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Limousin - Buying Property
The department of Corrèze came into being following the French Revolution. The main towns in the area are Tulle, Brive-la-Gaillard and Ussel. Corrèze has a very mountainous landscape and is filled with picturesque villages. The Creuse department is also sparsely populated and is home to popular towns like Aubusson and Bourganeuf. People are drawn to the rural lifestyle that the region offers. The Haute-Vienne area houses the town of Limoges and many expats are drawn to this area.
The area offers much for those who are interested in outdoor activities. Limousin has a large number of lakes and fishing, sailing and canoeing are commonplace. The area has its own dialect, which is used much less now than it used to be but is still spoken by some of the older generation.
Those who invest in the region are still guaranteed a good return on their investment. Property prices are lower in Limousin than in other regions nearby and there are still a large number of houses available for those who are looking to renovate.
Buying an apartment in the Corrèze department in 2009 cost on average €1430 per square metre and the average house price was €143,000 for a 2/3 bedroom property, but this does depend upon the area. The town of Brive-la-Gaillard is much sought after in terms of property and the 2009 average cost per square metre was €2000, but the immediately surrounding areas are much cheaper.
The Creuse region is cheaper on average than the Corrèze department. An apartment in 2009 cost €1150 per square metre, this is less than half the national average. House prices vary between €91,000 and €128,000 depending upon whether the property is an existing house or a new build.
The Haute-Vienne is the most expensive of the three departments but prices are still relatively low there. The 2009 average was €1500 per square metre for an apartment and just a little less for a house.
Limoges is one of the major towns in the region and is officially a town of art and history. Apartments are popular there as second homes, but most people who buy in the area choose to live there full time. The average price of property in 2009 was €1700 per square metre but this is far below the national average, which tops €3000. Prices were affected there by the economic downturn but prices are now beginning to rise.
Tulle is a fairly small town with just 16000 inhabitants but has an industrial background. Property prices dropped there during the economic crisis but are now showing signs of recovery. The average house price in 2009 was €114,900, which was far below the national average, but houses can be bought for as little as €88,000.
Brive-la-Gaillard is one of the main towns in the Corrèze region and the second largest in the Limousin. It has a population of around 50,000 people and many people from around the region work there. Property prices dropped in Brive during 2008 and part of 2009 but are now beginning to recover. The average property price in 2009 was €1754 per square metre, which was below the national average, which topped €3000.
Aubusson is located in the Creuse department and has less than 5000 inhabitants. It is known as the French capital of tapestry and people are attracted to the area for the peace and tranquillity. There are many small houses in the area but not many studios or apartments. At the beginning of 2009 the average price for a two bedroom house was €83,000 although prices are slowly beginning to rise in the area.
The region is filled with the half-timbered houses which can be seen all across the country. These have a timber framed upper floor and a brick built lower floor. The Limousin half timbered house usually has quite wide windows. The area is also renowned for its manor houses, or ‘manoirs’. These are made of granite and usually date back a long way. Some of the manoirs have towers which give them a very regal look.
Perigord houses are also a common feature of the region, though there are several types and they will vary in design and materials used.
Farmhouses of a particular design are familiar in the region. These combine agricultural storage space with living space. The building is designed so that the ground floor is used as a barn and the upper floor is used as living space. As some of these properties have come on the market, the new owners have preferred to convert the barn space to create a bigger living space.
Thatched cottages are familiar in the area of La Courtine. These are also farm houses but on a smaller scale and usually with a barn attached. These are often very basic and many of these are available for buyers to renovate. Limousin cottages are also a frequent sight in the area. These are two storey buildings but usually come with outhouses, particularly in more rural areas.
Stone houses are popular in the Corrèze region and these are usually larger than the average house, coming complete with large gardens and often have outbuildings. Longère houses are also popular in the Limousin region and have a slightly different look than those seen in the rest of the country. They are often made of granite and have red tiled roofs, though are still only laid out on one storey.
Villas are often seen in the town of Brive-la-Gaillard and the surrounding areas. These often have large gardens and a swimming pool and many are over a hundred years old.
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