Annecy is a charming Alpine town with a medieval quarter, canals, flower-covered bridges and narrow streets. With 52,890 inhabitants (in 2008) called the Annéciens this town is renowned for its 15km length lake which is said to be the Europe’s cleanest.
Annecy is in a strategic position, between Italy, Geneva and France. The Thiou River runs through the city, which has given Annecy its “Alps’ Venice” nickname. Other nicknames, such as the “Jewel of Savoie” or the “Alps’ Roma” tell long about its beauty and history.
Annecy is not only a beautiful town; it is also a key city as far as outdoor activities are concerned. Besides, on March 18th 2009, it has been chosen to represent France for the organisation of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Annecy favourable position caused it to change nationality various times, which is probably the reason why its culture and history are so rich. It used to belong to the Geneva County, until this one was integrated into the Maison de Savoie (The House of Savoy), a European Dynasty during the Middle Ages. During the French Revolution it was attached to the new French department of Mont Blanc until the Restoration (1815) when it came back to House of Savoy. Finally, in 1860 the Haute Savoie department is attached to France and Annecy becomes French for good.
Annecy agglomeration gathers 13 communes for a total of 139,693 inhabitants. The average property price (€3,550 /sq m) is higher than the national average (€3,197 /sq m). However prices can vary from a commune to another. They are more expensive close to the Lake, and the most sought-after area can even reach €5,000 /sq m. But it is understandable when considering all the assets that Annecy, and notably its Lake, boasts.
Given the size of the agglomeration and the natural environment, in Annecy you will find all types of accommodation, from the typical Alpine Chalet to the wood-detached house. However, apartments are easier to find.
Annecy offers great rental opportunities as 54% of the inhabitants are tenants. Winter is the peak season in this popular tourist resort, when Annecy’s average rental fees range from €394 to €1,695 per week for a two-bedroom villa.
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There are many reasons which can explain the popularity of Annecy: rich history, beauty of landscapes, outdoor activities, etc. Investing in this wonderful city is definitely worthwhile.
Culture, art and historical heritage: Annecy is classified as a French town of Art and History; a French label awarded to cities protecting and promoting their historical, cultural and architectural heritage. Strolling in the Old city (Vieille Ville) and its narrow streets criss-crossed by the Thiou canal allow you to enjoy a romantic unique atmosphere. You can also visit the numerous historic buildings: the Palais de l’Isle also called “Old Prison”, is one of the most photographed monument in France; Annecy Castle; Saint Pierre Cathedral from the 16th century; the renowned Pont des Amours (Bridge of Loves); etc.
Gastronomy delights: Annecy has the same assets as the whole Rhone-Alpes region. The Alps cuisine is specially renowned for its cheese dishes, such as the Raclette, the Tartiflette and Fondue Savoyarde. You will enjoy them with a red Vin de Pays des Coteaux de l’Ardèche, the most well known wine of the area. Delightful chocolates are also must-tastes!
Skiing: Annecy is only 30km from many ski resorts. If you want to go skiing it might be a good idea to stay in Annecy, as you will not suffer from the crowd while still being at a drivable distance from ski resorts. Besides, prices will definitely be more affordable than in ski stations. And if you do not want to ski, you can always enjoy the breathtaking view that offer the Alps reflecting on the Lake.
Outdoor activities: as mentioned above, Annecy is the best place if you enjoy outdoor activities. Apart from winter sports, you will also benefit from all the activities around the Annecy Lake and the rivers next to Annecy: canyoning, hydro speed, water-ski and rafting, are a few examples. In summer the city gets very busy, thus you can either rent your property at a very good price or enjoy the Annecy’s micro climate which on average goes from 20°C in May to 27°C in July and August. As Annecy’s Lake is the cleanest in Europe, you might also want to go for a swim: the temperature of the lake can easily reach 22-25°C.
Developing area: since Annecy has been chosen to represent France for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, it has started to massively invest in infrastructures, such as transports, but also improving the ski resorts access, and promoting the investment in real estate. It is now the perfect moment to invest in Annecy!
Apartments: in Annecy 94% of the accommodations are apartments. You can find any types of apartments, but more than 60% have more than 3 rooms. If you buy an apartment you might have more rental opportunities than with a house. However some of them are big and comfortable enough to be lived in all year long.
Chalets: you will there find typical Alpine wood chalets. These properties are ideal as holiday homes, or as rental properties. Their dimensions can vary depending on their usage: small chalets are sufficient to practice ski but you may want more space if living all year round in the house.
Half-timbered houses: you might find some of them in the Old Town which has been very well preserved. They are mainly wood and stone houses. You will particularly appreciate the beauty of the colombage and all the work around the wood.
Click here for more info about the Architecture in Rhone Alpes.
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