A commune in Brittany is giving people a chance to get a foot on the property ladder by offering land below the market value – as long as they promise to live there for 10 years.
Plougasnou town council in Finistère is offering 21 plots for sale at a price of €95 per square metre, as well as five plots specially reserved for first-time buyers and owners of small properties wishing to build a detached house as their main residence, at the attractive price of €60 per square metre.
In Brittany, a square metre of land costs €87 on average, according to the latest study published by the Regional Directorate for the Environment, Planning and Housing, but areas near the sea often attract a premium.
The Plougasnou plots are just a 10-minute walk from the sea, with the cheaper ones measuring between 400 and 600m².
As well as combating rising property prices, it is hoped the scheme will help balance out the large number of second homes in Plougasnou.
In 40 years, second-home ownership has doubled in the small Breton town, data from the statistics agency Insee shows. Today, they account for almost as much of the housing stock as primary residences (44% compared to 49%).
“We've experienced strong property pressure due to an increase in demand from young retirees and second-home owners,” Plougasnou’s mayor, Nathalie Bernard, told Le Figaro.
“Prices have risen sharply, putting a brake on the arrival of new young households.”
To ensure the cut-price building plots are not snapped up by developers or people looking to erect cheap holiday homes, “only individuals wishing to build their own principal residence will be eligible,” the conditions stipulate.
“Applications to build a second home, seasonal rental property, offices or premises will not be accepted, nor will those submitted by property professionals.”
Successful applicants must apply for planning permission within one year of signing the deed of sale, and then occupy the house for a period of at least 10 years.
Applications can be made via the town planning department at the mairie.