nature and quietness. Furthermore, it offers an amazing view over Paris and its suburb.
Val Notre-Dame: the architecture dates back to the 60’s or 70’s where workers properties can be seen. It is situated in the west of the town and houses quite modern, spacious and little conformist.
Coteaux: this is the most recent quarter, located in an upper area, it offers astonishing view over the Défense business quarter of Paris. There, you can admire the most beautiful properties of Argenteuil with contemporary architecture. It attracts mainly a bourgeoise and well-off population.
Val d'Argent Nord and Val d'Argent Sud: these two quarters are home to a railway station and a university.
The square metre in Argenteuil costs €2,898 in 2009. Considering the France’s average of €3,197 /sq m as well as the closeness with the French capital, Argenteuil offers affordable property prices, although higher than in many others regions of the country. Indeed, Paris-Ile de France is deemed to be the most expensive region in terms of property prices. This is partially true, if we consider prices that can be found in the capital city of in some surrounding departments. However, other French areas are also quite expensive such as the French Riviera. Thus, if you plan to invest in the Val d’Oise department, Argenteuil may be the right location for you. It gathers dynamism and quietness.
As far as rentals are concerned, renting a property there will cost you about €16.27 /sq m a month, which is €4 /sq m a month more than the national average. Buying at a lower price and renting at a higher price seems to imply a good return on investment. With over 51% of tenants, Argenteuil could definitely be an ideal location for investors.
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Historical heritage: Argenteuil has been for ages populated by winegrowers and farmers. Vineyards occupied the largest area of the town and the town centre was essentially composed of winegrowers’ houses and farmhouses. Factories and estate housing then appeared and Argenteuil became a popular wee-end destination amongst the Parisians. The town has also been home to a plaster factory since the Gallo-Roman period. It reached its peak during the 19th century thanks to the closeness with the largest gypsum deposit of Europe and thanks to the construction of Haussmann houses in Paris.
Industrial and working-class town: at the beginning of the 20th century, Argenteuil gathers both industrial and farming activities. The town cultivates, along with grapes, asparagus which became famous over the years. But this is also a major industrial town dedicated to automobile, pneumatic, shipbuilding and aeronautics. Argenteuil has a strategic location close to Paris and to the Défense business quarter of the French capital. The local authority now tries to emphasizes its past, open spaces, vineyards and impressionism.
Monuments and sightseeing: in spite of the destructions during the French Revolution and WWII as well as of the massive post-was years urbanization, Argenteuil boasts a diversified historical heritage. Visit its museum displaying the local history, civil edifices (Allée couverte sepulchre, Cave dimière, Claude Monet house, Billy tower and Orgemont former mill) and religious monuments (Saint-Jean-Baptiste chapel, Sainte-Marie Benedictine abbey’s crypt and Saint-Denis basilica).
Art and literature legacy: Argenteuil was a centre for impressionism and welcomed numerous painters such as Alfred Sisley in 1872, Manet, Renoir, Gustave Caillebotte, Claude Monet and Georges Braque. The town is also renowned for being home to several writers amongst which Guy de Maupassant. The latter regularly came in Argenteuil and quoted it in its famous book Bel-Ami.
Gastronomy and wine: winegrowing has for a long time played a major role in the town’s economy. Since 1999, Argenteuil has produced Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wine. Taste also the Sannois wine, made of pinot gris and chardonnay grapes. Along with grape, the town is also renowned for its asparagus and figs.
Location – transport links: the A15 motorway, which passes to the east of the town, represents a major communication road. Two main railway axes will let you travel from and to Paris (10 minutes) and Mantes-la-Jolie amongst others. Several bus routes also serve the town and its surroundings. By boat, Argenteuil is located in front of Gennevilliers harbour, the most important fluvial harbour in France.
Apartments: ideal for investors, they often come with a fireplace and cellar. Old-style lovers will be satisfied as well as modern-style amateurs. Modern apartments are usually luminous, walls are painted in white. It is also common to find flats with an open outlook, which is a major asset for those who are looking for tranquility. Almost always located in the town centre, they are close to all amenities i.e. shops, schools, bus stops, train stations...
Detached houses: with shed dormers on the roof, they are charming properties perfect for those who plan to settle in the area. Front facades are often painted in light colours and the roof is made up of red tiles. Detached houses usually have a garage, terrace and piece of land. A major advantage is that such poperty offers tranquility. Moreover, they often have an open outlook and will let you benefit from the surroundings.
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