Hautes Alpes Property Insight


The Hautes Alpes department is part of the Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur region. The prefecture is the town of Gap. This area of France is still very preserved as no major polluting industry has been able to settle. The Alps mountain range is just a few minutes away hence settings are often breathtaking. National nature reserves bring this natural wealth to light.

The department is surrounded by Alpes de Haute Provence, Savoie, Drôme, Isère and Italy.

Between the Provence and the northern Alps, the department is made up of valleys, gorges and mountains whose altitude is between 500 and 4000 metres. Snow is abundant in winter (more than 30 ski resorts in the department) and the lifestyle here is more that of a mountainous area than actually that of Provence. The Provencal aspects of the area are the sunny climate as well as mild summers. Local dialect and cuisine also undergo an influence from Provence.

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Hautes Alpes Immobilier & Property Market Trends

The average price of property in France in 2009 is €3,197 /square metre and property is rent €12.22 /square metre /month. In the Hautes Alpes department, a property costs €3.080 /square metre on average, which is moderate. Indeed, the many ski resorts often have high property prices, this average value thus means that properties in other towns of the department are cheap. Rental properties are surprisingly cheap with €8.41 /square metre /month which clearly shows that the area is little-known and that the rental potential is high.

House Prices in Hautes Alpes - 2009

Bedrooms: 2 3 4 5 Average
France 129,900 171,900 203,500 237,100 195,400
Hautes Alpes 134,900 208,200 270,000 260,500 211,700

There is a high demand for houses in the French department, foremost 3 and 4-bedroom property. Indeed, the department is often chosen by families seeking a sound environment to live which upholds the demand for peculiar types of property. For foreigners looking for property in the French department, buying a small house (2 bedrooms) is a good choice as property prices are very low.

Apartment Prices in Hautes Alpes - 2009

Location: Studio Flats 2 rooms 3 rooms 4 rooms 5 rooms Average
France 2,910 2,730 2,450 2,190 2,110 2,420
Hautes Alpes 2,600 2,590 2,350 2,120 /// 2,410

Apartment prices are very cheap given the assets of Hautes Alpes. An excellent opportunity to invest in or next to a French ski resort, with excellent rental opportunities too.

To get updated info about property prices in Hautes Alpes, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.

Click here to have an overview of Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur Property Prices.

5 Reasons to Buy a Property in Hautes Alpes

  • Good food: along with the classic French delights, the Hautes Alpes department offers interesting local produce. Some examples: the Petit Bayard cheese is produced from raw cow milk. The paste is soft. The taste is mild but clearly recognizable, with a touch of parsley. Honey from the Hautes Alpes is another speciality. It takes its deep texture and taste from the lavender and rosemary grown locally, in a pure air. Oreilles d’ane (donkey ears) are a dish composed of pancake layers stuffed with spinach and sometimes ham. Grated cheese and bechamel sauce are added, then the dish is cooked in an oven. The local gastronomy is little-known but great, with clear mountainous roots.

  • Wine and alcoholic drinks: wines of Provence are amongst the most famous in France. The main appellations are Bandol, Coteaux d'Aix en Provence and Chateauneuf du Pape. They are generally well structured and fine wines. A liqueur is the Génépi, produced by monks in the Chartreuse valley Rhone Alpes region). Made from at least 130 different plants (which are found in the Alpes moutain range), the liqueur is excellent when accompanying desserts such as cakes or pancakes. Salmon and chicken recipes are also great with a hint of Génépi.

  • Activities: an ideal place for nature and sport lovers, Hautes Alpes offer a plethora of activities. Hiking, windsurfing (on the many lakes), climbing, watersports, cycling, horse riding and paragliding are only some examples. Clearly the most preserved area of France.

  • Scenery: 50% of the French flora is present in the Ecrins national nature reserve. The park is home to ibex, marmots, chamois and grouses can be seen by walking on the 1,000 kms of paths of the park. The regional Queyras park is home to charming villages and along with nature offers great local cheese, honey and apples. The asset of the area is to have many towns right in the middle of these parks. A delight for the eyes, the nose and the palate.

  • Rental opportunities: there is huge rental potential, mainly in the ski resorts of the department. Other rental opportunities target nature and sport lovers which have acces to many original actitivies in stunning environments. A guest house or gite business at the foot of mountains is generally successful too, as foreigners are still discovering the department.

Local Property Market: 6 Popular Towns

  • Briançon property: a lovely ski resort. Briançon accounts for 11,400 inhabitants. It is the highest town in France with 1,326 metres of altitude. The town was designed by Vauban, the most famous French town architect. Briançon is walled and surrounded by several castles, in a stunning setting. The old town has many gorgeous properties and narrow streets with little boutiques.
  • Embrun property: half-way between Gap and Briançon, Embrun is strategically located in the department. A heaven for nature lovers, the town also offers charming streets and a set of churches, castles and convents wich are unmissable.
  • Gap property: between mountains and Provence, Gap has many assets difficult to resist. As touristic area, it represents a high rental potential with affordable property prices. Besides, it offers plenty of activities and the surrounding pleasant lifestyle is really one of a kind.
  • Laragne-Montéglin property: this commune is discreet but has a large cultural offer, especially in summer when festivals, fairs and exhibitions take place. The town benefits from a micro-climate being both Alpine and sunny. The town has a Provencal aspect with lovely streets and many fountains. The street market is unmissable with local cheese, vegetable and fruit. A very nice place.
  • Risoul property: with 622 inhabitants, the town of Risoul is mainly dedicated to mountain activities: skiing and other sports. Like similar towns in the Pyrenees, the village has a vibrant apres-ski nightlife (prices are cheap) and property types in the town are mainly Chalets. Enjoying local dishes is a quite sought-after activity too.
  • Serre Chevalier property: Serre Chevalier is trendy, one of the biggest ski resorts in Europe. Set in a valley facing the south, Serre Chevalier is not administratively a town. It is an area made of 16 villages. The town is set in a wooden area and offers many different activities for foreign buyers not specially fond of skiing.
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Property Styles and Architecture in Hautes Alpes

  • Chalets: chalets are the ideal holidays property. Indeed, these detached properties are quite eco-friendly and in harmony with their environment. They are built by creating a structure made of wood over a stone wall. Roofs are massive and there is always a balcony on the first floor. The material used is local such as fir tree and stones. Chalets can be of massive dimensions but the traditional ones are generally small, with not more than one storey.

  • Provence-style houses: in this area located at the crossroads of Provence and the Alps, houses undergo the Provencale influence but often with amendments brought to the traditional style. Walls and shutters are painted. Roofs are gently sloping and covered with red and white tiles. However, in this part of the region, property estates are created « virtually » whereas in Provence itself, these houses are part of a village or are detached, on the edge of the town, but never gathered in a particular zone on purpose.

Click here for more info about the Architecture of Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur.

Take a closer look at the Hautes Alpes property market:
Briançon Property Information Embrun Property Information
Gap Property Information Laragne-Montéglin Property Information
Risoul Information Serre Chevalier Property Information