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Buying Property

Auvergne - Buying Property

QUICK LINKS: France Guide - France Discussion Forum - France Property Listings

Auvergne is located in the southern part of central France and is made up of 4 departments, Allier, Cantal, Haute Loire and Puy de Dome.It has varied landscapes, from hills and volcanoes to lakes, rivers and forests. There are many medieval towns and the area has a strong history dating back many centuries, although Auvergne as a region was only created at the end of the French Revolution.

There are still many authentic villages to be found in the region as it has been largely untouched by development. This is due to the fact it is located in the middle of a volcanic massif. There are now main roads and motorways throughout the region but it has still managed to retain its old world charm.

The area has good transport links and cities such as Paris and Lyon are within easy reach by rail and by car. The region also has a number of airports which make it easy for travelling around Europe. Everywhere in the region have the same stunning landscapes, although with different views the area is still breathtaking. This area of France is certainly one to consider when considering relocating.

Property prices on average in the region at the beginning of 2009 were €1523 per square metre, making it the cheapest region in the whole of France for purchasing property (equal to Limousin). This is possibly due to the fact the region is relatively undeveloped, expats may find that it is hard to integrate into local life as the people of that area are unused to foreigners settling there. For any expat looking to move to a more remote area, having a very good grasp of the language will help immensely as many of the locals will probably only speak their own language.

The Auvergne department of Allier has over 340,000 inhabitants. Property prices are low and extremely affordable with an average house price in 2009 of just €1180 per square metre, which is much lower than the regional and national averages. It is also rather cheap to rent, when rental comes in at around €7.12 per square metre as opposed to €12.22 for the national average. This means many people can afford to move to the area and rent property while their home is being built or as a temporary measure to see if the lifestyle suits them before making a large financial commitment.

French mortgages for expats One of the towns to look at if wanting a real property bargain is Montlucon, here the average house price was only €886 per square metre for those looking to buy property. Rental in the area was around the same as the regional average. There is much to see and do in Montlucon, cheap homes do not necessarily mean missing out on local facilities. There are even thermal waters for relaxing after long days exploring the countryside and visiting castles, gardens and parks.

The Cantal department is located in the south eastern part of the Auvergne region and has a population of around 150,000 people. Average property prices for 2009 were €1486 per square metre which again makes it less than the regional average and very affordable. Depending on which town is chosen as the one to live in would depend drastically on price. For example, a home in Mauriac could cost the buyer around €85,000 whereas a similar home in Aurillac will cost around €132,000. If wishing to purchase a home in Cantal then it pays to shop around for the bargains.

The Haute Loire department is a very agricultural department which was created after the French Revolution. The whole department is steeped in history and culture, its landscapes are breathtaking so what other reason could there be for wanting to move here. The house prices certainly do the department many favours as the average price of a home in 2009 was €1560 which makes it very affordable for most budgets.

The main towns of this department are Brioude, Yssingeaux, Le Puy-en-Velay and Langeac, each one has its own history and all are similar in the fact that the landscape is beautiful and the way of life is relaxed. For those who are looking for country living with plenty of fresh air and affordable accommodation should consider Haute Loire.

The Puy de Dome department gets its name from a volcanic mountain in the area and has a population of over 624,000 people. The area is very mountainous and as such is largely unspoilt. This area of France has many castles and medieval villages and is an ideal for place for the history enthusiast to be. House prices in Puy de Dome averaged at €1691 per square metre in 2009 although prices vary depending on town and village.

Clermont-Ferrand is the most expensive city in the department with average prices around €2090 per square metre, although there are many towns within the department that offer housing cheaper. Issoire properties were averaging €1960 in 2009. Run down properties that need work will be found at bargain prices but brand new purpose built apartments will cost on average much more.

Auvergne is ideal for those who wish to live a peaceful life in a fairly safe environment. Due to its location many of the areas are unspoilt and so it is a lovely place to bring up young families. There are areas of the region that expats can settle where their accommodation budget will go much farther than others, for example, when house prices in Allier are compared with those in Puy-de-Dome, the same amount of money will get the buyer a bigger more spacious home in some areas of Allier than they would get in Puy-de-Dome. If budget is a concern then this is one thing to consider.

The region is filled with several typical French house types including the longère and the half timbered house. These are ideal for those who are looking for a traditional French home and usually come complete with some original features. Renovation properties are available in the area and these will have some original feature such as fireplaces which can be restored.

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