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Where to buy property in France: Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

If you are looking for peace, quiet and space, you should be looking somewhere like Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. 

Where to buy property in France: Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. Pictured: Verdon Gorge, Castellane, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France.

Where to buy property in France: Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. Pictured: Verdon Gorge, Castellane, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France. Pic: Darryl MONTREUIL / Shutterstock

Department 04: Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

MAIN TOWNS: Manosque, Barcelonnette, Castellane, Forcalquier

Alpes-de-Haute-Provence is one of the least densely populated areas of France with barely more than 20 inhabitants per km². The population is concentrated mainly in the valleys of the Durance, the Bléone (up to Digne), and nearby flatlands. The rest of the department is more sparsely populated still, with fewer than 10 inhabitants per km² across most of it.

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Good connections

And yet... this part of south east France remains easy to get to. Four airports – Nice, Toulon, Marseille and Avignon-Provence – are all within driving distance. Given the ease of connections, and the area’s rugged year-round beauty, it is no surprise to learn that this is second home country – nearly one third of available properties are inhabited for only part of the year.

Half the communes have fewer than 200 residents. Only Manosque has a population of more than 20,000 – prefecture Digne-les-Bains has about 17,000 residents. The arrondissements of Barcelonnette and Castellane are the two least populated in France and the only ones with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants. The city of Castellane is the smallest sub-prefecture in France.

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Property pricing

A typical house in departmental capital Digne-les-Bains has risen more than 7% in the past year, live data from the Notaires de France online price barometer shows, and is currently €191,000 – slightly higher than the departmental average of €185,000. In bustling Manosque, the median price rises to €239,100, and can soar to €276,800, while the average is €250,000 in Forcalquier.

Read more: calculate your property value online with these websites

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