The 13 regions of metropolitan France: their cheapest and most expensive departments
PUBLISHED: 17:20 09 July 2021 | UPDATED: 09:56 12 July 2021
Here we take a look at the most affordable and most expensive departments in each region.
Whether you’re looking for a spacious family home, potential for gites, or just want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth when buying in France, it might be an idea to look at average property prices in different departments within that region. Here are the cheapest departments as well as the most expensive departments and their cheapest areas.
From the Auvergne volcanoes through to the Rhône valley and all the way across to the ski slopes in the Alps, this region is incredibly diverse. Those looking for affordable property in this region might want to take a look at the peaceful department of Allier, with its average property price of €1,098/m². The Haute-Savoie on the other hand is the most expensive department to buy property in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, with an average price of €4,203/m². However, if you’re not looking for somewhere in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc itself, nearby Sallanches is a great alternative with average prices of €2,730/m².
This region’s largest city is the famed Dijon, it boasts prestigious vineyards and mountainous massifs, and is a popular choice with holidaymakers. Those looking for a cheap house in the golden hills of Burgundy might want to have a look off the beaten track at the department of Nièvre, where the average property price is €965/m². The ever-popular department of Côte-d’Or holds the spot for most expensive department in this region, with an average price of €1,750/m². However, within that department, the area of Châtillon-sur-Seine has an average price as low as €650/m², meaning that not all of Côte d’Or is off-limits to those looking for a bargain property.
Renowned for its champagne, Christmas markets and Ardennes nature parks, the Grand-Est is a great holiday destination in the heart of Europe. Its Haute-Marne department has low average property prices of just €950/m², whilst the Bas-Rhin department that borders Germany, and has Strasbourg as its prefecture, has average prices of €2,064/m². If you venture only 50km west to the Bruche valley however, you’ll find lower average prices of €1,280/m².
From the top of the Ile-de-France all the way up to Calais in the north, the Hauts-de-France is well connected and has a varied landscape of forests, farmlands and chalk cliffs on the coast. The most budget-friendly department to buy property in this region is Aisne, full of fortified towns, feudal castles and old abbeys, with an average property price of €1,223/m². Due to its proximity to Paris, prices in the department of Oise are the highest in the Hauts-de-France region at €2,100/m². If you’re looking to be in the south of this region and don’t need to be too close to Paris, areas such as Noyon or Beauvais might be more affordable with average prices of €1,350/m² and €1,690/m² respectively.
The site of the D-Day landings, home of the famous Mont-Saint-Michel and unspoilt landscapes, Normandy is very popular with tourists and holiday-home-owners alike. Whilst properties can be found at a low average price of €1,112/m² in the department of Orne, Calvados’ position on the northern coast and its port of Caen secure its position as the most expensive department in the region of Normandy, with an average property price of €2,199/m². Calvados is not entirely higher-priced than the rest of Normandy though, with the town of Vire and its surrounding area having an average property price of €910/m².
A bit of the Mediterranean, some Pyrenean peaks and a sprinkling of Cathar castles, all to be found in the southern region of Occitanie. The mountainous Ariège is the cheapest department at an average property price of €1,260/m² in comparison to the most expensive department, Hérault on the coast that has average prices of €2,836/m². However, if you want a place in Hérault not too far from the Mediterranean beaches, the area around Béziers is much cheaper at an average of €1,480/m².
The largest region in France, stretching along half of the west coast of France from La Rochelle to Hendaye, Nouvelle-Aquitaine has 12 departments, each with their own history, cuisine and culture. Creuse is the cheapest department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, its average of €813/m² very affordable considering its warm climate and peaceful position between Limoges and Clermont-Ferrand. Unsurprisingly, Gironde holds the position as most expensive department in this region, its Bordeaux prefecture and position on the Bay of Biscay driving the average property prices up to €3,397/m². As an alternative only a short drive from both the Atlantic beaches and the city of Bordeaux, the Lesparre-Médoc area has an average property price of €1,200/m².
With sandy beaches, countless unspoilt islands and megalithic monuments, the Brittany peninsula is incredibly popular with British expats. Côtes-d’Armor has the lowest average price in the region at €1,480/m², with prices decreasing as you move inland. The department of Ille-et-Vilaine on the other hand, is the most expensive in the region, has an average price of €2,250/m² due to the popular city of Rennes and the port of St Malo both being in this department. The area of Couesnon Marches de Bretagne is not too far from either and lies on the border with Normandy, but has a more attractive average price of €1,230/m².
Pays de la Loire
Seaside resorts and rural châteaux make the region of Pays-de-la-Loire an attractive destination in western France for many, from wine enthusiasts to lovers of history and even those that head to Le Mans for the 24-hour race. Mayenne is the department that boasts the lowest average property prices in the region, at only €1,100/m². The department of Loire-Atlantique, home to the region’s capital of Nantes and stretching along the coast, is the most expensive in the region with an average price of €2,860/m². An hour north of Nantes, you’ll find Châteaubriant, still in the same department but with a lower average property price of €1,100/m², the same rate as the cheapest department, Mayenne.
Centre-Val de Loire
Many Brits dream of moving to the Loire Valley, snatching up a low-priced château and setting up gites, but what prices should they expect? Indre is the department in this region that has the lowest average price at €900/m², whilst neighbouring Indre-et-Loire has an average that is double that, at €1,860/m². This does not however, mean that the Indre-et-Loire is all priced at such a rate, with properties in the Loches Sud Touraine area fetching average prices of €1,130/m².
Undoubtedly the most expensive region to purchase property in France, is Île-de-France - with Paris right in its centre. The department of Seine-et-Marne has the lowest average price of €2,660/m², whereas of course Paris is the most expensive at €11,000/m², and the 19th arrondissement within the Paris department is the cheapest at €9,500/m².
Luscious lavender fields, ochre cliffs, sandy beaches and blue skies are all part of Provence’s magic, making it a popular destination for tourists. However, is it out of the budget for those looking for a bargain property in the south of France? Well, the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence has the lowest average prices at €1,790/m² despite being home to the Verdon canyon and lakes, as well as bordering Italy. The most expensive department in this region is Alpes-Maritimes, with Nice, Cannes and Antibes, at an average of €4,050/m², but its Alpes d’Azur area is the cheapest at €2,800/m².
The island of Corsica is split diagonally into the two departments of Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud. Both are incredibly geographically diverse and benefit from a Mediterranean climate, tasty local cuisine and a considerable number of tourists. Haute-Corse has the Desert des Agriates and the Balagne region (known as the garden of Corsica), and has a lower average property price than the south, at €2,500/m². Corse-du-Sud, on the other hand, has the capital of Ajaccio, and the glamorous Porto-Vecchio which is often frequented by wealthy holidaymakers and their colossal yachts. The average property price in the southern department is €3,520/m², with its Sartenais Valinco Taravo area having the lowest prices in the department, at an average of €2,140/m².
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