Build yourself a French home - at just one euro per square metre

As one French village sells building plots off for a song, could it be time to snap up French property?

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Champ-du-Boult

A village in Normandy is hoping to breathe new life into the area, by offering four building plots for just one euro per square metre (which is roughly 71p at the moment). The plots are all between 900 and 1,000 square metres - so will come in at £710 at the most.

Champ-du-Boult has a population of 338 people, and needs more residents in order to generate more wealth for the area - and for the local council. Patrick Madeleine, the mayor of this costal village, told the Daily Telegraph that the land had been on the market for 12 euros per square metre, but had no takers, so the price has been reduced dramatically to generate more interest. He has already received 100 enquiries about the land - around four of which had come from UK buyers.

However, there's bad news for anyone hoping to build themselves a holiday home. A quarter of the village is already owned by Brits, and a third of these are holiday homes, so the mayor will not being accepting any purchases from people who don't intend to live there full time. He told the newspaper he won't discriminate by nationality, but will favour families with children.

The good news is that there are still plenty of bargains available in Normandy, for those wanting to snap up a cheap holiday property. Prices have fallen around 45% since the onset of the financial crisis, and the falls in the euro have persuaded many people to go house hunting in France.

Cheap properties

Building a property in Champ-du-Boult would eventually cost around 195,000 euros. For that kind of money, there are an enormous number of properties on the market. Rightmove is advertising a 4-bedroom 19th century property just outside St Lo, which has recently been completely refurbished. Alternatively, there's a 3-bedroom traditional stone house in Calvados, which has been relatively recently renovated, and is ready to move into.

There are plenty of good holiday homes for far less than this too. There are any number of complete renovation projects from around 30,000 euros. Rightmove also has a 2-bedroom house in the centre of Barenton in good condition for just 54,000 euros, and a 2-bedroom cottage in Champsecret for 56,000 euros.

Both have none of the bother of renovation, and are ready to use as a holiday home immediately - for less than £40,000. Of course, the gamble you are taking is that the French property market is not going to fall further.

Prices fell on average 2.8% last year, but regional variations meant that in some areas, prices dropped as much as 7%. The analysts are predicting further falls this year, so there's a chance that if you snap up a cheap property, it could feel like much less of a bargain in 12 months time.


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