Sarthe is a French department of the north west of France. Located in the Pays de la Loire region, it is crossed by the eponymous river. This is a little-populated and rural department: half of the Sarthois live in the city of Le Mans and its surroundings. This is besides the prefecture of Sarthe. It is situated in the centre of the department, which is a strategic location and explains why the population and main industries are concentrated in this zone. Landscapes there are very diversified and amazingly beautiful: mountains, valleys, woods… this is an idyll for nature lovers. It is bordered by the Orne, Eure-et-Loir, Loir-et-Cher, Indre-et-Loire, Maine-et-Loire and Mayenne departments.
In the centre of Sarthe, Le Mans is a city created by the Gauls. During the 4th century BC, a Gallo-Roman surrounding was built around the city. Its city centre and suburb employs over 315,000 people. Sablé sur Sarthe In the south west and La Flèche in the south of the department are the two main economic centres after Le Mans.
Concerning the climate, Sarthe is less rainy than Normandy or Brittany. Hail, storm and snow are not characteristic at all of the department. The climate differs from the south to the north: hazy and slightly colder in the north, land is favourable to wine-growing in the south.
Sarthe is a rural department of the north west of France where it should be interesting investing. Property prices are affordable: €1,917 /sq m. Compared with the national average of €3,197 /sq m, the area is cheap and has numerous assets to take into account when buying there: strategic location, close to the UK, rural lifestyle and so on! Many bargains can be found there, but this is also a good location if you want to set up a guest house or if you are looking for a luxury property.
Concerning rental prices, Sarthe’s average is above the France one: €12.66 /sq m a month against €12.22 /sq m a month. Thus, the department should be a great place for buy-to-lets and your investment should quickly turn out to be profitable. Large dwellings are more sought-after than studio flats and 2-room apartments, which can be explained by the rural way of living.
To get updated info about property prices in Sarthe, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
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Good food: some of the Sarthe specialities are really worth tasting! Here are some examples: the so-called rillettes du Mans, Loué chicken, grattons or rillons - pork meat grilled grease -, Le Mans capon, marmite sarthoise – a typical dish made of chicken, rabbit, ham, vegetables, white wine and cream. If you like confectionery, the department offers many typical sweets, cookies and chocolate. The sablés and the prytanéens are not to be missed!
Events: most of them are organized by the city of Le Mans such as The 24 Hours of Le Mans and the French motorcycle Grand Prix. As regards cultural events, you can attend the 25th Hour of the Book, the Chimeras’ night, Epau festival and Europa Jazz festival. Finally, the Coupe de France de Robotique is the most prestigious robotics competition in the country and gathers numerous ingeneering schools every year.
Location – transport links: the Sarthe department, thanks to its location, is well-equipped as regards to road and motorway facilities. It is connected to Paris, Rennes, Nantes, Angers, Calais, Rouen and Tours with three motorways. This is called the étoile à cinq branches (five-branch star). Le Mans railway station is 54 minutes from Paris railway station (Montparnasse), 4 hrs from London and 3 hrs from Brussels. But Sarthe is also easily accessible from Lille, Lyon, Rennes and Nantes.
Economy: the main companies based in Sarthe are: MMA (insurance), Loué chicken, Yoplait (dairy products), Bel (cheese), Christ (cans), Bahier (rillettes) and Renault (automobile). The 24 hours of Le Mans also plays an important role in the local economy as it gathers every year over 258,000 visitors. Nowadays, more and more call centres and logistics hubs set up there.
Wine and alcoholic drinks: Sarthe is not outdone in terms of wine. As exposed previously, the land in the south of the department is favourable to wine-growing. Taste the Jasnières and the Coteaux-du-Loir, you will be immediately seduced. The Jasnières is a white wine which can be ideally served with goat cheese and rillettes. The Coteaux-du-Loir is an AOC of Sarthe. It can be white, rosé or red. Just taste it!
Farmhouses: they are large and heavy properties whose original aim was breeding and growing. They have a huge land and courtyard, and come with a fireplace and outbuildings like barns and stables. Inside, beams and stones may be exposed, which give more charm to the house. Some of them are in good condition but others may need renovation. Farmhouses are located in the countryside and offer amazing views over the nature.
Longère houses: you will find them mainly in Le Mans surroundings. They have a rectangular shape and the back of the houses faces the dominant wind direction. They may hold outbuildings such as cottages, which can be converted into further dwelling. They are laid out in a row, making longere a very long property. They have a large piece of land, courtyard, garage and sometimes a pond. The roof can be either composed of red or slate tiles.
Detached and town houses: they can be found all over the department (and even all over France). They have no particular architectural style but have many assets. Town houses are located in the town centre and may have a piece of land and a garage. Detached properties are close to all amenities, offer a beautiful view over the countryside and come with a courtyard, land and sometimes outbuildings.
Click here for more info about the Architecture in Pays de la Loire.
|Take a closer look at the Sarthe property market:|
|Château du Loir Property Information||La Flèche Property Information|
|Le Mans Information||Sablé-sur-Sarthe Property Information|