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Buying Property

Champagne-Ardenne - Buying Property

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

The Champagne-Ardenne region of France is situated next to the Belgian border and accounts for approximately 1.35 million inhabitants. The region consists of four departments: Aube, Haute-Marne, Ardennes and Marne. It is a mainly agricultural area with over 60% of the land being used for this purpose. One of the main towns in the area is Reims, which has played an important part in French history.

The area has good transport links and from here it is easy to reach Paris and other major French cities, as well as other countries such as Belgium, Germany and the UK. Many people want to relocate to this area to take advantage of the ‘green’ lifestyle as well as the tranquillity and laid back lifestyle.

Champagne-Ardenne is one of the most affordable areas in France. The average property price in 2009 was €1782 per square metre, which is almost half that of the national average. The prices in the main towns like Reims and Troyes are higher than this, but still fairly low when compared with other towns in different regions. As with all regions, the prices will vary from department to department with the Ardennes being overall cheapest and the Marne the most expensive.

The Ardennes department takes its name from the Ardennes region, which covers not only France but parts of Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. The area is popular with expats from Belgium and the Netherlands as the region offers a similar lifestyle for a much lower cost of living. In the middle of 2009, the average property price was €1382 per square metre which is less than half of the national average. Prices vary depending upon the area and type of property which is being purchased. The town of Charleville-Mézières is popular with those who wish to purchase a property to rent out, while Sedan is attractive because the prices there are even lower than the rest of the department.

The Aube department has around 300,000 inhabitants which are spread across more than 400 towns and villages. The area was formerly famous for its textile industry but this has gone into decline. People are drawn to the area for the history and the outdoor sports activities such as hiking and horse-riding. In the middle of 2009, the average cost for property was €1517 per square metre, just under half of the national average. The town of Troyes is slightly more expensive than the surrounding area but this is due to demand. New build properties are also valued higher than the average in the area.

French mortgages for expats The Haute-Marne department has much to offer homeowners. The area is popular with those who want a more outdoors lifestyle. In 2009 the average property price was €1164 per square metre, making this one of the most affordable departments. The most popular type of property has 4 rooms, and these sell more than 3 or 5 room properties. Only around half of the homes in the department are owned by the people that live in them, making the area a good prospect for those who want to buy to let. Towns such as Chaumont and Nogent both have good value for money properties and are popular with expat buyers.

The Marne department is home to the towns of Reims and Epernay, which bring in large numbers of visitors each year and its location makes it popular with those who want to explore the other countries of northern Europe as it has excellent transport links. Average prices in the area in 2009 were €2017 per square metre, making this the most expensive department in the Champagne-Ardenne region, but it is still way below the national average and therefore very affordable. The town of Reims is a little more expensive than the rest of the department but the town of Epernay is below the average of the region. If considering an apartment, buyers will find that these are more expensive than a house when considered on a cost per square metre basis, but the smaller the apartment the higher this rate is.

Brick and chalk houses are a familiar sight in the region and are usually half timbered. They are usually of a traditional style and have 2 or 3 bedrooms. Half timbered houses are common in the area and these are influenced by German styles of architecture. These are also usually part stone and are reasonably sized properties which offer a large garden and plenty of living space.

Farmhouses are another popular type of property in the area and buyers can choose from properties which have already be modernised and renovated or those that still need doing. Farmhouses have the added benefits of outbuildings and plenty of land. There are many to be found in the Ardennes department and if choosing a property to renovate, buyers can save a great deal of money.

Troisien houses are farmhouses which are in the style of the half timbered houses. They are usually large houses which have many rooms and slate roofs. They usually come with plenty of land and will have outbuildings.

The ‘maisons de maitre’ are larger houses, usually built from stone or granite and were once owned by wealthy landowners. They are usually complete with large gardens and outhouses which can be converted if required. The rooms are large with high ceilings and many will still have some of the original features which expat buyers look for in a French property.

Town houses are another frequent sight and are mainly found in town centres. They have the disadvantage of having very little land with them but usually have a cellar and a garage. Those that do not have a garden will have a courtyard, but these have the added benefit of being close to all the amenities that a town has to offer.

Apartments are common in the Haute-Marne department and are usually purchased by those who want to buy to let. They range from 2 to 5 rooms, so there is something to suit everybody. Studio apartments are not in abundance and some areas do not have them at all.

Expat Health Insurance Partners

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