Property Watch: Poitou-Charentes
REGIONAL CAPITAL: Poitiers
DEPARTMENTS: Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sèvres, Vienne
MAIN CITIES: La Rochelle, Niort, Angoulême, Châtellerault, Saintes, Rochefort, Royan
If good weather is what you are after, the Poitou-Charentes region is second only to Provence for sunshine. Holidaymakers converge on the coast around Ile-de-Ré and the historic port of La Rochelle. The latter benefits from good transport links, with TGV connections to Paris in 2hr30 and flights to a number of UK cities.
Those wishing to escape the crowds should set their sights on the Charente department, although Cognac is a popular pilgrimage for fans of the liqueur. Its distilleries bring brandy-lovers from across the globe, but the town’s attractive riverside and historic centre make it much more than a one-trick pony.
The region’s capital, Poitiers, effortlessly juggles old with new. Its picturesque medieval centre belies a superb public transport network linking the major axes of the city and providing an alternative to car use.
There is a slower pace of life in the Deux-Sèvres, meanwhile, where the canals of the Marais-Poitevin can be explored at leisure on flat-bottomed ‘barques’ or by canoe.
House prices average €1,543/m² across the region but expect to pay a lot more in Charente-Maritime. Ars-en-Ré, on the Ile-de-Ré, sees an average of €4,196/m², for example, peaking at €5,993/m². Some 60% of properties here are second homes.
Deux-Sèvres is the cheapest department – property prices here average around €108,000. This compares to €177,800 in Charente-Maritime.
In Poitiers expect to pay an average of €1,260/m².