Pays de la Loire Property Insight

The Pays de la Loire is the name given to a region of the west of France. It includes the Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire, Mayenne, Sarthe and Vendée departments. Its name comes from the Loire River which crosses two out of its five departments before flowing in the Atlantic Ocean. Surrounded in the west with the Bay of Biscay, Pays de la Loire is bordered in the north by the Brittany and Lower-Normandy regions, in the east by Centre and in the south by the Poitou-Charentes region. Its 3,426,000 inhabitants are called the Ligériens.


Pays de la Loire is a very recent administrative region: it was created in 1955 by a ministerial order. Contrary to other French regions, Pays de la Loire was established from five departments on arbitrary requirements (administrative and politic). Thus, all the departments forming the Pays de la Loire region have no common roots. They all have a different culture and history: Breton influences (Loire-Atlantique), Poitou-Charentes impacts (Vendée) and Pays de la Loire marks (Maine-et-Loire, Sarthe and Mayenne). Thus divided, the region allowed the cities of Rennes and Nantes (the prefecture and largest city of Pays de la Loire) to become administrative regional capitals. Let’s note that Nantes was, during the Middle Ages, part of the Brittany region. Most of the Ligériens are gathered around three large urban centres exceeding 100,000 inhabitants: Nantes, Angers and Le Mans. The three cities are besides part of the 20 largest major cities of France.

The regional relief is constituted of hills (south of Vendee), woods and valleys (Sarthe). A part of Pays de la Loire is located at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean on 368km and holds two amazing isles: Ile de Noirmoutier and Ile d'Yeu (a great place for fishing lovers). Its coasts are rocky and sandy, several marshlands are also part of the local scenery. Pays de la Loire is the fifth region of France, after Midi-Pyrénées, Rhône-Alpes, Aquitaine and Centre.

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Pays de la Loire Immobilier & Property Market Trends

Location Property Price € / sq m Apartment Property Price € / sq m Rental Price € / sq m / month
France 3,197 2,820 12.22
Pays de la Loire 3,402 2,660 10.52
Loire Atlantique 3,104 2,880 11.17
Maine et Loire 2,145 2,390 11.03
Mayenne 1,208 2,400 (new build) 7.87
Sarthe 1,917 2,115 12.66
Vendee 3,287 2,850 //

Pays de la Loire is a region where property prices are very disparate according to the areas. Thus, Vendee and Loire-Atlantique are the most expensive departments of the region. The average price in 2009 for a property in these departments is almost similar to the France’s average i.e. about 3,197 / sq m. This may be explained by the closeness to the Atlantic coastline and sea resorts in such areas. But if you have a lower budget, you can look at properties in Mayenne for instance, where prices are very cheap. You will easily find a bargain. Prices in Sarthe are also affordable and some properties are of good value.

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To get updated information about the house prices in the Pays de la Loire region, please browse our French Property market reports published in the News Section every month.

7 Reasons to Buy a Property in Pays de la Loire

  • Natural heritage: Pays de la Loire is home to numerous natural reserves like the Marais Poitevin (also called the Green Venice), Lac de Grand-Lieu, Marais de Mullembourg, Baie de l'Aiguillon and Marais Breton Vendéen. A great region for nature lovers which should be seduced by all the charms of the region. Settling in the area will let you discover the rich wildwife of Pays de la Loire but also the surroundings, such as Brittany and Normandy.

  • Good food: the famous sauce au beurre blanc (which usually accompanies fish dishes) comes from Pays de la Loire. If you prefer meat, you should taste the sausages cooked with muscadet wine or Anjou rillauds served with Vendee mogettes. Those who are fond of good food will be seduced by the pâté aux prunes d'Angers (a plum pie), Nantes berlignots (sweet), Sarthe sables (cookie), the free-range chicken, the famous rillettes, ham and so on. Vendee being located in the coast, you will find there seafood such as mussels, oysters, anchovies, sardines, clams, shrimps… seafood boards are very yummy! Not to forget the salt made in Guérande, nicknamed white gold since produced with French sea salt.

