Aix en Provence Property Insight
Aix en Provence is a 142,534-inhabitant French city located in the Pays d’Aix area, in the Bouches du Rhone department (Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur region). It is 30 minutes from Marseille, 2 ½ hrs from the slopes, 30 minutes from the beaches and 20 minutes from Marseille airport. The climate is Mediterranean i.e. hot and dry in summer and mild in winter. The city is protected from the mistral wind thanks to the hills in the north of the area.
Aix en Provence is the historical capital of the Provence area: it houses 140 historical monuments which are amongst the French heritage. The city is at the second position of the richest cities as regards French heritage, after Paris. It also won the History and Art city tag. Gaze at Saint Jean de Malte church, Saint Sauveur cathedral and cloister, Notre Dame de la Seds church and Saint Esprit church. As regards museums, Aix is not outdone. The most renowned are really to be visited: Tapestry Museum, Granet museum, Vieil-Aix museum (costumes, faience and puppets) and Natural History Museum. Another part of the city not to be missed is the Cours Mirabeau, decorated with fountains and plane-trees. It divides the city into two sections: the new town and the old town.
Aix en Provence Immobilier & Property Market Trends
The French Riviera is a very sought after area for investors and thus prices tend to be high. In 2009, property prices in Aix are €4,159/ square metre. The France average being €3,197/ square metre, Aix en Provence is not an exception. But the city has a major asset: it represents an excellent rental market. Indeed, almost 60% of residents are tenants. Furthermore, rental prices are also high: €16.14/ sq m a month against €12.22/sq m a month as regards the French national average. In other words, you are likely to buy at a high price, but you will also be likely to rent at a high price. With the numerous number of tenants in the area, Aix offers great rental opportunities and an investment there should be fast profitable.
To get updated info about the property prices in Bouches du Rhone, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
Click here to have an overview of PACA Property Prices.
5 Reasons to Buy a Property in Aix en Provence
- Good food: Aix cooking is based on Provencal and Mediterranean cooking i.e. characterized by fresh foods such as fish, vegetables and fruits. Here are some of the local specialities: soupe au pistou (a soup made of olive oil, garlic and basil), daube provencale (dish composed of beef or bull and red wine), aioli (a traditional meal with cod and boiled vegetables). Aix en Provence is also famous for its calissons, a candy consisting of an homogeneous paste of almond, melon and orange. Really worth tasting!
- Festivals: one of the most renowned festival of Aix en Provence is the Festival international d’art lyrique. This international music festival takes place each summer and is one of the biggest opera festivals in Europe. Even if mainly dedicated to opera, and especially to Mozart masterpieces, it also includes chamber, vacol and orchestral. Two other events are also worth seeing: the Zic Zac Festival (a popular festival dedicated to recent songs) and the Festival de la Chanson Française du Pays d'Aix (it gathers renowned and little-known French singers).
- Mountains and sea: Aix is located at a strategic junction as it is close to the slopes and the Mediterranean sea. Activities are thus numerous both in summer (coasts, beaches, sun…) and in winter (cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and snowshoeing). You can thus benefit from any kind of weather depending on the seasons. The wonderful landscapes of the surroundings should seduce anyone!
- Location – transport links: Aix en Provence is very easily reachable by any means of transport. By plane, the Marseille airport is the closest one: only 25km from the city. Regular flights travel to the UK (London, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dublin) and to European destinations (Germany, Italy, and Belgium) and so on. By train, the high-speed line leads to Paris in 2h50 and to Lyon in 1h20. By car, three motorways are fast accessible from the city. Aix is 780km from Paris, 300km from Lyon and 175km from Nice. In the city centre, Aix-en-bus network serves the historical centre, quarters of Aix and the surrounding villages.
- Rental opportunities: as exposed previously, Aix is an excellent location for people looking for a buy-to-let. Almost 60% of the residents are tenants and tourism is also another asset of the area. It offers rental opportunities either from seasonal short term lets (holidaymakers) or long term lets (residents).
Property Styles and Architecture in Aix en Provence
Apart from apartments, you will find mainly two types of properties in Aix en Provence: villas and Provencal houses. The choice could be difficult as it deals with two charming kind of houses.
- Villas: they are luxury and modern properties located all over the French Riviera. These charming houses are of huge size, both inside and outside. They come with a swimming pool, land planted with trees, courtyard, and terrace. They have many picture windows which give them very luminous rooms. Inside, walls are often painted in white, probably to emphasize the luminosity. They are often located in remote parts and offer thus tranquillity and great scenery.
- Provencal houses: they are in general detached and one-storey properties. The front facades are often painted in pale colours such as beige, yellow or pink. They differ from villas: they are ordinary houses, not necessarily heavy but still charming. Provencal houses come with a piece of land and a garage. If you can not afford to buy a villa but absolutely want to live in a house, then Provencal houses should be perfect for you.
Click here for more info about the Architecture in Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur.
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|Marseille Property Information