Alpes de Haute Provence Property Insight

This department of the famous Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur (PACA) region was born from the alliance between the mountain and the plains, namely the Alps and Provence. The French administrative division accounts for 500,000 hectares of protected natural sites and reserves which means that nature lovers will be delighted. The main town of the area is Digne les Bains. Alpes de Haute Provence are quite underpopulated and thus, peaceful.


The department is home to several ski resorts. The mountains also have protected fauna and flora species galore. Natural hot springs are also on offer, which boosts the thermal tourism. The climate is generally Mediterranean (=sunny and dry summers) but in this area, at the foot of the Alps, winters are quite cold. Rainfalls are rare but often sudden and brutal. The department is renowned as being excellent for astronomy due to the climate.

The peculiarity of the area is the tiny size of communes and the very low density of population. Half of the communes have less than 200 inhabitants, and only two towns are around 20,000 inhabitants, being Manosque and Digne Les Bains. As far as property is concerned, the area is home to a number of different property styles and prices can be quite high. However, the scenery around is breathtaking and the lifestyle is pleasant. The rural idyll, once again.

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Alpes de Haute Provence Immobilier & Property Market Trends

Property in France in 2009 costs €3,200 / square metre on average. In the department, the average price of a property is around €2,554 / square metre, which is quite cheap when compared to the region’s rates (from €3,000 upto €5,000 in some areas of the Riviera). Indeed, it is time to buy in Alpes de Haute Provence as property prices are going up.

Prices of houses and apartments in Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur and along the French Riviera are less and less interesting but bargains can obviously be found if you are patient and motivated enough. Rental prices in Alpes de Haute Provence are skyrocketing, and still going up. On average, allow €14,05 / square metre / month.

This means that, if property can be bought at moderate prices, the rental market is more than healthy if one does not charge tenants too much (and make them flee). The area’s potential in terms of property rentals is thus quite obvious.

To get updated info about the house prices in Alpes de Haute Provence, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.

Click here to learn more about Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur’s Property Prices.

5 Reasons to Buy a Property in Alpes de Haute Provence

  • Good food: the area benefits from several influences in its gastronomy. Local dishes include mountain influences (from the Rhone Alpes: Tartiflette gratin, Fondue cheese) along with soups, dishes with fish, Pistou, Tapenade, Rouille, Bouillabaisse Fish Stew, Nicoise Salad and with Lamb Tripes. Yummy!

  • Tourism: sights are breathtaking thus the area is ideal for those of you planning to set up a gite or guest house business. Along with this, access to the area has been easier and easier which means that holidaymakers can easily get there. The French Riviera is hardly 80km away by car. As said above, rental prices are at their highest whilst property prices are not so high, an excellent opportunity to generate revenue.

  • Tranquillity and scenery: the area is very calm due to the small numbers of inhabitants, generally living in villages dotting the countryside. Along with this, diverse sceneries can be seen there, from mountains, to hills, to plains. A heaven for nature lovers fond of hinking, walking, canoeing, birds spotting etc.

  • Architectural styles: the area boasts several typical property styles, amongst which the famous Chalets, wooden houses generally offering breathtaking views. In villages, old stones houses along cobbled streets will seduce you. They generally are set in green environments with a river next to the village. Complete change of scenery is possible all year long.

  • People and lifestyle: the locals are generally nature lovers. Street markets will allow you to meet them and buy the best local poduce. In this preserved department of France, life is simply different and often, more simple. Why not have a look at our property listings then?

Local Property Market: 5 Popular Towns

  • Barcelonnette property: a town fortified in the early 19th century and WWII, Barcelonnette is at the foot of the Alps. The town boast unexpected but interesting historical and architectural links with Mexico. You will love themany fountains and warm welcome of the locals.
  • Castellane property: it is surrounded by lush nature, in fact a national reserve park. Sport lovers will adore the area which is great for any type of watersports and for those who like “wild” nature. The town centre boasts gorgeous houses with painted walls and is pedestrianized. The climate is great with an air of high quality, and properties in the area have much style.
  • Digne Les Bains property: the town is famous for it is a thermal spa, with waters which can cure illnesses. Property styles are typically Provencal, with stone walls everywhere. Digne benefits from great transport links thanks to a motorway. The lovely town centre offers a relaxing ambience and the town is quite dynamic, being the prefecture of the department. A great place to settle.
  • Forcalquier property: this is a commune of 4,654 inhabitants. The altitude of the village is 550m. Well connected to the rest of the country thanks to motorways and roads as well as high-speed trains in Aix en Provence, the village is a heaven for lovers of hiking and offers ramparts. Many medieval houses can also be seen in the town centre. A lavender-smelling heaven.
  • Sisteron property: nicknamed “gateway of the Provence”, this town was built along the river Durance. Sisteron has a rich history and many monuments. This walled village has a very nice climate and offers a very nice lake where you can bathe, with views over the town... simply gorgeous.
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Property Styles and Architecture in Alpes de Haute Provence

Architecture in the area is varied. In the mountains you will obviously spot traditional Chalets. Typical villages are numerous, they generally present a Provencal aspect, often with cobbled streets and offering pleasant street markets. Whatever the property style, the environment around is always stunning.

  • Chalets: the typical mountain property styles is the Chalet. However, you may see houses in villages which are clearly inspired by the Chalet architecture but are not actual chalets. In a typical chalet property, walls are made of stone and bear a wooden structure. As in half-timbering properties, this is done to avoid having humidity ospreading from the soil to the wooden part of thehouse. They provide terrific views. Roofs can be of massive dimensions on houses not located in the mountains. The front balcony is another hallmark of chalets.

  • Provencal houses: typical houses from Provence can be seen in Alpes de Haute Provence. They generally offer outstanding views over lakes or mountains, sometimes in the middle of lavender fields, and are isolated, next to a village. The main feature is coloured walls. The colour is generally, yellow, blue, ochre or orange. Red tiles can be seen on roofs. These properties are generally very pleasant.

Click here for more info about Architecture in Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur.

Take a closer look at the Alpes de Haute Provence property market:
Barcelonnette Property Information Castellane Property Information
Digne Les Bains Property Information Forcalquier Property Information
Sisteron Property Information