Property: The Best Towns in France to Invest in 2014


Wavering fortunes, bean-counting, upward trends and downward trends: Regardless of the economic picture, people invest in bricks and mortar for one reason or another. Here’s a look at some of the best performing towns in France in 2014

Investing in property remains one of the safest places to put money and French people know it as well as anyone else. In France, the tradition of having a second home has been more to do with giving a place to your offspring rather than buying a place to flip it for a quick cash gain, but having a roof over the heads of you and your nearest and dearest allows you to plan for the future with confidence. Very often, people with money to put aside, devote part of their savings to property as well as life assurance.

Buying a property may be a long term project for retiring. Many Irish people are still investing in French property. It’s a good time for those who can afford it because values are low. Having one’s own pied-à-terre in France has all sorts of benefits from language immersion to having a bolthole for temporary retreat or permanent retirement. When prices are down, it doesn’t take a genius to surmise that there is a strong likelihood that those values will go up again in time. And, if you choose the right place to invest, those values may even be increasing already.

Before investing in property in France or anywhere else, one should always go there in person: have a look around the area for a first impression, verify the accessibility from the point of local transport.

“Property investment should answer the fundamentals – the price, the size and the quality constitute the determining elements,” explains Olivier Marin, chief editor of Explorimmo and Explorimmoneuf. “Investing in a property is not like investing in a product. The profitability is not the only criteria. It’s a project with a long to medium term.”

The online property specialists have come up with their third list of the Top 10 most towns to invest in. The poll takes account of the economic dynamism of the town and furnishes useful indicators such as the demographic evolution, employment, number of students and average price per square metre of new and second-hand property.

Surprise Package: Clermont-Ferrand was the surprise inclusion in the Top 10 this year

Surprise Package: Clermont-Ferrand was the surprise inclusion in the Top 10 this year

This year, it’s Nantes (pictured top) that comes out on top as the most attractive town in France to invest in. The capital of Loire-Atlantique and formerly the capital of the region of Brittany, Nantes was also elected Green Capital of Europe in 2013 for its superb environmental policy. It was followed by Toulouse and Bordeaux in second and third places respectively.

In the case of all three towns, beautiful urban projects, a dynamic local economy and a continuously growing population made them choice locations for investors. While the price of second-hand property is stagnant, the price of new property is on the rise (currently at around €4,000/m2 on average in the three cities). The Lyon/Villeurbanne conurbation is still in the running but it’s Clermont-Ferrand which is the surprise package for 2014. In the Auvergne capital, there are great opportunities to be seized, it seems. Poor Paris – currently languishing in the economic doldrums – is only in 7th place. With an average price of €8,2000/m2, it’s one to think twice about but even in the capital, it’s usually worth it from an investment point of view:

“Property prices in France have doubled in the last decade,” Olivier Marin points out – a very sobering point, particularly when one considers how low interest rates on savings accounts have been over the same period.

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