Gap is the prefecture and one of the most important towns of Hautes Alpes in Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, south east of France. It accounts for about 37,330 inhabitants called the Gapençais(e)s living in a pleasant environment. Its numerous assets make it a sought-after area for connoisseurs.
Main agglomeration of the South Alps, Gap lies in middle of a rich and preserved nature. It is surrounded south west by the Ecrins National Park, south east by the Dévoluy Range and by the Serre-Ponçon Lake in the north. It is also crossed by the Luye River. As a mountain area, snowfalls are frequent but the duration of sunshining time is exceptional, almost reaching Nice’s one. Gap’s climate is one of the best in France.
At a crossroads, Gap also benefits from a good location. Trunk roads link it to big towns like Grenoble or Aix en Provence and is only two hours from Lyon airport. Its train station is situated on the Marseille - Briançon line, which allows to reach the Mediterranean coast easily.
As regards economy, the service sector prevails. Garrison and administrative town, the public works and constructions have greatly developed thanks to winter sports. Tourism is indeed by far the main input of wealth for the area.
Unlike its neighbours and for a touristic area, the Hautes-Alpes department real estate prices are surprisingly affordable. Gap is not an exception. In 2009 the town average buying price is €2,531 /sq m while the national average is €3,197 /sq m. Since the beginning of summer, property prices have undergone a constant drop. It is therefore the right time for driving bargains! Besides, this town offers nice opportunities in terms of buy-to-let investments for it is all year long very appreciated by tourists.
The average area is 117 sq m and more than half of the dwellings have four rooms or more. Very few studio flats are to be found and 31 % of the house stock is made of individual residences. Property prices also vary according to the type of property. The average buying price for an apartment is €2,486 /sq m; you can account €285,000 for a chalet and €361,000 for a villa on average. As this town shows great promise and with such competitive prices, why not decide on Gap?
To get updated info about property prices in Hautes Alpes, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
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Art and historical heritage: the streets alone show remains of the past. The rue Colonel Roux for instance is the most ancient and has 18th century buildings with finely wrought beautiful gates. As for sacred art, the most impressive is the cathedral mixing Gothic, Roman and Provencal styles. It is listed as French ancient monument and really breathtaking. Statues are also to admire and the departmental museum is not to miss.
Tourism: without being crowded, Gap is a very touristic area. Good news for you if you plan to move in because plenty of activities are offered to you and all is implemented in order to develop the town. Besides, as tourism is soaring, it is a really attractive place for investments since you will not have problems to find tenants or buyers!
Activities: as the town promotes a ‘green’ tourism, nature-linked activities are privileged. Strolling alone in the beautiful landscapes offers astonishing views, but you have the alternative possibilities to discover the area through mountain-biking, horse-riding or hot-air ballooning. Rock-climbing is also on offer, as well as skiing of course and many winter sports. Why not have a go at these invigorating activities?
Lifestyle: at the heart of nature, Gap has both characteristics of Provence and of mountainous areas. The highland authenticity is combined with the South France art de vivre. Furthermore, it has been bestowed the title of ‘town in blossom’ (ville fleurie), awarded to areas offering green surroundings as well as a recognized pleasant lifestyle.
Village houses: these traditionnal houses are quite ancient and most of them are already renovated. Built in stone, they generally have one or two storeys with an attic and a small plot of land sometimes comes with them. Their homespun charm with often apparent beams makes them really pleasant to live in.
Chalets: this type of property originally comes from Switzerland and Savoy. In Gap they are mosly built in solid wood. Some were built in order to match the touristic demand and offer all the modern facilities. Other are more authentic and are perfect properties to simply live in harmony with nature.
Click here for more info about the Architecture of Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur.
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