French Property Blog: Our Voice from France

C’est la rentrée

Another summer holiday is over, and in écoles maternelles and lycées across France newly arrived British children are embarking on a new life in a new school. Here we pick three properties with easy access to superb lycées.


This stunningly renovated manor house in the Loire Atlantique is close to Brittany’s beaches but also the acclaimed Lycée College de Grand Air, in La Baule.

Set in 5.7 acres, with pasture for horses, this six-bedroom property would make an ideal family home or B&B with gites.


The fast-evolving and vibrant port-city of Marseille is home to France’s best-rated lycee, Lycée Notre-Dame de la Viste.

This is a three-bed home tucked away in the hills above the city, with guesthouse, pool and sublime views.

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A magnificent maison de maitre that oozes character, this six-bedroom property offers two barns, a pool and a hamman.

Located in one of the Dordogne’s popular spots – Bergerac, with the highly rated Lycée Sainte-Marthe – it could work as a large family home or B&B.


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Have you considered …Brittany?


France’s furthest west region saw the highest increase in overseas buyers in 2015, with a dramatic jump of 70 per cent, so just why is it proving so popular?


Put simply it’s the mile upon mile of stunning sandy beaches, all within an easy drive from the UK. But there’s also the wonderful seafood, slower pace of life and the legion of “little cities of character” along toll-free roads.

This is a region defined by its coastline and its affordability – the popular granite Breton longére costs €100,000 to €250,000. But Brittany’s sheer scale can shock. The same size of Wales, it takes three hours to traverse, says Lisa Greene of Leggett’s Brittany team. “But with the TGV extending from Rennes to Brest, St Malo and beyond, it will be quicker.”

Choose between the sporty ruggedness of Finistére, sunny Morbihan loved by Parisians with access to superb amenities around Rennes or the least-populated beaches of the Côtes d’Armor.

Our Brittany team have beautiful properties to suit all tastes available to purchase, please feel free to browse.

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French farm prices are starting to rise, say SAFER …

The French rural land agency SAFER announced an increase of approximately 3% in the price of agricultural land during 2014. The price varied slightly depending on use and location of the land. Not including vineyards, the most expensive type of land to buy was arable land, which averaged €6,810 per hectare last year, while meadow land was €4,390 per hectare.

From a regional angle, you might be surprised to know that Pas-Nord-de-Calais was the most expensive region, averaging €13,400 per hectare and Franche Compté being the least expensive. However, there are of course substantial differences in prices between departments and sometimes even within the departments. While the average price for farmland in the Languedoc was €5,600, in the Pyrenées Orientales it was €12,000 per hectare. SAFER noted that between 2006 and 2008, a total of 74,000 hectares of useful farm land were dropped, due in part they say, to “urban pressures on rural areas” – the equivalent of one county disappearing every 6 years.

Leggett have an exciting portfolio of agricultural properties: including a spectacular 500 hectares estate in South West France priced at €15,540,000 and a charming 88 hectare farm in the Loire at €689,000. For further agricultural properties view the Leggett website farming selection before it’s too late!

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It’s showtime!


Never mind the traditional spring buying season, this autumn is set to be the busiest in years with home-hunters returning to the market and a trio of major property exhibitions to help them.

Few overseas agents have a bigger presence at these shows than Leggett – or a bigger portfolio of properties – so our hard-working team will be first heading to the Expat Show at London’s Olympia (11-12 September) before returning to the venue the following weekend for the French Property Exhibition (18-20 September). Finally, from 25-27th the team will be out in force at Birmingham’s NEC for A Place in the Sun’s autumn show where over 8,000 visitors are expected to be browsing the stands for inspiration, advice and expert tips. Attending at least one of these shows is undoubtedly a great place to start if you are seeking a home in France – you will never find so many experts under one roof. Do come and see us or watch our show video here


11-12th September
The Expat exhibition, London Olympia

18-20th September
The French Property Show, London Olympia

25-27th September
A Place in the Sun Live, Birmingham NEC

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British buyers back in France


Recently released figures from BNP Paribas confirm that British buyers have returned to the French market with a bang during the past year, motivated by a strong UK economic recovery, falling French prices and favourable exchange rates. In 2014 they accounted for a third of the sales to non-resident buyers – a staggering 33% increase on 2013. To put the British interest in French property into perspective the number of overall transactions (across all nationalities) is up 1.5%, and Leggett’s own sales are up by over 40 per cent in the first six months of 2015. Trevor Leggett, Chairman of Leggett Immobilier, comments: “This is a once in a decade confluence of low prices meeting a weak euro with the added bonus of cheap financing thrown in – whilst British buyers are leading the way we’ve also seen an increase in buyers from the USA, Asia and Australia”. Further interesting trends from the BNP Paribas research include the amount buyers are spending, and where.

International buyers spent an average of €315,000 in 2014 – the average purchase price decreased by 10 % across the board – whilst the average spend of an American buyer was €615,000.  US buyers tend to love properties in Paris, PACA or the Rhone Alps, three premium areas that also attracted more Brits: Rhone-Alpes was the most popular region for us in 2014, as we snapped up dual season homes in some of the greatest ski resorts in the world. The average price spent in Paris was €582,000, compared with €287,000 in the other regions.  Leggett saw a huge demand for the Poitou-Charentes and Languedoc-Roussillon, but the highest increase in demand was for Brittany where a jump of 70 % shows the enduring appeal of the coupling of accessibility and affordability.

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