The Aquitaine Property Investment Guide

Published on 07 June 2016

Tucked away in the south-west corner of France lies Aquitaine, an expansive and varied region bordered to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the south by the Pyrenees and the Basque Region. Known for its gastronomy, vineyards, medieval villages and deep forests, Aquitaine is a popular destination for tourists and has long attracted property investors looking to capitalise on the region’s reputation. This guide presents an overview of the property market in Aquitaine with details on its advantages as an investment destination and a breakdown of the most expensive and most affordable areas to buy.

Why buy in Aquitaine?

Aquitaine has a well-established tourism industry that takes advantage of the region’s numerous natural beaches and mountain landscapes. As a result, property investors here have a ready-made rental market on which to draw, reducing the risk of any investment. Besides its innate appeal, Aquitaine has certain man-made advantages that boost its tourist appeal. World-famous for the extensive vineyards that surround the city of Bordeaux, the region is popular with lovers of culture, fine food and good wine. Aquitaine also enjoys established transport links with other areas of France and Europe as a whole, making it easy to reach for a long weekend as well as for longer stays. There are regular flights to the UK from the region’s multiple airports, including Bordeaux.

The property market in Aquitaine

The property market in France as a whole is still struggling to find its way out of the 2008 recession and Aquitaine is no exception. However, a sluggish market and falling prices can be a boon for buyers, especially those who are willing to play the long game. Aquitaine property activity has begun to heat up in the first quarter of 2016, an indication that buyers are finding more reasons to commit. Plunging interest rates are encouraging buyers to get in the game in Aquitaine as they are throughout the country. However, as one might expect in a region as diverse as this, property activity is not entirely uniform. The property market tends to move faster in coastal areas of Aquitaine whereas inland areas may be less dynamic.

The price of property in Aquitaine

Property prices in Aquitaine and across the country dropped in 2014 and then fell again in 2015. For most of France, this fall has slowed slightly in the last year, but in Aquitaine it actually accelerated. This means buyers currently get more for their money in Aquitaine than they would have just a few short years ago. According to figures released in January 2016 by Century 21, average property prices across all kinds of property in Aquitaine are around €2,049 per m2, down 6.5% on the previous year. However, property prices do vary quite dramatically across the region. The Notaires de France puts the price of existing houses at an average of €215,100 in Gironde and €200,000 in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Prices come in cheaper in the Landes at €165,000 and are lowest of all in Lot-et-Garonne at €123,900 and Dordogne at €110,700 if your budget is less flexible.

Where to invest in Aquitaine

As noted above, coastal areas of Aquitaine tend to command a premium while less expensive properties are more easily found in inland areas. Aside from price, however, there are other factors you may take into consideration when investing in property in Aquitaine. If you’re planning on renting to the tourism market for most of the year, you will want to balance your own holiday preferences against the kinds of features that will have the broadest appeal to your potential renters. Buying with dedicated investment programmes that have properties in established tourist destinations and on-site amenities can be an appealing option, especially for first-time investors. That way, you can be sure that the location has been reviewed and approved by property experts.

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