Poitiers Property Insight
Poitiers is a town of 92,000 inhabitants located in the Vienne department of France. It is the prefecture town of the latter as well as that of Poitou Charentes. The town is famous for its medieval quarters with many architectural jewels. The population is quite young as it has a university accounting for 25,000 students every year.
Poitiers was first built as a roman town and comprised initially several aqueducts as well as a very large amphitheatre. This suggests that the town had a major role in western France by that time. Some remnants of the past are still visible today. However, the name of the town is a legacy of the original tribe inhabiting the area before the Romans, called the Pictons.
Several major battles took place there as in 507 between Visigoths and Franks, in 732 when the Muslim invasion was stopped (a crucial battle in the French and western history) or in 1356 - battle of Poitiers. This can be explained by the political role of the town and its strategic location on top of hills, a defensive outpost between Aquitaine and Tours.
The university of Poitiers was founded in 1431. Although this is little-known, even by locals, very famous – and successful – people were trained there: writers such as Rabelais, philosophers such as Descartes and even Samuel de Champlain, the sailor who founded Quebec and thus Canada.
"Poitiers is also a cultural town, a good example being the Sainte-Croix museum. Monuments are very numerous and there is always a church, a monument or a sculpture to admire in the town centre. A charming, lively town to settle in and a heaven for culture and history lovers.
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Poitiers Immobilier & Property Market Trends
In 2009, property prices in Poitiers are quite moderate. A property costs €2,058 / square metre which is quite cheap compared with the national average (€3,200/sq m) but way over the regional average (less than €2,000 /sq m). These prices have dropped for the first half of 2009. Rental prices are around €10.88 / sq m / month wich is quite reasonable given the high and stable demand in this student town. Apartments for sale cost €1,600 /sq m on average depending on the location (town centre properties cost more) and on the size. Properties in Poitiers are excellent as they offer many rental opportunities. There are many assets in and around the town to draw quite a lot of tourists in peak seasons, and at off-peak seasons many students may be interested in renting your property.
To get updated info about the property prices in Vienne, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
Click here to have an overview of Poitou Charentes Property Prices.
5 Reasons to Buy a Property in Poitiers
- Culture, art and historical heritage: Poitiers is a heaven for culture, history and art lovers. Poitiers initially was walled and had a large amphitheatre but lost these elements, The profile of the town is however that of a gorgeous place with a stunning town centre, charming streets and many very nice churches and monuments that recall that during centuries, Poitiers was a powerful place in western France. Monuments that cannot be ignored are Notre Dame la Grande, Saint-Porchaire and Saint-Germain churches as well as the collegiate churches of Saint-Hilary and Saint-Radegund. The cathedral and Saint-Jean-de-Montierneuf churches are also great. These assets draw many visitors to the area, which upholds the tourism industry a lot and provides excellent buy-to-let opportunities.
- Good food: the town benefits from the delicious, hearty food of Poitou Charentes. Second to none butter, goat cheese, cabbage, traditional bans, excellent seafood and award-winning oysters are pure delights. A local cake which is quite little-known is the crunchy, savoury Scofa – definitely a pleasure for sometimes asleep foreign tastebuds. These assets are more and more acknowledged amongst tourists who like the area.
- Lively town: Poitiers is lively all year long but in July-August when the town is more calm. This student town is very dynamic, with original bars and restaurant but a simple, relaxed lifestyle which is a hallmark of this region. An ideal place to rest, far from the gloom of the UK but just a stone’s throw from Poitou Charente’s sandy beaches and Aquitaine’s world renowned vineyards.
- Transport links: the town benefits from its own airports with up to 16 weekly flights to and from UK cities. La Rochelle and Angouleme are within 1h30 and have their own airports too. Low cost companies such as Ryanair and Easyjet serve the town, average one-way flights cost €35 and last 1h30 to London Stansted. TGV high-speeds train reach Paris in 1h20 or the coastal resort of La Rochelle in 40 minutes. Motorway to Paris: 330 km, Bordeaux 220km.
- Rental opportunities and ROI: the area around Poitiers is perfect if you plan to open a guest house or a gite, such as the village of Ligugé – which has an abbey with 25 monks – or lovely areas such as the old village in Saint-Benoit. These places located along the river Clain are ideal to discover the town and its many assets but still soak in a peaceful, quiet and very sound environment. The Futuroscope entertainement park as well as proximity with the sea means that visitor numbers are high from May to October.
Property Styles and Architecture in Poitiers
The architecture in Poitiers has slowly changed with events and history, as well as influence from the Loire region. The main property types that can be seen nowadays reflect the medieval character of the town, but also its cultural belonging to Poitou Charentes.
- Half-timbered properties: Poitiers is a mediveval town and thus has wonderful half-timbered properties. Strolling in the towncentre will allow you to notice most of them. These properties may be expensive given their location and great aspect but will easily be rented to holidaymakers for instance.
- Maison de Maitre: these properties are the counterpart in Vienne of manor houses in Deux Sevres. Masters’ houses are massive, gorgeous stone properties. In Poitiers, you can find some of these properties in the town centre, wich means that they are attached on both gables. They are quite luminous and make very good use of the region’s great climate. Plus when they are located in the outskirts of the town, they make excellent guest houses.
Click here for more info about the Architecture in Poitou Charentes.
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