Pays de la Loire is one of the favourite spots for property in France
Named after the majestic river that flows through the region and renowned for it’s famous Fairy Tale Châteaux, vineyards that garnish the valleys and unspoilt sandy beaches on the Atlantic Coast. The diverse culture and landscape throughout the region means that there is something to please everyone and those searching for a residential or holiday home are spoilt for choice.
The Pays de la Loire
The Pays de la Loire is divided into five departments; Loire-Atlantique (44), Maine-et-Loire (49), Mayenne (53), Sarthe (72), Vendée (85). The administrative capital is Nantes which is situated on the Loire estuary and boasts a rich architectural heritage and manages to balance this with being an innovative and vibrant City. There are also two islands, Ile d’Yeu and Noirmoutier, the latter being linked to the mainland by a causeway (the ‘Gois’,) that is accessible at low tide.
As this region is relatively new having been created in 1955. The Pays de la Loire region offers a fascinatingly varied heritage. It’s five departments each have a different culture and history inherited from the regions they previously belonged to.
From the coastal departments of the Loire-Atlantique’s and Vendée’s long sandy beaches, wild creeks, rocky coasts, the famous Guérande salt marshes and renowned seaside resorts which are a magnet for water sport enthusiasts, fishermen and yachts. Through the natural and architectural heritage of the Maine-et-Loire which includes the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Loire Valley (Val de Loire) with it’s famous Chateaux and vineyards which dot the valleys. The rich restful hilly landscape of Mayenne with it’s medieval villages and prehistoric caves. To Sarthe and it’s renaissance castles and rugged landscape which is popular with horse lovers. Not forgetting Le Mans which is home to the famous 24 hour race. The Pays de la Loire attracts a steady stream of tourists throughout the summer and is a popular area for French and Parisian second home owners.
Property for sale in the Pays de la Loire
The Pays de la Loire is a large region and, with its five diverse departments, there is something on offer for everyone. Of course property prices are very different across these areas. Typically pricing is higher in the Vendée and Loire-Atlantique departments as you get closer to the coast, popular seaside resorts and larger urban areas like Nantes. For those buyers searching for holiday homes by the sea, the Vendée department offers lovely stretches of beaches and several popular seaside towns such as Les Sables d’Olonne and the start of the famous Vendée Globe race. La Tranche sur Mer is another pretty seaside destination with well-preserved beaches and sand dunes. [i]Popular areas inland include the towns of Vouvant and Fontenay le Comte and, for nature lovers, you have the picturesque Mervent Forest.
If you want to make the most of a limited budget, then the departments of Mayenne and Sarthe have a lot to offer in the way of bargain properties. However, areas around the larger towns of Le Mans, one of the 20 largest cities of France, and Laval will be more expensive. These are good areas to look if you are searching for a small château and manor houses.Town and village houses inland in the Vendée also represent good value for money. Having said that, there are still good deals to be found on village houses in the Maine-et-Loire and Loire Valley.
Whatever the economic climate, the Loire Valley remains a sought after area and a popular place to buy a property and the last 18 months has seen the return of foreign house buyers to the local market. British home buyers are always surprised how much better value for money the houses are in comparison to the UK and by how much further their money can go. With house prices starting from well under €100,000 and rising into the millions, property buyers can find anything from reasonably priced village homes in need of work, town houses, country properties with land, B&B or gîte businesses, through to large châteaux. Popular search areas in the Loire Valley include the towns of Saumur, Angers and Chinon. Again, pricing will come at a premium in these larger towns as they are major areas of employment with TGV transport links and infrastructure and, as a result there is a lot of competition in the housing market.
Pays de la Loire climate
The Pays de la Loire has a temperate microclimate all year round due to the Atlantic coast and southern influences. Summers are dry with pleasantly warm temperatures. Autumns and winters are generally mild, though they can be wet and windy at times.
Below is a guide to average temperatures, though of course there will be regional variations between coastal and inland areas.
Pays de la Loire travel guide
The main point of entry for air travellers is Nantes airport, which receives regular flights from the UK. Direct flights are also available into nearby Angers, while La Rochelle serves the southern part of the region.
Cross-channel ferry users can sail into the Normandy and Brittany ports and drive south to Pays de la Loire without the need for an overnight stop.
Pays de la Loire property guide
A good range of property styles are available, from ramshackle renovation projects to stately châteaux. Land is relatively cheap, and many properties come with good-sized gardens or grounds. Given the Loire’s popularity with holidaymakers, you may well be able to rent out a property purchased here, thus generating an almost immediate return on your investment.
Pays de la Loire property styles
The Pays de la Loire, particularly the Loire Valley, is renowned for its châteaux and there are over 1000 situated along the Loire alone. There are a range of styles and sizes to be found from unrestored petit château costing from €500,000 to €800,00 and grander offerings starting from €1,000,000 upwards. The lovely local white tuffeau stone is a prominent feature.
The region is well known for its equestrian heritage and the National Riding School of France is situated in Saumur as well as the famous dancing horses of the Cadre Noir. The area is ideal for buyers looking for equestrian properties. For properties with a minimum of 1 hectare of land expect prices to start from €250,000 – 300,000 upwards depending on condition. Established equestrian properties with equine facilities, such as a manège, paddocks and stables, start from as €350,000 upwards. Some will even offer direct access to riding trails and hacking from the property.
These are traditionally character stone properties within walking distance to amenities and providing a community feel. Small village houses without outside space and perhaps in need of some refreshment can be found for as little as €80,000 – €100,000. Grander, elegant townhouses will start from €200,000 upwards.
Frequently asked questions about property in Pays de la Loire
We asked the FrenchEntrée Property Services team what the most common questions were from their clients interested in property in Pays de la Loire:
I am searching for a château to develop a business; what factors should I take into consideration?
With its coastline and numerous sightseeing opportunities inland, the region is a real draw for attracting tourism. Châteaux can make commercially successful business and, typically with their size and scale, can lend themselves to a number of enterprises alongside rentals including equestrian, fishing and sporting businesses. They are also sought after for wedding venues and events. Think about the demographic you want to attract and spend time researching the market. You will need to pay close consideration to the budget as you might be fortunate to have the option of developing a business or finding a château with existing rental activity. It is important to do your research for factoring in renovations costs and we typically recommend you allow €1000 per sqm. Remember, these are listed properties, often with historical monument classification, and planning permissions will need to be sought for any modifications and conversion projects.
I am looking for a property with a budget of €100,000, is there anything available in this range?
Of course. However, you will have to have realistic expectations in terms of your property requirements and its location. Prices vary greatly from one part of the region to the other. Pricing around the north of the region and inland Vendée is typically cheaper than around the Loire Valley and southern areas of the Pays de la Loire.
If you would like some assistance discovering this area of France and to find out more about what the property market has to offer please don’t hesitate to give us a call at +44 (0) 1225 463752 or email us at [email protected].
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