Marc has the face of a happy man.
The 60-year-old poses with a smile in front of his beautiful 160 m2 house located in Noyers-sur-Serein (Yonne), a locality classified among the Most Beautiful Villages of France.
“We just bought it!
It is to live more simply, to take the time, to enjoy village life.
After confinement, we felt the need, ”says this Parisian, who works in the audiovisual industry.
This is where he now goes every weekend: “It's two hours from Paris, ten kilometers from the motorway exit, so it's practical.
The house has beautiful architectural elements and the village is beautiful and alive.
We have more space, a small garden, all for a fair price.
The couple spent 140,000 euros to achieve their wish for a "more authentic" life, but at that price, there is a lot of work to be done: at least six months of construction.
Read alsoReal estate: the boom in country houses in Ile-de-France and Oise
Marc's example perfectly illustrates the desire for elsewhere that the French have with the health crisis. According to a recent study by mortgage broker Pretto, the search for second homes has increased by 30% since 2019. Faced with this enthusiasm, the real estate appraisal platform Meilleur Agents has selected ten localities ranked among the Most Beautiful Villages of France, with more than 20% of houses and second homes and where you can buy a property of at least 75 m2 for 150,000 euros, notary and agency fees included.
"We set this price because, beyond that, it is a main residence budget," said Barbara Castillo Rico, head of economic studies at Meilleur Agents.
Why the Most Beautiful Villages of France label?
“Because it makes it possible to define cities, of course, not very sparsely populated, but with a marvelous setting,” resumes the young woman.
A rigorous selection process
There are currently 159 certified villages in France.
The selection process is rigorous: 50% of the applications received each year are refused.
“The village must be harmonious, with one or more emblematic heritage elements such as a castle, the remains of an abbey, a beautiful church… It must also be on an exceptional natural site.
There must be a “wow!
"Advances Pascal Bernard, general delegate and in charge of quality of the association.
In this Burgundian village, you can find typical small winegrowers' houses for 150,000 euros.
In Noyers-sur-Serein, you will discover an intact medieval village with cobbled streets and half-timbered houses.
In the surroundings, you will find the castle of Ancy-le-Franc, that of Tanlay, but also the wine route, the town of Chablis… “The label brings attractiveness.
Since the Covid, we have a lot of Parisians who buy.
We end up not having a lot of houses to sell.
It spreads to the surrounding villages.
In six months, prices have increased by 20%, ”notes Nathalie Labrosse (SE), the mayor.
Houses at 150,000 euros?
" There is still some left.
Small typical wine-grower's houses, with the cellar below and a small house above.
In Bec-Hellouin (Eure), two hours from Paris, many houses have been sold recently.
lpBVF / Kazutoshi Yoshimura
Parisians will also turn to Le Bec-Hellouin (Eure), a Norman city located two hours from Paris, with, as tourist places an abbey, the Greenway for cycling or rollerblading… They can, according to Best Agents, there buy an 85 m2 house for 150,000 euros.
"For this price, it will be necessary to plan work", warns Pascal Finet (SE), the mayor.
The latter saw the houses in his village sell faster than usual.
“Before the Covid, we had twelve for sale.
Afterwards, everything is gone, ”he blurted out.
This village on the banks of the Loire is popular with the people of Nantes.
lp / Anne-Laure Abraham
For the people of Nantes at most two hours from the city, direction Montsoreau, a village on the banks of the Loire, or even Vouvant in Vendée.
In the latter, an 80 m2 house with a plot of almost 200 m2 sold for 117,500 euros at the end of the year.
In Estaing (Aveyron), a house of 151 m2, with 4 bedrooms and 1200 m2 of land was sold at the end of July 2020. AFP / Pascal Pavani
On the Toulouse side, head for Estaing, at the entrance to the Lot gorges in Aveyron: “We have a pretty Gothic bridge that spans the river.
It's beautiful and it brings freshness, which is what people are looking for.
We sold a 150 m² townhouse with 200 m² of land for 145,000 euros at the start of the year, but it is located near a very busy road ”, explains Anthony Baruchello, head of the Laforêt agency in Laguiole.
The mayor of this village perched on the top of a hill sees returning couples with children, attracted by the living environment.
The people of Toulouse and Bordeaux will also turn to Montreal, the ancient and medieval city of Gers or Monflanquin, country of the Bastides.
In this village perched on a hill, a five-room house, located in the heart of the village, sold for 115,000 euros.
"We have an exceptional quality of life, shops, schools ... We see the return of young couples who had left for the big cities", observes Nathalie Founaud-Veysset (DVG), mayor of Monflanquin.
On the borders of Haute-Loire, Ardèche and Lozère, Pradelles attracts the inhabitants of Lyon, two hours away.
LPBVF / P.
The Lyonnais could be seduced by Pradelles, just over two hours from the “capital of the Gauls” and on the borders of Haute-Loire, Ardèche and Lozère.
Flavigny-sur-Ozerain (Côte d'Or).
For less than 150,000 euros, you can find a house of just under 100 m2, but with work to be done.
LP / Anne-Laure Abraham
Unless the townspeople of Lyon prefer the medieval city of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain (Côte-d'Or) where, one can claim 93 m2 for 150,000 euros, according to Meilleur Agents.
"For this budget, you will have a house with work and without a garden," warns Mélanie Aupicon-Troubas, negotiator at the Bourgogne-Alésia cabinet.
"Buying a country house is an accessible dream", considers Barbara Castillo Rico, of Best Agents, but she warns: "Before embarking and to avoid any unpleasant surprises, you must plan a budget for its maintenance, the tax housing and property tax. "