Why is rural property in France so cheap?


Well, historically, it’s been for the same reasons that keep property prices in rural areas low in any country. Local populations in the countryside tend to be smaller, meaning there is less demand for available properties, which keeps prices down.


In addition, as young people from rural areas hit working age, they tend to leave the countryside in search of employment in more prosperous urban areas like Paris, Marseille, or Nice, leaving some incredible French property behind them.


However, in recent times, there has been an upwards trend in the demand for rural French property. Why is this?

Rising Rural House Prices in France

Throughout the pandemic, the average sale price of a rural property in France rose by 6.4% as people looked to escape the urban confines of lockdowns and seek refuge in the countryside.


Traditionally, it has been the popularity of places like Paris and other major metropolises that have increased the average price of a home in France. Meanwhile, prices of properties in rural areas have remained the same or crept up only modestly.


However, that was all flipped on its head throughout the pandemic, as house price growth in French rural areas outpaced growth in cities for the first time ever. In fact, prices rose just 4.1% in France’s 10 biggest cities, while prices in central Paris actually fell by 1.5%.


Is this trend set to continue?


Well, analysts are quick to assure that this is not representative of a mass urban exodus. For the most part, lockdown-weary city dwellers have decided to move to the outer suburbs or even right into the countryside – though in places that are still close enough to town so they can work remotely and still commute.


As such, it is in fact the semi-rural areas that have seen the biggest rise in house prices, as opposed to the truly remote areas.


Nonetheless, though overall you will be more likely to find a bargain property in rural areas as compared to towns and cities, recent events have altered the market. Demand for real estate is now higher in rural areas than it was before the pandemic, and that is squeezing up average prices.

Buying Property in Rural France

If you’re thinking of buying a property in rural France, you will almost certainly require the services of a local property surveyor.


Rural properties are undoubtedly beautiful, but they often require repairs and renovations. The need for such work is indeed often reflected in low asking prices.


A property surveyor in France will produce a full property report on the condition of any property you’re interested in. Your surveyor will not only uncover any structural or other types of defects in a potential property, but will also have the experience and local knowledge required to determine what those problems will likely cost you to fix.


This is important – for buying a cheap home will not end up being cheap in the long run if you end up having to pay half as much again bringing the building up to scratch.


Read more: What Property Survey Should I Have Done in the South of France?


Charles Mackintosh – South of France Property Surveyor

Charles Mackintosh is a RICS chartered property surveyor who has lived and operated in the South of France for over 30 years. Charles specialises in giving English language property surveys and advice for overseas buyers. If you’re looking at rural properties in the South of France and need a friendly, knowledgeable, expert opinion, get in touch with Charles today.