Montbrison is the second administrative centre of the Loire department, Saint-Etienne being the first one. As many towns of the Rhône Alpes region, Montbrison has a great setting. It is located at the edge of the Forez plain and at the foot of the Forez mountain range, which forms the geographical border between the Auvergne and Rhone Alpes regions. The Vizéry River runs through the town.
Montbrison accounts for 15,127 inhabitants called the Montbrisonnais. The town is situated 37km from Saint-Etienne and 75km from Lyon. Montbrison also received four flowers at the French competition ‘Villes et villages fleuris’, meaning that the town has plenty of gardens and beautiful open spaces with flowers, etc. Sixteen gardeners take care of the 120,000 plants, flowers and shrubs which beautify Montbrison every year.
Montbrison belongs to the Forez area, the capital town of which it is. The Forez is a former French province which corresponds to the central part of the Loire department and a part of Haute-Loire and Puy-de-Dôme. Montbrison’s history begins during the Middle Ages. The town was built around the castle of the counts of Forez. It was fortified after the ravages of the Hundred Years’ War.
Housing prices in the Loire department are pretty low if we compare them to the national average for a property to buy: €1,719/sq m against €3,197/sq m. Montbrison also has properties on offer for affordable prices. In 2008, it cost between €1,180/sq m and €1,680/sq m to buy an apartment in the town. As regards new apartments, prices varied between €2,200/sq m and €2,400/sq m. Property prices for a house to buy are of course higher. They fluctuated a lot in the recent years. It cost about €1,900/sq m to invest in a house in February 2008, whereas the square metre was of €2,320 in October 2008 and about €2,030 in April 2009.
The rental market is quite interesting in Montbrison as more than 50% of the inhabitants rent their property. 89.5% of the properties in Montbrison are main homes. There are still 6.8% of vacant houses in this lovely town so do not wait more and invest in a property there. It is really worthing, especially if you are looking for a buy-to-let investment.
To get updated info about the property prices in Loire, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
Click here to have an overview of Rhone Alpes Property Prices.
Montbrison is a very nice town to live in. When visiting the area, we suggest you to take the route du Baslate or route des balcons. These two itineraries are perfect for discovering the Montbrison as they have way marks.
Historical heritage: Montbrison has a rich historical heritage. It belongs to the ‘Pays d’Art et d’Histoire du Forez’. The label ‘City or Country of Art and History’ is given to French towns or areas which promote their heritage and architecture. Monuments such as the collegial Notre-Dame d’Espérance are jewels in terms of architecture. The ‘heraldic room of Diana’ is not to be missed neither, which is home to a library with more than 20,000 books about the regional history.
Gastronomy: the Loire department and Rhône Alpes region boast good food and wines. The town of Montbrison is renowned for producing the Fourme de Montbrison. This delicious blue cheese has indeed been made in the region for centuries.
Culture: the town has several interesting museums on offer. The Musée d’Allard is home to art collections of two centuries. It gathers pieces of art about both nature and childhood. The Archeological Museum shows the rich past of the Forez area through numerous collections from different periods.
Varied surroundings: there are many wonderful landscapes in the area around Montbrison. Varied activities can be done in the surroundings…The Chalmazel and Col de la Loge ski resorts are great for a day on the slopes. Forests, rivers and streams which can be found in the Forez mountains form a perfect setting for hiking and fishing. The plains of Forez have many outstanding areas such as ponds surrounded by an unspoiled nature on offer, the pond of Savigneux and Biterne reserve being the most famous ones (fishing, discovering of the wild fauna, play area, etc). The largest ornithological reserve of the region - Ecopole du Forez - is located in the area.
Return on investment: given the fact that the town is not located very far from Saint-Etienne, many people are interesting in buying a property in Montbrison. Indeed, having a house there allows people to live in a quiet area but also to be close to a very lively city and economical centre. Buy-to-let investments are interesting in this area.
Farmhouses: there are many farmhouses in teh area, especially in the Forez massif. Renovated or not, these properties are full of charm. They come with several outbuildings and a large piece of land. Farmhouses are most of the time located in the countryside and offer wonderful views over the forests and mountains. They are built in stone and have a tiled roof. Given their large dimensions, these houses are perfect for families.
Town houses: the common features of town houses are that they always have a very practical layout and they are close to all amenities (school, chemist’s, supermarket, etc). These properties can be one-storey houses or on the contrary have 3 storeys. They may come with a piece of land and a garage. Such properties are very sought-after as they can be really affordable and have a central location.
Click here for more info about the Architecture in Rhone Alpes.
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