  • Tourism – Events: some events made the reputation of Pays de la Loire. The renowned Vendee Globe is a round-the-world single-handed race. This non-stop and without assistance race takes pace every four years in the region. The 24 Hours of Le Mans are another event not to be missed when going in Sarthe. It is one of the most important sports car races in endurance racing in the world. This list is obviously not exhaustive, the region waiting for you to discover all its assets and charms!

  • Cultural heritage: Guerande medieval cité, (renowned for its marshlands and sea salt) Le Mans cathedral, some famous chateaux de la Loire (part of the World Heritage) and Fontevraud abbey are the main monuments of the region. A main touristy attraction is also the Puy du Fou, a historical theme park. It welcomes 1.2 million visitors each year: it is the second most popular attraction in France. Pays de la Loire is a region where culture may be seen everywhere throughout its edifices, museums, theme park and events. A very pleasant area to settle!

  • Economy: Pays de la Loire if the fifth region of France in terms of population and gross domestic product. The principal sectors are food industry (third in France) with 51% of the meat production, 19% of milk and 20% in the grain transformation. 67% of the territory is occupied by agriculture. This is the first region as regards bovine meat, poultry, rabbit and duck production and the second for milk, pork and potato making.

  • Activities: numerous harbours in Pays de la Loire will let you a large choice to moor a boat. They are very dynamic in summer but conserve however their charm and authenticity. Surfing, sailing, water-skiing, kayaking, deep-sea diving and kitesurfing lovers will be over the moon there! With such a choice, there are no more apologies not to spend sports holidays! Pays de la Loire also gathers the ideal conditions (sand, sun, wind) to practise sand yatch. Cycling is one of the appreciated activities in the region: it will let you discover and admire the local landscapes, marshlands and sea. Another main asset is the number of mineral spring centres: pampering one’s body and keeping in shape is very pleasant! This is just a foretaste of what is expecting you there! Just good time.

  • Wine and alcoholic drinks: wine-growing in one of the main richness of the Pays de la Loire region. Sweet wine, dry wine, sparkling wine, white/rosé/red wine… everyone will find one’s happiness amongst the prestigious AOC (Saumur Brut, Savennières, Coteaux du Layon, Saumur-Champigny, Anjou villages, Muscadet, Jasnières, Mareuil wine). Muscadet is a star in the region. This great wine has a fruit taste and was created during the 16th century. Jasnières and Coteaux du Loir are also worth tasting, you will love them! Pays de la Loire is also the birthplace of the renowned Cointreau, a liqueur with orange extracts. You can besides visit a distillery, where you will be given a sample of the alcohol. Once again, all the treasures of the region are not quoted here, for more surprise!

Property Styles and Architecture in Pays de la Loire

  • Longères: they are typical from the north west of France, especially Britanny. However, you will also find many of them in Pays de la Loire. Longeres have a rectangular shape and the back of the house originally faces the wind dominant direction. The roof is made of slate tiles and the property often comes with outbuildings such as barns, stables and cottages all laid out in a row. They are very charming and their land let you admire the surroundings and offer you a while of quietness.
  • Thatched houses: traditionally, they were built by farmers and allowed them to have a modest home. The material used for the construction is cheap and local. The roof is covered with thatch, explaining the name of these properties. Walls are often constructed with stones, which give a typical charm to the house. Small openings is another feature of thatched houses.
  • Bourrine houses: you will find these properties in the marshlands. As for the thatched houses, they are very simple houses built with local materials and Pisé (earth and water). They have a fireplace, a strategic furniture of the family house. Their aim is to resist to strong winds (due to the sea) but the building of bourrine houses does not require much money.

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For a deeper insight:
Loire Atlantique Property Insight
Maine et Loire Property Insight
Mayenne Property Insight
Sarthe Property Insight
Vendee Property Insight