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Flexible working brings out the best in Bordeaux

27.06.22

Famous around the world for its fine wines, Bordeaux is one of those small cities to gain from changing work patterns during the pandemic. A sophisticated city close to the southwest coast of France, it has been profiting as much from its high-speed two-hour TGV connection to Paris as its prestigious vintages.

The city’s geographical location, its climate and manageable size have long been savoured by the Bordelais but remote working patterns have made it much more of a practical option for others, says Simon Liddiard of Leggett Immobilier. “Before the pandemic, it has been popular for Parisians to move to Bordeaux, but international buyers have been looking at the city afresh too – mainly British, Americans and Australians.”

He says that they might be weighing up other very liveable cities such as Toulouse, Nantes or Lyon yet proximity to the sea is a big part of the pull. And so it was for wedding photographer Emilie White and her husband Hamish, a telecomms entrepreneur, moving to the city from London this month. The couple, with two young children, have bought an art deco style townhouse in the city centre, handy for le marché.

“As an Australian, Hamish loved the idea of living by the ocean, but the international school was an attraction too,” says Emilie, who’s French. “For my work assignments, the airport and TGV are only 20 minutes away, and Hamish will split his time between home and London.  Hybrid working is not new for him, just more well established now.”

It has been a typical trend that one of a couple moving to Bordeaux might need to give up their job, but teleworking means that is no longer the ‘necessary compromise’, adds Brad Turner, of Leggett’s Bordeaux team. ‘But within Bordeaux itself, the start-up scene and aerospace industries are creating jobs too.”

Property prices are also lower than Paris, with plenty of homes at €5,000-6,000 per sq m, rather than the capital’s average of around €10,000. “Prices in Bordeaux have been increasing, the popular request for a four-bedroom family house with a garden for €800,000 to €1m means that they can sell very quickly.”

This impressive 11 bedroom chateau, priced at 4,410,000€ is 17 kms from the centre of Bordeaux.

A 10 minute drive out takes you to this contemporary 5 bedroom villa with wonderful views, studio, pool and garage, on for 2,392,000€

Within Bordeaux, popular areas include the chic district of Les Chartrons with its bistros and antique shops; bourgeois and family-centric, and Fondaudège – within an easy bike or tram ride of the centre.

Buyers seeking detached homes at lower price points are also looking 40km east of the city to Libourne, a pretty bastide town near Saint-Émilion that is only 25 minutes by suburban train into Bordeaux (but also with its own TGV station). There’s a beautiful 5 bedroom mill with a swimming pool for sale there for €749,000.

You need to be quick off the mark, as one house that sold in Libourne in under a week was a 4 bedroom loft-style house with garage and terrace for €636,000.

The pretty villages of Beautiran, Langon and La Brede southeast of the city are also attracting interest.

“Keep an eye on the new train lines to see where prices might rise – especially north and south of Bordeaux where a new suburban metro line is planned for 2028,” tips Simon Liddiard.  With interest rates remaining low in France, it's still a good time to invest in locations likely to mature favourably whilst enjoying flexible ways of working.

https://www.leggettprestige.com/

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