The South West of France is well known for its wine regions, with several wine producing areas around Bordeaux. It covers both the upstream areas around the rivers Dordogne and Garonne. The most popular areas in the South West tend to be Midi-Pyrenees, Dordogne and Aquitaine.

South West France is the second most popular region for British expats – largely driven by demand in Dordogne, and thanks to the largely unspoiled landscape stretching from the two regions of Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrenees.

The South West has long been the most popular region with France Property Guide readers; as such, we have great relationships with many professional agents in the region.

 

Midi-Pyrenees

This area is known for its beauty and peaceful, friendly population. This is the largest region of France, even bigger than the Netherlands or Denmark, and because of this you can find huge variety in the area, with the rugged Pyrenean Mountains softening into vast stretches of lush farmland. The largest city in the region is Toulouse in Haute-Garonne, sometimes called ‘La Ville Rose’ for its buildings of a pinkish hue. This is a bustling centre with a rich history and two UNESCO World Heritage sites.

If you are looking for somewhere with almost guaranteed long, hot summers, a place brimming with history and the chance to be in Spain or on the ski slopes quickly – this is the place for you!

All eight areas of the region should interest second home buyers. Properties are very affordable across the region, with the French Notaires Index showing that the average price of a three bedroom house is under €154,000 in all but one of the departments; Toulouse raises the average price of properties in Haute-Garonne.

Department 2 bedrooms 3 bedrooms 4 bedrooms 5 bedrooms Average price overall
Ariege €84,800 €100,000 €112,000 €107,000 €100,000
Aveyron €80,000 €127,200 €139,500 €160,000 €120,000
Gers €91,300 €135,100 €153,500 €172,900 €140,000
Haute-Garonne   €156,000 €210,000 €254,000 €290,000 €230,000
Hautes-Pyrenees   €97,200 €132,300 €153,300 €161,000 €139,000
Lot €95,000 €123,500 €140,200 €160,000 €123,000
Tarn €88,800 €124,500 €146,000 €159,400 €135,000
Tarn-et-Garonne   €98,000 €140,000 €168,900 €177,100 €145,500

The Gers department is an increasingly popular location with British homebuyers, known as ‘Little Tuscany’. It is an area of natural beauty, with stunning landscapes, dotted with honey stoned farms, Armagnac and charming bastides – fortified towns built in medieval France, starting around 1229.

Toulouse, capital of the Midi-Pyrénées region.

Toulouse is the capital of the Midi-Pyrénées region. As a large city, property here is significantly more expensive than the countryside.

Getting there

This area is well served by very reasonable and regular air and rail transport, not to mention fast and relatively low-traffic motorways. Although a fair way South, it is very easy to visit just for the weekend by air. You can fly to Bordeaux, Bergerac and Toulouse from various cities across the UK with British Airways, Flybe, Ryanair, Easyjet and Jet2.

By rail, the TGV Service connects stations in Paris to Bayonne, Biarritz, Toulouse and Bordeaux, while numerous Autoroutes also connect the main cities there to the rest of the country.

 

Dordogne and Aquitaine

The Dordogne is located in Aquitaine, and is arguably one of the most popular areas in France with British buyers; this is due to its beautiful countryside, great weather, budget flights and something of an ‘English’ feel.

Geographically, the green countryside is largely due to days of blazing sunshine and the odd downpour. The areas vary from the long beaches of the Atlantic coastline, to huge tracts of pine forest, to the peaks of the Pyrenees and vineyards of Bordeaux. The Dordogne is second only to Paris, with its rich history of monuments and historical artefacts.

If you are looking for a stunning country location, rich in history, with a slightly higher proportion of English speakers and more of the creature comforts you will recognise than most of rural France, this should be your first stop!

There are many farmhouse-style properties available here, often built from rough-hewn limestone, as well as Provencal-style manor houses in the more southern area of the Dordogne. Prices collated by the French Notaires Index show that properties are significantly more expensive here than in the Midi-Pyrenees, due to its enduring popularity. Dordogne is particularly expensive, especially considering the absence of any significant cities.

Department 2 bedrooms 3 bedrooms 4 bedrooms 5 bedrooms Average price overall
Dordogne €85,000 €110,100 €137,600 €150,000 €120,000
Gironde €151,300 €198,000 €230,000 €262,500 €211,500
Landes   €139,000 €165,000 €185,000 €200,000 €175,000
Lot et Garonne €82,500 €125,000 €140,000 €150,000 €127,300
Pyrenees Atlantiques   €144,000 €182,000 €205,000 €235,000 €207,000

The capital of Aquitaine is Bordeaux in Gironde – a name known to wine drinkers the world over; this is a thriving city, with a population of over 750,000. There is an international school here, which has been influenced by the UK curriculum. There is a great deal of British influence here – shops sell British food and cinemas show films in English. The city of Bordeaux was made a UNESCO Heritage Site in 2007.

There are some stunning villages in Dordogne.

There are some stunning villages in Dordogne, but you won’t always be able to approach them by water like this.

Nearby Bergerac is home to numerous late medieval houses and a statue of Cyrano de Bergerac, while Aquitaine in general is known for its many farmhouse properties and Provencal style manor houses.

Getting there

The Aquitaine is accessible throughout France and further afield – Flybe, Ryanair, EasyJet, Flybe and British Airways services arrive in Bergerac and Bordeaux from numerous cities across the UK. Connecting services from the Eurostar in Paris take three hours; you can travel from London to Perigueux via Lille and Libourne in nine hours.

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:


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

Download your free guide to buying in France

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This