Central France has a wide and varied climate and landscape, depending on where in the country you choose to make your home. The most popular areas for property in Central France are generally the Centre, Burgundy, Limousin and Auvergne.

Centre-Val de Loire

As the heart of historic France, the Centre-Val de Loire stretches from slightly North of Paris down to North of the Limousin and Auvergne regions. It is then bordered by Normandy, the Pays de la Loire and Poitou to the West, and Ile-de-France and Burgundy to the East.

The proximity to Paris and its comparatively reasonable house prices are a big draw for property in Central France.

For many centuries, this region was the centre of the Kingdom of France – at a time when the France that we know now was divided up among different lands. The capital (prefecture) is Orléans, on the Loire River. Other equally renowned cities in the region include Chartres, home to one of the world’s greatest cathedrals and UNESCO world heritage site, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres, and Tours, the largest city.

Department 2 bedrooms 3 bedrooms 4 bedrooms 5 bedrooms Average price overall
Cher €69,600 €96,000 €113,300 €135,000   €100,000
Eure-et-Loir   €108,300   €140,000 €159,000 €195,000   €157,000
Indre €65,000 €88,000 €120,000 €138,000 €93,500
Indre-et-Loire   €122,000   €155,000 €187,000 €212,000   €180,000
Loir-et-Cher €82,000   €110,000 €135,500 €161,000   €125,000
Loiret   €109,100   €140,000 €169,000 €198,500   €160,000

The main attraction for British buyers in the Centre, also known as the Loire Valley, is the many beautiful châteaux and churches. The southerly part the region is perfect for those looking for less expensive properties. Equally, there’s an active second homes market in the northern part – particularly Eure-et-Loire, 45 minutes by train from Paris. This proximity to Paris and its reasonable property prices, especially compared to those found in the French capital, are another big draw. The climate here is not too dissimilar to England. However, summers will usually be warmer and sunnier.

The Chartres Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Chartres Cathedral is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Getting there

Access to Centre-Val de Loire by air is easy, thanks to flights to Nantes and Tours from airports across the UK with Air France, Flybe, British Airways and Ryanair. Train access is equally straightforward. There are TGV trains to Chartres and Nantes from Montparnasse and St. Malo. Likewise, Euroline serves La Roche-sur-Yonne, Le Mans, Les Sables d’Olonne, Nantes, Orleans and Tours. Eurostar trains run from Paris to London St. Pancras.

By road, the region can be accessed easily via many autoroutes and national roads from Paris, Calais and Rouen.

Burgundy

Burgundy was traditionally popular with British buyers as a location for property in Central France. However, this did previously go through a lull, thanks to its less-than Mediterranean climate. However, more recent times have seen a resurgence of British buyers flocking to the area, believing that it allows them to embrace ‘la vraie France’ (the true France). Not forgetting, of course, a chance to sample the wine that this region is renowned for.

The historic town of Auxerre across the Yonne river in Burgundy

The historic town of Auxerre across the Yonne river in Burgundy.

One of Burgundy’s most attractive features is its gastronomy. If you’re missing home food, then there’s even a British food stall open at Villefranche-sur-Saône. It is therefore seen by many as the ideal retirement or investment location. Those that buy property here are additionally attracted by the canal system, the beautiful countryside, and the ease of access to both Paris and Lyon.

Department 2 bedrooms 3 bedrooms 4 bedrooms 5 bedrooms Average price overall
Cote d’Or    €104,000   €148,300 €170,000 €208,000   €165,000
Nievre €59,000 €85,000 €114,000 €122,000 €84,000
Saone et Loire €80,000   €105,200 €131,000 €150,000   €117,600
Yonne €90,000    €110,000 €131,500 €152,500    €120,000

Getting there

The region is easy to access by air. Air France flies to Clemont-Ferrand in nearby Auvergne, while Lyon, also close to the region, can be reached by most of the UK, thanks to Air France, British Airways and Flybe. Many train services, including the Eurostar from London, also reach Dijon, Burgundy’s capital city.

Equally, you will find that the area is easily accessible by road – especially from the northern ferry ports such as Calais. The A26, A5 and A43 can all take you into the region from across the country.

Limousin

This region, located roughly in the absolute centre of France, is a very competitively and attractively priced area. There’s a fascinating countryside of gorges, mountainous areas and forests. It’s a very popular second home market, too, especially with British buyers.

The Château de Val is a stunning 15th century 'fairy tale' castle located in Auvergne

The Château de Val is a stunning 15th century ‘fairy tale’ castle located in Auvergne

Limousin is very popular for its relatively unspoilt countryside, blessed with lakes, rivers, valleys, rolling, tree-covered hills and also medieval towns and villages. Its capital is Limoges, a city renowned for its fine porcelain and enamel. It is located between Lyon and Bordeaux, Paris and Toulouse, which ensures it is equally seen as a centre of communication. During World War II, the city served as a key capital for the Resistance movement.

Department 2 bedrooms 3 bedrooms 4 bedrooms 5 bedrooms Average price overall
Correze €80,000   €110,000   €118,500 €135,600   €105,600
Creuse €50,600 €72,300 €92,000 €117,000 €73,000
Haute-Vienne €75,000   €112,300   €128,000 €144,500   €117,000

Getting there

Flights to the regions serve Limoges from various places in the UK, with Air France, Easyjet and Ryanair all offering flights along this route. There are train services to Limoges from Paris, and to Clermont-Ferrand from Lyon; Eurolines also operates services to Clermont-Ferrand.

Access by road is equally easy, thanks to Autoroutes from Paris to Limoges and Clermont-Ferrand.

Auvergne

The Auvergne is also known for its vast mountain range and more than 80 dormant volcanoes (including the Massif du Sancy). This makes it a perfect location for outdoor enthusiasts looking to purchase property in Central France. There’s plenty to do for hikers, fishermen, skiers and windsurfers alike. Its capital is Clermont-Ferrand – home to Michelin Tyres.

Not only is it an affordable location for property in Central France, it’s also a bit of a hidden gem. It’s part of the so-called ’empty diagonal’, a quiet, comparatively less populated zone cutting through central and southwest France.

Department 2 bedrooms 3 bedrooms 4 bedrooms 5 bedrooms Average price overall
Allier €62,100 €90,000 €106,500 €125,000 €90,900
Cantal €65,000 €105,000 €112,000 €130,000 €105,000
Haute-Loire €75,000 €105,500 €142,300 €152,000 €118,000
Puy-de-Dome €105,000 €142,500 €178,500 €197,000 €156,000

Getting there

Flights to the regions serve Limoges from various places in the UK, with Air France, Easyjet and Ryanair all offering flights along this route. There are train services to Limoges from Paris, and to Clermont-Ferrand from Lyon; Eurolines also operates services to Clermont-Ferrand.

Access by road is equally easy, thanks to Autoroutes from Paris to Limoges and Clermont-Ferrand.

Buying a House in France Guide.

The France Buying Guide walks you step-by-step through each stage of the property buying process in France. Additionally, there are also practical recommendations from our experts who have been through the process themselves. The guide will help you to:


  Ask the right questions
  Avoid losing money
  Know the legal pitfalls
  Move in successfully

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