The town of Castellane is home to 1,630 inhabitants. It is part of the Alpes de Haute Provence department, in the Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur (PACA) region. Dominated by a big cliff, Castellane is one of the most beautiful towns in the area.
A very nice starting-point to explore the area and practice all types of sport (the wonderful Gorges du Verdon are within a stone’s throw), the town boasts gorgeous narrow streets with medieval provençales houses showing their coloured walls and shutters. Tourism in summer, helped by the presence of the Gorges du Verdon nearby, allows an important market of holidays home to be develop itself in the area.
Surrounded by diverse type of cliffs and mountains, as well as two lakes, Castellane offers everything but a boring landscape and life. Indeed, sports of all kinds whether in the air or in the water, climbing or hiking, are all available, no matter the level. Definitely a charming French village.
In 2009, French property costs about €3,200 / square metre at the national level. Thus, the average price of property in France is of €192,700 when a similar house in Castellane costs €177,900. A large gap and the evidence of excellent buy-to-let opportunities ahead. Another evidence of the good value of property in the town is the number of second homes. Being around 50%, it shows how much the area is valued and acknowledged as an ideal holiday destination both in summer and winter.
A studio flat in Castellane cost about €2,030 / square metre, the average price of an apartment in the town being €1,850 / square metre. Once again this is way below the national average (€2,400) but slightly above the departmental one (€1,790).
Rental opportunities: the national average for rentals is €12.22 / square metre / month. In Alpes de Haute Provence, the average rental price is €14 / square metre / month, and increasing. This means that you can buy for a better price than elsewhere – even if castellane is not the cheapest place in France – and rent at good rates. A good revenue generating option.
To get updated info about the property prices in Alpes de Haute Provence, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
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People and places: people in the French town are quite welcoming, as it is often the case in mountainnous areas. Along with this, the town is full of colours with its painted houses, and offers welcoming squares and narrow streets. This welcome is one of the assets of the area, that you would not find anywhere in France.
Mountains and sea: the area is ideally located to let you access the mountains as well as Italy. The sea is a mere 80km away so any type of holiday is possible there. For lovers of quaint villages and celebrities’ spotting, the outstanding French Riviera is a must: there are international stars and huge villas galore in this area.
Tranquillity and up & coming zone: the area is great for seekers of calm and quietness. Ideal for second homes and retirement-in-the-sun projects, the town offers great street markets and a lovely, friendly ambience. This also explains why the area is sought-after by tourists. However the rental market has to be developed amongst foreigners as they often overlook the area to prefer the coastal or Languedoc areas.
Rental opportunities: property is cheap and the area accounts for many types of holidays for sport, nature or culture lovers amongst others. This is possible in any season, which means that the rental market is very sound. Definitely a good place to invest, either in a coloured town house or in a property in the neighbouring mountains.
Return on investment: the area is not much populated but the demand for property is sustained. Property buyers in the area generally have a good return on investment when they want to sell, especially if selling during a good period in the year (2 months before summer or winter for instance). The touristy potential of the area is another reason for this fast ROI, as you will be able to generate revenue in any case, selling or renting. A clever investment!
Being farther from the mountains than other towns in the department, Castellane is a charming village. The best advice to give if you wish to buy property there is to go there and visit the village, to feel the atmosphere of these villages and choose where you want to leave. Town centres can be noisy at times because of street markets it is thus important to choose a good location for your property.
Provence houses: these houses are foremost found in town and attached, with the back along a cliff or hill. However, some of them are detached, on the edge of the commune. Walls and shutters are painted in light colours which reinforce the friendly atmosphere of the area. Often of simple dimensions, they generally offer a balcony which is also painted. Some of them can be in need of restoration, but it is seldom the case. The very asset of these houses is their traditional style and their location at the heart of wonderful villages such as Castellane.
Front-gabled houses: these properties recall similar ones found in Franche Comte. With a wide – gabled – front façade, they have many windows. The roof is wide and covers the other sides really well. These Castellane properties rarely comprise a first storey but some do. In this case, the first floor is often simply an attic. Wood is used in the houses. Some of them come with outbuildings. The best properties are obviously those facing a valley, however they almost all do.
Click here for more info about the Architecture in Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur.
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