Beauvais is located in the north of France, some kilometres north of Paris. It is the administrative centre of the Oise department, located in the Picardy region. With 60,670 inhabitants, called the Beauvaisiens, the city is the largest of the department and the third one of the region.
Beauvais’s past is marked by the textile industry. Since the 11th century, until WWII the city based its whole economy on textile. The industry enabled the town to develop fast and to become a rich city by the 14th century. However, it prevented it from switching to a new type of production, especially during the 19th century, when all cities around Beauvais were experiencing industrialisation. Beauvais suffered from this insulation especially after WWI during the 30’s crisis.
During WWI, the town was bombing 8 times and 80 houses were destroyed. However, this was nothing compared to the dramatic destruction of WWII. In 1940, Beauvais was attacked by the Luftwaffe (German air force), and 2/3 of the town disappeared under flames...
After the gigantesque fire, 4 villages around the town were attached to Beauvais: Notre-Dame–du-Thil, Marissel, Saint-Just-des-Marais and Voisinlieu. Almost 20 years were needed to rebuild the town, and finally in 1960 Beauvais started to develop again. Of course most of its historical heritage was destroyed during the fire, however, there are still some monuments and old houses you can see and visit.
In France in 2009 a house is sold €3,197 /sq m on average. Since in Beauvais in May 2009 a property was sold €1,859 /sq m, we can say that the town is fairly affordable. Beauvais property market has suffered a lot from the real estate crisis, and as a result its prices have dropped dramatically. In February 2009, a house was sold €2,452 /sq m in Beauvais, since when the value of houses kept on decreasing, until reaching €1,831 /sq m in March 2009. In other words, in one month prices dropped by 34%! Since March, the market seems to have recovered as we notice that prices tend to go up again (+1.50% between March and May).
However, even though the market seems to be better, prices are still fairly low. It is probably the best moment for investors to buy a property in the town. As a matter of fact, prices today are low, but it is doubtless that they will keep on increasing, which means that if you buy a property today, you might be able to sell it twice the price in a couple of years.
As far as rentals are concerned, Beauvais offers good opportunities. In fact, 60% of residents are tenants and prices in the renting market are fairly high. In Beauvais, you will need €11.80 /sq m /month to rent a property, while the national average is €12.20 /sq m /month. We see that there is no a big difference between both figures if compared to the difference between house prices.
To get updated info about the property prices in Oise, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
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Beauvais has suffered many bombings and a big fire during WWII. As a result, much of its heritage was destroyed. However, some monuments and houses were saved and today are emphasized .
Culture and art heritage: Beauvais is an almost 2,000 year old town, which origins date back to the Gallo-Roman era. It was an important town during the Carolingian Kingdom, as the cathedral Basse Oeuvre testifies. It was above all one of the most important cities as regards the textile industry. Nowadays, of course the city had to move on and to switch to a new type of production; however, you can still visit museums and monuments about textile and learn everything about its history and production. Museums include: Galerie nationale de la tapisserie, manufacture nationale de la tapisserie, etc.
Historical and architectural heritage: despite the fire in 1940, there are still some beautiful monuments you can visit. In Beauvais you can not miss the Saint Pierre cathedral, and its astronomic clock which is definitely worth seeing! Beauvais is also renowned to have a large Gothic heritage. However, you can also visit some Renaissance monuments, such as the Troissereux castle, which is a beautiful combination between Middle Ages and Renaissance.
Parks and gardens: Beauvais was awarded 4 flowers (out of 4) a the Flowered towns and villages contest. No less than 109 gardeners work everyday in order to look after gardens, parks and flowers. There are also some interesting gardens to visit, such as the Andre Van Beek garden, the medieval Saint Arnoult garden and abbey, etc.
Location – transport links: at the crossroads of Normandy, Ile de France, and Picardy, the Beauvaisis area has on offer a rich and diversified territory. Beauvais is perfectly linked to French cities as well as with European cities. Indeed, it displays an international airport flying towards 21 European cities. Train network is also very good, linking Beauvais to Paris with the TER. Motorways and road network is also, of course, very well developed.
Detached houses: as Beauvais was almost entirely rebuilt after WWII, most houses for sale are rather new ones, dating back from the 60’s. If you are looking for a house in the centre of the city, you will be likely to find rather small houses, sometimes 2 storey high, but with no more than 3 bedrooms in average. Most of them come with a parking and sometimes with a balcony if not with a small garden.
Anglo-Norman mansions: mansions are huge houses that used to belong to very wealthy people. They are in average 350sq m large and come with a huge garden. Inside the house you will find a reception room, a dining room, a linving room with a fire place, at least 6 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, etc. It is usually decorated with marble and oak, and on the floor with parquet.
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