If you are thinking of buying either a holiday home or a new permanent home in the South of France then you would be well advised to consider the Pyrenees Orientals department in the Languedoc Roussillon, right on the border with Spain. Furthermore you might want to consider something a little different than the conventional old stone house out in the countryside. Many buyers looking for property abroad make the mistake of looking for some kind of generic ideal that they have seen in a magazine or in a TV show. Of course this works for some people but usually those who are already living in something similar and know that it suits them.
Conversely if you are a city dweller in your home country you would be well advised to have a look at city property over here in France. In this instance property in Perpignan city could really suit you.
Perpignan has come on leaps and bounds in the last couple of decades. Thankfully it is unlikely ever to grow as big as a major city like Montpellier for example, simply because of its location by the coast and the existing infrastructure. What’s appealing is that money has been spent improving what’s already there and with the much anticipate arrival of a TGV route from Barcelona this trend is set to continue. There’s a feeling here of a small city on the rise and is therefore, in my opinion, a great place to invest right now.
In fact investment potential is another aspect of buying a foreign property that quite a few buyers seem to overlook even though they would never normally do so. Maybe it’s because property is comparatively cheaper or because they don’t envisage themselves selling the property that they overlook the growth potential. I certainly think its naïve not to put capital growth as a major factor in your buying decision. Money has already been invested in Perpignan, and some forward thinking buyers have already grabbed their patch, but thankfully there is still a lot more potential to be realized. Certainly anyone looking for a small but cool apartment in this city would be well advised to buy it before the opening of the TGV line in the next couple of years. Equally there is still some great real estate to be had on the outskirts of the city on the way to the beaches and this would also count as quite a shrewd investment.
Whether you do decide to look for real estate within Perpignan or in the surrounding countryside one thing you will notice quite early on in your research is the huge variation in property prices. It simply isn’t possible to quote the average price per square foot and have that tally with many of the properties you will visit. There are a few reasons for this; firstly property itself is so diverse almost everything you see will be different with a variety of layouts and aspects. You can find two small villages house with the same square footage but with such different outlooks and lay outs that one could be your dream home while the other you could never consider living in. Secondly property owners here can be very unrealistic about their asking prices. After a huge rise in prices a decade or so ago, many French sellers aren’t always willing to admit that the boom has died down somewhat and that they can’t ask silly money anymore. Unfortunately some still do, so beware.
My advice would be to view a minimum of twenty properties so that you can get as clear an idea as possible of what’s available and what is a fair price. Certainly keep Perpignan in mind if you’re looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary, but with strong growth potential