Bourg-en-Bresse is a 40,156-inhabitant town located in the Rhône Alpes region. It is the préfecture of the Ain department. The town is about 60km to the north-east of Lyon and 30km to the east of Mâcon. Bourg-en-Bresse is commonly called ‘Bourg’.
Bourg en Bresse has a nice setting as it is located in the middle of the hedged farmland plain of Bresse. The town is situated to the east of the Jura mountain range and to the north of the area called La Dombes, offering therefore outstanding landscapes. The Reyssouze River - a tributary of the Sâone River - runs through the town. Many parks and gardens can be found in the town, allowing people to relax and enjoy peaceful times.
Bourg is a very dynamic town which provides many sport facilities. The area is home to basket ball, rugby and football clubs, as well as a tennis club. People can also horse-riding, athletics, gymnastics and climbing amongst others. About 60 varied sports can be practised in the 109 associations which gather more than 15,000 members! As regards economy, Bourg-en-Bresse has the advantage to be a real economical regional crossroad and benefits therefore from its location. The town houses the Chamber of Commerce of the Ain department.
The old town boasts a beautiful architectural heritage with luxurious large town houses and private mansions. The most ancient ones are half-timbered houses from the 15th century. Strolling in the old quarters of Bourg-en-Bresse is very pleasant. Do not miss the street market where you can buy the famous AOC chicken of Bresse.
With an average price of €1,653 / square metre for a property to buy, housing prices in Bourg-en-Bresse are pretty affordable. The rental market is important in the prefecture with 73.5% of the dwellings being apartments. 64.3% of the inhabitants are tenants. This number is very high, especially in comparison with the national average: 39.8%. In 2008, the range of prices for an apartment to buy in the commune was comprised between €1,300/sq m and €2,000/sq m. As far as new apartments are concerned, it should cost between €2,360/sq m and €2,700/sq m to invest in this kind of property. Buying a house in Bourg-en-Bresse in April 2009 cost about €2,260 / square metre. In 2008, the price of a 4-room house was comprised between €140,000 and €180,000, which is very reasonable in comparison with other towns of the Ain department.
More than 90% of the properties in Bourg-en-Bresse are main homes. But there are still 7.2% of vacant properties, so do not hesitate longer if you are looking for a property to buy in a quiet and lovely area where you could enjoy the French art de vivre!
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Historical heritage: the town has a rich historical heritage with about 30 monuments or houses listed as historical monuments because of their remarkable history or architecture. The royal monastery of Brou, château de Pennesuyt (also called castle of Loëze) and Notre-Dame church are not to be missed when visiting Bourg.
Gourmet food: Bourg-en-Bresse boasts a rich gastronomy. People can taste delicious local produce such as the famous chicken of Bresse, which became an AOC (Guarantee of Origin). Amongst the typical dishes of the area, we can quote the Fondue Bressane (pieces of chicken dipped in boiling oil). Served with a glass of one of the fine local wines, it is a real delight! Several renowned French chief cooks come from Bourg or its surroundings, making the fame of the area. This is the case for Jacques Pépin and Georges Blanc.
Cultural life: there are many cultural places in Bourg such as a theatre, a concert hall - La Tannerie - a conservatoire, a library and the museum of Brou, which offers French, Italian and Flemish art collections from the 15th and 20th centuries.
Transport links: the town is well linked to other French towns and cities. The motorway A40 – autoroute blanche - is located close to Bourg and three exits allow people to access easily to the town. The A39 connects the town to Dijon. High speed trains also pass through Bourg-en-Bresse. The travel between Lyon and Bourg en Bresse only lasts 45min with the high-speed train. The commune will be on the way of the high speed railway line 'LGV Rhin-Rhône', which is under construction and will go from Mulhouse to Lyon. You can also travel in Bourg and its surroundings by using one of the eight bus lines which serve the town all day long.
Rental opportunities: Bourg-en-Bresse is home to some university institutes from Lyon. The latter is the second student city after Paris. This French city welcomes over 126,000 students each year. Every year, about 3,000 people study in Bourg. This implies that there is a sustained demand for properties in the area, which should offer a good future return on investment. Given the importance of the academic life in the town, investing in buy-to-let there is definitely worthwhile.
Town houses: located in the town centre or in housing estates, town houses always have a very practical layout. They may be semi-attached and come with a garden, garage, attic and/or cellar. Some of these properties are in need of renovation, but it is worth investing in such a house given the proximity with all the amenities such as the supermarket, schools, shops, etc.
Apartments: as said before, 73.5% of the properties of the town are apartments. Most of them are situated in secured residences or housing estates and may come with a garage, balcony and/or cellar. This kind of property is great for a first investment, for young couple or students. Apartments are perfect investments for lets, given the high proportion of tenants in Bourg-en-Bresse.
Click here for more info about the Architecture in Rhône-Alpes.
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