Insiders Guide To Aveyron Property
The department of Aveyron, has not always been known for its property appeal but it has recently become much more popular.
WHY BUY A PROPERTY IN THE AVEYRON?
On paper, the Aveyron is not short of the ingredients that typically help a French property market mature into something irresistible to house-hungry Brits. For example, the department features the greatest concentration of Plus Beaux Villages de France in the country, 9 out of a total of 146.
But the Aveyron’s charms don’t stop as soon as you leave its villages and their traditional architectural style. The landscape in the Aveyron is magnificent, dramatic and varied, stretching from the moors, deep valleys, towering escarpments, plunging canyons, and forests of the south, to the vast, open, isolated, quiet mountain pastures of the limestone plateaux (known locally as ‘causses’), where you feel a million miles from the rest of the world.
Although one of the largest French departments by area, the Aveyron is one of the least populated, with only 30 people per sq.km, this is a land of wide open spaces where the wonders of nature remains largely untouched by the hand of man. In between, there are the rolling vineyards of Marcillac, the open farmland of Ségala and the five Lévezou lakes.
Aveyron is one of the cheapest parts of France and, unlike many areas, there are still many properties to be renovated. Barns or old properties of about 100 sq.mtrs. set in a village or hamlet and requiring complete renovation start at under 30,000 euros. Many of them are built of stone of various shapes, sizes and colours and many boasts turrets. Roofs are made of rounded slates or “lauze” (thicker than slate and made of schist stone).
The communication links are improving. Rodez, served by Ryanair from Stansted once a day during summer, ensures that nearby Villefrance and indeed areas surrounding the capital are now firmly on the British property buyers’ map. The new stretches of the A75 and the Millau viaduct brings the Languedocienne coast – and Montpellier also served by Ryanair – to within one hour by road from Millau, some 100 kms. This development makes most parts of the Aveyron much more accessible than it was.
WHAT TYPE OF HOMEBUYER WOULD AVEYRON’S ATTRACTIONS APPEAL TO?
Homebuyers here are looking for a quieter, relaxed way of life, away from the stresses of modern living. The locals are very attached to their land, roots and way of life. This is “La France Profonde”, the real thing. However, because of the wide-ranging outdoor activities, Aveyron is also suited to younger types in search of a bolt-hole to recover from the stresses of their jobs.
Because Aveyron is comparatively cheap, in recent years it has increasingly attracted those looking for a good deal, in particular those looking for rural properties suitable for renovation.
Yet, despite these many and varied riches, we are sometimes led to believe that scarcely a British key rattles in an Aveyronaise lock! This is even more surprising when you consider that buying property in the neighbouring departments of Tarn and Tarn-et-Garonne, which share geographical features with the Aveyron, comes with almost a virtual guarantee of British neighbours.
If you are after a solid stone house surrounded by varied countryside in a welcoming area, look no further than Aveyron. Foreigners are generally welcomed as they have often turn old ruins into stunning homes and, with many more properties to be renovated, you could make one of these stunning villages or land your home!
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