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Buying Property

Lorraine - Buying Property

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

Lorraine has an interesting history and has been a part of both France and Germany many times over. Now a fully fledged region of France, certain aspects of culture and cuisine are most definitely with a hint of German. Lorraine is a large region that has a population of around 2,345,000 people and is made up of 4 departments: Meurthe et Moselle, Moselle, Meuse and Vosges, each with its own unique features and stunning landscapes.

The area has excellent transport links and other countries in northern Europe can be easily reached by air and rail, as well as other parts of France.

Property in Lorraine averaged €1520 per square metre in 2009, and as the national average was €3200 that makes Lorraine very affordable. Average prices for new build apartments in Lorraine for the same time period were €2410 per square metre and houses were selling on average for about €153,000. Property prices depend on area and property type, and it differs from one department to the next. On a whole, Lorraine is one of the most affordable regions in France in terms of property.

This makes Lorraine an ideal region for investors or retired persons who wish to see their money go a little bit farther. Those who are looking for a property in need of attention or complete renovation are sure to get a bargain in Lorraine.

The Meurthe et Moselle department is named after the two rivers which run through the department. It used to have a large steel industry in the area, although with the decline of steelworks many of those operatives now work in other industries. The average property price in the Meurthe et Moselle department is €1750 per square metre. This is slightly higher than the regional average but is still extremely affordable.

There are two main towns in the Meurthe et Moselle department, Longwy and Nancy. Property in Longwy at the beginning of 2009 had an average price of just less than €1350 per square metre, although these prices are now thought to be on the increase again as the property market improves.

French mortgages for expats Property in Nancy is much more expensive than the department average as it was €2258 per square metre in 2009; this is still thought to be affordable when compared to the national average. Nancy is a university town so rental properties, although again higher, usually have a good return on investment. Apartments are more commonplace in Nancy than family houses and are easily rentable to students.

The department of Moselle has fewer than 1,050,000 residents and like many places in France has a vast history. Once the economy in the area boomed through the steel industry just after the industrial revolution but now the area mainly thrives on other industry such as tourism. The average property price in 2009 for the Moselle department was €2075 per square metre, again this is higher than the regional average, but as the majority of the region is rural, properties outside of the cities and towns cost much less.

The Meuse department is perhaps famous for all the wrong reasons. A highly notable and extremely bloody battle book place here in WWI. During the battle of Verdun many homes were destroyed which had to be rebuilt and now the department is a charming and delightful place with much history to be learnt. Property prices are below the regional average at €1120 per square metre. This is a really affordable amount and is ideal for those who are looking for an investment area.

Verdun is the largest town in the department and in 2009 had a higher average property price at €1598 per square metre; rentals are also a popular choice as it is a tourist destination also. Investment properties in Verdun are almost guaranteed to be rented out full time and a return on the investment is almost immediate.

Bar le Duc is another of the most popular towns in Meuse and in 2009 had an average property price of €1400 per square metre. Again, it is another popular tourist destination so rental properties often get snapped up quickly with almost 60% of properties lived in by tenants.

The Vosges department has much to offer in the way of activities for the local person. It is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, it is an area packed with history and even areas of archaeological importance, and it is also not far from the mountains and ski resorts. Living here is like a year round holiday with fresh country air and a safe environment for children. Average properties prices for the year 2009 in Vosges was €1395, making prices in this department very low. The fact that the area is very rural helps to keep the prices low and make them affordable for all budgets.

Epinal is one of the main towns in the Vosges department; it is a largely unspoilt town with many buildings of architectural significance. Property prices here averaged out at €1417 per square metre in 2009 with the rental market also extremely affordable at €7.85 per square metre. Again this town has a high percentage of tenanted apartments and so is popular for those looking for buy to let investments.

Gerardmer is another of the main towns in Vosges and is often referred to as Lakes Valley due to the amount of beautiful lakes and scenery found here. Property prices are higher than the regional average at €1887 per square metre. This is due to all the assets there are in the area, it is very popular with tourists and is now becoming more popular with those looking to relocate to France, all this helps to keep house prices high.

The Longère house is a familiar sight in Lorraine, as are farmhouses. Many expat buyers choose to buy these cheaply and renovate them, converting outbuildings to extend the living accommodation. The Longère is limited to one storey, but has attic space that can be converted to create a second. Farmhouses can be stone built or half timbered and are usually a substantial size, coming complete with a large parcel of land.

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