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Real estate Tour de France I: which French cities’ property markets are faring well?

A real estate special by L’Express paints an overview of property markets in major French cities. Scores are varied even amongst those doing well: some pedal on with ease, seeing buyers rush in to take advantage of auspicious factors, others aren’t far behind, catching up thanks to low prices and favorable interest rates.

France map showing the location of major cities doing well in the property sector (base map: Wikimedia Commons / TomKr; locations added by Anissa Putois)

Map of France showing the location of major cities doing well in the property sector (base map: Wikimedia Commons / TomKr; locations added by Anissa Putois)

Leading the race:

Bordeaux:

In spite of a drop in sales volumes, real estate prices remain high in the capital of the Aquitaine region. World center of the wine industry, its historic area listed by UNESCO, the southwestern French port city maintains its rank as one of France’s most expensive cities.

Lyon:

After a slow year in 2014, the Lyonnais real estate market is returning to form. Property advertised at sound prices is selling in reasonable time frames and while southern and northern suburbs see their prices fall slightly, the city-center remains expensive and sought after.

Brest:

There are more and more bargains to be had in this vibrant university-city of Brittany, poised at the westernmost tip of France. Sellers have been cutting prices, even in the city-center, while on the outskirts of town, houses are now easily available to first-time buyers.

Orléans:

New Orleans’ namesake has lately seen its property market recuperate after two years of poor performance. Capital of the Loiret department and of the Centre region, the historic city is once again actively prospected for profitable real estate, with an emphasis on the center as well as the Saint-Marceau and Dunois areas.

Tours:

With prices gradually falling, the Tourangeau market is regaining energy. Capital of the Indres-et-Loire department Tours boasts of a famed medieval district — complete with original half-timbered houses — and the Woodrow Wilson bridge recalls the presence of an American military base there during WWI. 

Gaining speed:

Annecy:

The Haute-Savoie commune is seeing sales volumes stabilize after two years of decline. However, prices remain perched at high levels, leading buyers to turn towards new property. On the other hand, properties in the city center are selling increasingly well.

La Rochelle:

Despite falling prices, the Rochelais market has still not recovered its high performance of 2012. The Charente-Maritime seaport has nonetheless experienced a slight swell in sales in the center and around the city’s parks. 

Marseille:

Buyers are gradually returning to the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur capital, attracted by a sharp drop in prices. The slight increase in sales recorded last year intensified in the first half of 2015 with real estate professionals in the second largest city in France feeling that the worst is behind them.

Nantes:

Voted “most liveable city in Europe”, fourth most innovative city in France and European Green Capital in the last ten years, Nantes is enjoying renewed attention in its center and immediate periphery. Houses in particular are sparking buyers’ interest in this Atlantic coastal town.

Toulouse:

In this European center of the aerospace industry, sales volumes are climbing slowly after two years of steady decline. Since the spring, central areas of the Midi-Pyrénées capital city have benefitted most from the upturn, and prices have not yet increased. 

Strasbourg:

Sales have picked up since the beginning of the year in the Alsatian capital, with property purchases increasing especially in the city center and close periphery, where prices have stabilized at reasonable levels. This comes after a difficult year 2014 where the number of sales had suffered a significant decline. 

Nimes:

After four years of lethargy, this Languedoc-Roussillon city’s property market has become attractive once again. First-time buyers and investors prospect especially for property in the center, where the city displays its rich Roman history. Conversely, luxurious villas on the outskirts are still having a tough time finding buyers.

Feature photo: Pixabay / Stokpic

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