The South East of France is home to a Mediterranean climate and the French Riviera (Cote d’Azur) – all of which are extremely popular with expats. You are likely to find many British expats in the Rhone-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Cote-D’Azur and the Languedoc-Roussillon.

 

Rhone-Alpes

This is a great location for those with a passion for winter sports, with an abundance of mountains and rivers to enjoy – and of course, the renowned skiing resorts of Chamonix, Val-d’Isère, Megeve and Courchevel.

This region is varied, and stretches from the Massif Central to the West of the Italian border in the East, down to Provence in the South. Its capital is Lyon – the second largest city in the country, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and of course France’s gastronomical centre. The countryside here is well known for its beautiful lavender fields, lakes and mountains; there are also the glorious vineyards of Beaujolais to visit.

Foreign buyers looking for a permanent home tend to look towards the Ardeche, on the West, so there is a well-established British community of roughly 13,500 here

Department 2 bedrooms 3 bedrooms 4 bedrooms 5 bedrooms Average price overall
Ain €120,000 €171,900 €194,500 €227,800 €187,200
Ardeche €97,000 €143,800 €179,000 €200,700 €146,200
Drome €122,000 €171,000 €194,000 €225,000 €184,000
Haute-Savoie €224,500 €297,900 €360,000 €416,500 €345,500
Isere €137,500 €182,000 €222,000 €240,000 €206,000
Loire €112,000 €144,000 €172,000 €180,000 €155,000
Rhone €180,000 €236,100 €284,200 €325,000 €270,000
Savoie €133,100 €184,000 €240,200 €273,400 €209,400

Foreign buyers looking for a permanent home tend to look towards the Ardeche, on the West, so there is a well-established British community of roughly 13,500 here. This then spreads out to Lyon, Grenoble, St. Etienne, Annecy and Evian, where a number of British expats live and work; as a result, there are numerous international schools in this region. This is also an area with great investment potential, particularly around the popular skiing resorts, where people often rent chalets for a specific amount of time.

Lyon is France's third largest city and a historic centre-point for the South East

Lyon is France’s third largest city and a historic centre-point for the South East

Getting there

This region’s popularity with British buyers means it is very easy to get to, with flights into Lyon, St. Etienne, Grenoble and even nearby Geneva served by British Airways, Ryanair, EasyJet and Air France from many towns and cities across the UK.

Access by train is easy from Paris, convenient for many of the ski resorts. You can even get to Bourg St. Maurice or Moutiers directly from London St. Pancras or Ashford twice a week during ski season. Road access from the rest of Paris is also simple, with a number of Autoroutes taking you to Grenoble, Lyon and further afield.

 

Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azur

The natural beauty of Provence and the Cote d’Azur has inspired everyone from Vincent Van Gogh and Cezanne to F. Scott Fitzgerald – making this region historically the home of artists, writers and musicians. Peter Mayle’s books, ‘ A Year in Provence’ and ‘Toujours Provence’ in the late 1980s began a trend for writing about one’s experience of buying property in France; and in all probability, led to a boom in the property prices in the area. Properties here are a smart move for investment purposes and tend to attract those seeking second homes for retirement purposes.

The wealthy and famous have been visiting this area for many years, meaning you are unlikely to lose money on a property purchase in this area as the market is extremely stable

Nice is particularly popular due to its location on the French Riviera; it is blessed with a sunny climate, beautiful stretches of beach, palm trees and promenades, and a lovely old town with many museums and other tourist attractions. It isn’t cheap though. Alpes Maritimes offers a reasonable alternative, especially for renovation properties.

There is a thriving property buying and rental market here, for both permanent homes and holiday homes. Cannes has a year round rental market, buoyed by the famous Film Festival held every year in May. Much tourism and industry around Provence’s coastal villages and vineyards make this a great investment.

Department 2 bedrooms 3 bedrooms 4 bedrooms 5 bedrooms Average price overall
Alpes de Haute Provence   €120,000  €176,000  €210,200 €247,500  €170,000
 Alpes Maritimes  €310,000 €377,300  €475,000 €572,000 €415,000
 Bouches du Rhone  €215,000 €270,000 €311,300 €370,000 €281,300
 Hautes Alpes  €133,900  €187,000  €224,000  €245,000  €190,000
 Var   €230,000  €290,200  €340,000  €405,000  €310,000
 Vaucluse  €170,000  €200,000 €227,500  €280,000  €216,800

The wealthy and famous have been visiting this area for many years, and continue to do so, meaning you are unlikely to lose money on a property purchase in this area, as the market is extremely stable. Having said this, you will need deep pockets to buy here, as the average two bedroom house can cost more than €800,000.

Cannes is one of the best known cities.

Cannes is one of the best known cities in the Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azur due to the annual film festival.

Getting there

Nice is easily accessible by air from all of London’s main airports and from many places across the UK with British Airways, EasyJet and Air France. There are also flights from the UK to nearby Toulouse, Bergerac, Toulon and Marseille.

By train, the high-speed TGV service runs from Paris and Lille to Aix-en-Provence and Marseille; while Eurostar offers a service from Lille Europe to Perpignan. Access by road is equally easy, thanks to the A6 from Paris, linking via the A7 to the A8 for Cannes and Nice and offering spectacular views.

 

Languedoc-Roussillon

If you are interested in living a Mediterranean life, the Languedoc-Roussillon could be the place for you. Home to Montpellier, the Mediterranean coast and French Catalonia, the region is known for its historical background and 320 days of sunshine a year. The area is rife with investment possibilities, thanks to the sheer number of tourists who visit the region on a regular basis.

The larger cities of the region can be expensive (and exclusive) – your average three bedroom house in Montpellier, for example, will cost over €500,000

The larger cities of the region can be expensive (and exclusive) – your average three bedroom house in Montpellier, for example, will cost over €500,000. Moving just slightly inland, you will find cheaper properties, especially in the mountain region of the Pyrenees-Orientales, where you can find a similar property for approximately €80,000; as well as Aude, where it will cost around €60,000.

Department 2 bedrooms 3 bedrooms 4 bedrooms 5 bedrooms Average price overall
Aude €118,000   €139,000 €165,000 €170,000   €135,000
Gard €147,500   €190,000 €233,000 €241,700   €195,000
Herault €150,000   €212,400 €242,000 €270,000   €211,200
Lozere €87,900 €116,500 €150,000 N/A €112,900
Pyrenees-Orientales €130,000   €180,000 €201,000 €239,000   €171,300

Montpellier is the region’s capital, home to more than 260,000 people, with a cosmopolitan feel. Close by is Carcassone, renowned by many as one of the world’s most visually stunning cities – almost Disney-like. As you can imagine, it is a major tourist attraction throughout the spring and summer.

Schooling here is excellent; the Ecole Privee Bilingue Internationale is just outside Montpellier, and caters for children from nursery school right up to sixth form.

Montpellier is the stunning capital of the Languedoc region

Montpellier is the stunning capital of the Languedoc region

Getting there

There are five airports in Languedoc-Roussillon – Montpellier International airport and four smaller but extremely active airports at Nimes, Perpignan, Beziers and Carcassonne. These are served by flights from British Airways and Ryanair, flying out from a number of airports in the UK.

There is also a TGV rail service from Paris Gare de Lyon to Nimes, Montpellier and Perpignan – and a direct Eurostar link from Lille Europe to Montpellier. The easy access continues by road, thanks to the A9, and access from Paris is easy with the A10 and A20.

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, with practical recommendations from our experts who have been through the process themselves. The guide will help you to:


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