Saint-Nazaire Property Insight
With more than 70,000 inhabitants, Saint-Nazaire is the fourth largest town of Pays de La Loire after Nantes, Angers and Le Mans. Located in the Loire-Atlantique departement at 60km of Nantes, it lies on the right bank of the Loire estuary. An important natural regional park, the marshlands of Brière, stands very close to it and comprises many animal and vegetal species.
Several vestiges such as a dolmen and a tumulus attest the presence of a population already a long time ago on the territory of Saint-Nazaire. Indeed, it was part of the Armorican city of the Namnètes, before becoming a Gallo-Roman port. The history of Saint-Nazaire was above all marked by its port but also by Bretagne. Since 1941, this town as the entire Loire-Atlantique department was detached of Bretagne. However, the Breton influence remains strong in the culture. For instance, typical dishes of Bretagne as galettes bretonnes – tasty whole-wheat pancakes garnished with cheese, ham or many others- are still eaten there and the Breton language continues to be spoken by a part of its population.
The economy of the town is above all founded on its port activity with the exportation of manufactured products. However, the fishery economy almost totally disappeared despite a few fishing boats that still remains. A main industry is the shipbuilding with the shipyard Les Chantiers de l’Atlantique that recently buit the cruise boat named the Queen Mary 2. The aeronautical construction is also an important industry with the presence of one of the European centres of Airbus in Saint-Nazaire.
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Saint-Nazaire Immobilier & Property Market Trends
The sector of Saint-Nazaire is more expensive than the rest of the departement. If there is an explosion of prices around Saint-Nazaire, the good news is that the town itself remains affordable. In April 2009, the average price to buy a property there was around €2,400/sq m while it almost reached the double for some of its neighbouring communes! At this moment, the national average price was almost €3,200/sq m. Very pleasant, Saint-Nazaire is often called the “20 beaches town”. This, combined with the economy and the life of a modest town, attracts many people. The town is now developing itself on the west. The aim of this project is to open this area towards the rest of the town and to promote the diversity, whether it is about the construction of new dwellings or the social and economical functions.
To get updated info about the property prices in Loire-Atlantique, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
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4 Reasons to Buy a Property in Saint-Nazaire
- Historical heritage: the town possesses an historical heritage that goes back to a long time ago during the Celtic era. The tumulus of Dissignac, dating of the Neolithic, was classified historical monument and is one of the most remarkable sites of the region. A dolmen also lies in the town centre, dating from 4000 BC. Most recent, the fort of Villès-Martin dominates the entrance of the Loire estuary. It was built in 1861 and reminds the important situation that occupied Saint-Nazaire as a strategic place for coastal defence.
- Culture: even if Saint-Nazaire can already be characterised as a quite large town, its culture and identity remains strong. There, the inhabitants are close to the ocean that is a part of their identity. But the Breton culture is also a heritage that is deeply fixed in the local identity. There, people are still speaking the Breton language, even if it tends to disappear progressively as the youngest people do not learn to speak it. The Breton music is also celebrated with the Bagad of Saint-Nazaire (the bagads are musical formations typical of Bretagne and influenced by the Scottish pipe bands). It was one of the first bagads of Bretagne and it plays in the first category! A Celtic circle also exists and gives representations of Breton traditional dances.
- Seafront: the town offers a myriad of sandy beaches. Indeed, 20 different beaches punctuate the seafront of Saint-Nazaire and satisfy everyone. Some of them are especially appreciated by those who like to practice body-surf while some beautiful coves offer tranquillity. On the western part of the commune, the coast turns into rocky cliffs that can be followed thanks to a track. Then, the famous long beaches of the neighbouring communes of Pornichet and La Baule can be discovered.
- Up and coming area: the town is currently developing the quarters around the port. The renovated submarine base shelters cinemas, museums, bars and night clubs. Eventually, the port will welcome the student halls of residence of the town, but also multiple modern and innovative facilities as shopping centres and a brand new theatre. On the eastern part of the town, a project of business quarter next to the TGV railway station (high-speed trains) is planned and new quarters will be built in the western part of the town. In other words, Saint-Nazaire is a popular town that attracts always more and more people thanks to its improvement and constant development. Thus, a rise in prices should possibly happen in the coming years.
Property Styles and Architecture in Saint-Nazaire
- Apartments: half of the properties in Saint-Nazaire are apartments. Depending if they stand near the seafront or in the centre, they differ in size, in standing and of course in price. Thus, the market covers almost every kind of apartments, from studios to very large ones and from recent to older ones.
- Villas: the houses that can be seen on the seafront comprise a lot of villas that are more expensive than the rest of the properties more distant from the ocean. Many new villas are built as the demand remains quite strong. Built in perpend, they are of contemporary style with big volumes and often comprise coloured facades (sometimes with two or more colours).
- Town houses: more modest houses than villas can be seen in Saint-Nazaire. Single-storey houses or cottages punctuate the town and are often painted in a pure white. They usually comprise a roof made of slate.
Click here for more info about the Architecture in Pays de la Loire.
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