Val d’Oise was created in 1968. This French department belongs to the large crown of the Paris-Ile de France region, in the north of the country. Its name comes from the eponymous river which runs through it. 1,157,052 inhabitants were registered in 2006. Val d’Oise is bordered with 6 departments: Oise to the north, Seine et Marne to the east, Seine Saint Denis, Hauts de Seine, Yvelines in the south and Eure. Cergy is home to the prefecture of the department.
The smallest department of the region, Val d’Oise has however much on offer. The land, which is mainly rural, presents a typical contrasted aspect: cereal growing and unspoilt nature in northern villages coexist with blighted areas in the south and Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle international airport. The centre and south west of the department are urbanized areas and are fully part of Paris’ suburb. The west, on the contrary, is mainly rural. 21% of the departments’ land is composed of woods and forests, the principal of which are Montmorency, L’Isle-Adam and Carnelle woods.
Fishing, playing golf, horse riding, swimming or skating are just some activities that you can practise in Val d’Oise. Cruises on the Oise River are also organized and sound romantic! Museums, religious monuments, greenery… the department is full of gems. Why not investing in the area to benefit from them?
Paris-Ile de France is both renowned for its dynamism and gems and for its high property prices. Indeed, this is one of the most expensive regions of France. Whereas a property is sold €3,197 /sq m on average in France, it cost €3,090 /sq m in Val d’Oise. However, some departments in the region are even more expensive.
If you want to buy an apartment, you should plan to invest €2,550 /sq m, which is much more affordable than the Ile-de-France average (€4,510). The current real estate crisis had an impact on the department, where property prices dropped by 7.8% over last year and by 6.3% during the first quarter of 2009.
Those who are looking for houses will also be satisfied: prices decreased by 9.5% last year and 5.1% over the first quarter of 2009. A houses should cost currently €254,000 in the department against €279,700 in the region on average.
To get updated info about property prices in Val d’Oise, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
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Architectural and historical heritage: Val d’Oise’s historical and architectural past is rich. Numerous edifices are worth visiting, amongst which some of them are part of the French historical monuments. Two nature regional parks contribute to the preservation of the largest part of the department: parc naturel régional du Vexin français and parc naturel régional Oise-Pays de France. One of the best preserved areas close to Paris, the Vexin français is also the best tourist attraction.
Tourism – sights: visit Auvers-sur-Oise, nicknamed the painter village, became the main pole of the department, welcoming an international clientele and a major development policy. La Roche Guyon castle is another tourist attraction worth seeing. May other castles are also to be stared at. If you are a culture lover, then you can visit the departments’ museums. Val d’Oise being a touristy destination, it is an attractive location for investments.
Economy: the department has appeared since its creation as a dynamic area, located few kilometres from the French capital. The territory gathers rural areas as well as urbanized zones, a major asset of which Val d’Oise made good use of. Situated north west of the Parisian agglomeration, it boasts a privileged position both as the entrance door of Paris and as a department opened towards the north of Europe (the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands). Furthermore the presence of an international airport on its land plays an essential role in the department’s economy.
Location – transport links: as exposed previously, Val d’Oise is home to the largest airport of Europe in terms of travellers. Travelling from and to the department is thus kids’ stuff. The A1 motorway drives to Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport. By train, you can reach Paris and then the airport, which is quite long but perfect if you do not own a car. A direct route to the airport is possible by taking the 95-18 bus from Cergy.
Houses and villas: half of the dwellings in Val d’Oise are composed of houses. They are often one-storey properties. Such property come with a garage, cellar, land and terrace. More luxury properties are also on offer in the department. Villas are luminous and modern houses with a large land, terrace and sometimes a swimming-pool. Houses in val d’Oise are quite traditional, but may have shed dormers on the roof, a particularity that other properties in France do not have.
Apartments: much sought-after by investors, apartments are indeed the ideal property type if you are looking for a buy-to-let. The best location for this kind of placement is of course the main towns of the department i.e. Cergy and Argenteuil for isntance. They have no particular architectural style but have much to offer. Close to all amenities, especially in the Ile-de-France region, flats are located in dynamic areas. Some apartments may include a garage and terrace.
Maisons de Maître: these heavy properties are dedicated to a bourgeoise population. Indeed, the hune number of rooms, the park but also the arhitecture and the size of the Maisons de Maître: explain fully its high price. They look like administrative buildings full of charm. Often old properties, they have an ancient style and many assets (gatehouse, tennis court, swimming-pool...). Garage, cellar and entry phone are obvioulsy part of the property.
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