Upmarket, but not going anywhere
According to Peter Doyle at Century 21 in Bergerac, English buyers represent only 20% of those buying through their agency, spending an average of €200,000 apiece. It’s impossible to predict what they’ll go for, since it varies enormously, according to their needs and wants. However, he has noticed a change over the past decade. “Ten years ago people wanted a lot of land – 20 hectares, say, with a house in the middle. Now they want to buy in villages and small towns, where they can integrate with the local community.”
Prices in the Bergerac area are slightly higher than further north. A maison de maitre will come in at between €500,000 and €750,000. A chartreuse will fetch a million, and a château will cost about €1.5 million, although much will depend on the amount of land with it. Care also needs to be taken with the term “château” in the winegrowing area, since it may simply denote a house in the middle of a vineyard, regardless of size.
Peter was unable to identify one particular area round Bergerac as more popular than another. The diversity of the landscape is such that people gravitate to the countryside they find most attractive. For example, there are those who like the wine-growing area to the southwest, while others prefer the Double forest to the northwest, and yet others the Dordogne valley to the east.
Bergerac’s price ranking
Prices in the Bergerac area peaked about 18 months ago and are not expected to rise in the foreseeable future. The triangle bounded by Duras, Eymet and Sainte-Foy, straddling the border between the departments of the Dordogne and Lot-et-Garonne, has now become too expensive for most English buyers, and he had noticed that people were now gravitating to the Limousin and the Creuse, because of the lower prices. Within the Dordogne, he considered Eymet, Brantôme and Sarlat as the most expensive locations, with Bergerac coming second, on a par with Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, just over the Dordogne border in the Gironde, but ahead of Ribérac.
As for advice to English people wanting to buy in the Bergerac area: “Think carefully about what you need as against what you want. You need to have a certain amount of space, central heating and a certain type of location. You may want also to have views, a garden of a certain size and a swimming-pool. But these are extras.”