French property watch: Brittany
REGIONAL CAPITAL: Nantes DEPARTMENTS: Loire-Atlantique, Sarthe, Vendée, Maine-et-Loire, Mayenne MAIN CITIES: Nantes, Angers, Le Mans, Saint-Nazaire, Laval, Saumur, La Roche-sur-Yon, Cholet, Les Sables-d’Olonne
Brittany – a land of ancient mystery and proud tradition – is to France what Cornwall is to Britain.
So it should come as no surprise that, in 2018, scientists discovered that Cornwall and its neighbour Devon have more in common geologically with France than they do with the rest of Britain.
From the seaside charms of Saint-Malo, Dinard and Dinan, the wonder of the ancient megaliths at Carnac to the rugged coastline of Finistère, Brittany’s landscape breathes legend and myth.
The Monts d’Arrée, meanwhile, are more than a little reminiscent of Dartmoor or Exmoor.
Property prices have jumped in recent years, thanks in part to its popularity among UK-based house hunters tempted by the weather, scenery and ease of access via ferry ports to England’s south coast.
You can find a typical older Bretagne house for as little as €140,000 if you’re prepared to shop around but, as always, you pays your money and you takes your choice.
City-centre properties are the most expensive. In regional capital Rennes, the median price of houses is around €393,400, dropping to €279,000 across the whole of the city’s metropolitan area, according to Notaires de France.
Similar properties would set you back about €315,000 in coastal Saint-Malo, and €190,000 in the Lorient area.
Good transport links are a key reason for the relative expense of Rennes. The Bretagne TGV service means the city is less than 90 minutes from Paris, while coastal Brest is little more than three hours away.