The essential information property buyers need to know about the Dordogne Valley, including property prices, transport links, weather, attractions and the latest on the property market from a local estate agent
Of the three departments that make up the Dordogne Valley, Corrèze has the lowest average resale price at €110,000; Dordogne is second at €115,000 and Lot is slightly more expensive at €120,000. They are all considerably less than the country average of €156,800.
The Dordogne Valley tends to enjoy hot summers and mild winters, although temperatures can drop below freezing. There is plenty of rainfall, especially in winter and early spring, and the weather can vary significantly from one area to another.
The Dordogne Valley boasts lively towns, such as Sarlat-la-Canéda and Brive-la-Gaillarde, pretty villages, including the Plus Beaux Villages of Collonges-la-Rouge and Carennac, historic châteaux, lush countryside and the River Dordogne. The area is rightly famed for its wine and food, counting culinary treats foie gras, truffles and duck among its specialities. Find out more about the Dordogne Valley.Getting there
Ryanair and CityJet operate flights from London Stansted and London City respectively to Brive Vallée de la Dordogne airport. Other nearby airports include Bergerac and Limoges which have regular flights from the UK. If you prefer to travel by train then get the Eurostar to Paris and then TGV to Brive-la-Gaillarde which takes just over four hours.
Property market – according to local estate agent Peter Elias of Allez-FrançaisHow much would you expect to pay for:
1. A detached property with land in good condition?
You are looking around the €200,000 mark, but if you were looking for an in-ground swimming pool and a larger garden you would perhaps have to pay more.
2. A three-bedroom townhouse?
We don’t have many townhouses, as we find that our clients prefer a village or countryside property. We do however currently have a character house in the charming town of Martel. It is just off the old market square, close to several restaurants, has five bedrooms and a patio garden for €222,600.
Why do British people buy houses in the Dordogne Valley?
The Dordogne Valley is a spectacular area with stunning scenery, enchanting rivers and a rich history. It is famed for its gastronomy and enjoys a fabulous climate – how long have you got?! There is something here for everyone, and at an affordable price for UK buyers. There is easy access via the airports at Brive (the most central), Bergerac, Limoges or Toulouse, and a good motorway network.
What are your predictions for the property market in the Dordogne Valley?
All the signs for our agency are that 2015 will be a good year. Last year we saw a distinct improvement in the market, and our enquiries are currently running at record levels. The pound hovering around the 1.35 mark (a seven-year high), has to be good news, coupled with record low French mortgage rates. There are some absolute bargains to be had.
What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking of buying in your area?
Do your research ahead of the visit. There are quite distinct climatic differences between the haute Dordogne and the lower Dordogne Valley. An awful lot of time can be saved by doing good research ahead of viewing visits. But talk to your agent and don’t hold back, tell them what you want, tell them what to avoid, and then keep an open mind about areas of compromise if possible.