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INVESTMENT

These are the 10 ‘best’ cities in France to buy a property

Here are the smartest options if you're looking to buy a property in France, according to a new survey.

These are the 10 'best' cities in France to buy a property
Rennes in western France. Photo: Sokoljan/WikiCommons

With rising housing prices in France, those wanting to get on the property ladder should be quick about it.

A ranking of the top ten French cities in which to invest, released Wednesday, offers some idea of where is best to entrust your hard-earned cash in the real estate market.

The ranking, released by French real estate ad publishers Explorimmo and Explorimmoneuf, was based on factors including demographic change, the jobs market, the presence of a university, as well as the comparative price of renting a studio.

Western France's Rennes outstrips all other contenders as the number one place to buy property. The lucrative market there is largely thanks to the high demand for rented accommodation from the many students who attend Rennes University.

Meanwhile, prices there are less volatile, at €2,500 per square metre (compared to €8,500 in Paris). 

Rennes offers plenty of business opportunities, includes a thriving new business district and a smoothly running transport system. Its metro system allows travel within the town, and by July this year, a high speed train will provide even quicker access to Paris.

What's more, the western city topped The Local's own rankings of the “best city in France for expats to live”.

At second on the list, Bordeaux in western France was also noted as a hotspot thanks to the new train line which has slashed the journey time to Paris to just two hours. 

The average Bordeaux home sells for €3,250 per square metre.

 
 
Third place went to Montpellier in the south, where homes range from €2,500 to €3,700 depending on their age. The city's booming Port Marianne area to the south west was noted as being particularly attractive. 
 

Nantes has been a bit of a dark horse when it comes to French cities, but by 2016, it seems that people had cottoned on to Nantes' reputation as a great place to work. It was reported that 7,500 people were moving to Nantes every year.

And businesses are too. According to the local development agency 2016 was a record year for companies relocating to Nantes. Out of the 86 firms that moved into the area, which will help create 1,400 jobs, a third had upped sticks from Paris.

The full list of the best cities in France to invest in property. Click on the top three for more information.

1. Rennes

2. Bordeaux

3. Montpellier

4. Nantes

5. Lyon

6. Lille

7. Strasbourg

8. Nîmes

9. Grenoble

10. Toulouse

SYRIA

French group to open two hotels in Damascus

France's Louvre Hotels Group has signed an agreement to open two hotels under its own name in Damascus, the first with a western hotel operator since Syria's brutal civil war began in 2011.

French group to open two hotels in Damascus
Louvre owns the Golden Tulip five-star brand. Photo: Louvre Hotels Group
The confirmation of the two hotels opening, after recent media reports, came a day after the UN announced an internal investigation into the bombing of hospitals in Syria, and as at least six civilians were killed by the Syrian regime and Russian fire in northwestern Idlib province in the past days, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
 
The region of around three million people, many of them displaced by fighting in other areas, is one of the last holdouts of opposition fighting against the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
   
The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham alliance led by Al-Qaeda's former Syria affiliate controls most of Idlib as well as parts of neighbouring Aleppo and Latakia provinces.
   
The hotels “will open soon under the brand name of Louvres Hotels Group,” the company, which is owned by China's Jin
Jiang, said in a statement.
 
Louvre Hotels Group said the deal was signed between Syria's Nazha Investment Group and “a partner with whom Louvre Hotels cooperates in the Middle East”.
   
The exact number of people killed in Syria's war is unknown but hundreds of thousands have died.
   
Several dozen medical facilities with links to the UN have been damaged or destroyed by bombs this year. Russian has denied deliberately targeting civilian installations.
   
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday said an internal inquiry would look into the bombing of hospitals in Syria which had previously flagged their coordinates to avoid air strikes.
   
“The deal is strictly in line with international law and all international directives regarding Syria,” the French company statement said.
   
According to the website, The Syria Report, it is the first agreement with a western hotel operator since 2011, when the devastating conflict began. Louvre Hotels Group was taken over by China's Jin Jiang in 2015 and it operates more than 1,500 hotels in 54 countries.
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