The emergence of Covid 19, its accelerated growth and the strained lockdowns subjected to by urban dwellers have brought about a hike in property prices in Brittany.

When the first lockdown was imminent in France, Parisians and city dwellers fled to their holiday homes in Brittany. Packed high-speed TGV trains arrived from the Paris Montparnasse train station to Brittany. Bretons also saw a rise in the number of Parisian cars mainly in the coastal towns of the Morbihan department.

When summer arrived, Brittany remained one of the major destinations in France due to its low Covid numbers. Unlike Paris and large cities, the hospitality and tourism trade flourished in spite of the strict social distancing measures mandated by numerous Breton towns. People sought open spaces, the beaches and the countryside.

Keeping in mind that eradicating Covid 19 will not be an easy task, people are eager to leave their urban lifestyles behind in order to live in less populated areas. Brittany is a winner in this respect with high-speed TGV trains as commuting to the French capital from south western Brittany only takes 3 hours. Moreover, working from home has also been widely promoted by the French Government – another reason why properties in Brittany with high speed broadband are in demand.

Rental properties:

Property purchases and rentals are highly sought after, not only for coastal properties but also for those in the countryside. Airbnb has recently signed an agreement with the Association of Mayors in Rural France whereby they will jointly develop 15,000 additional tourist accommodation in France by end 2021. Training shall also be provided by Airbnb to future holiday home owners of the network in rural France. The aim of this partnership is geared towards the development of a long term economic model for rural areas and its inhabitants by offering a large variety of holiday lets which would in turn boost the economy in these regions.

Top end properties in the Morbihan departement are being sold by real estate agents within a few days and without any advertising. According to a property agent in Saint Brieuc, properties for sale which were normally on the market for 6 months are now being snapped up within 4 weeks. Saint Brieuc’s property market has finally become attractive. The President of the Regional Notarial Council, Damien Ruaud, mentioned that the municipal elections and Covid brought about a halt to new building projects. “There is a housing shortage in many towns”.

Moreover, scarcity of building materials has stalled construction projects mainly due to the repercussions of Covid restrictions which affected transport and the economy in general.

The property market in Brittany
Property type Average price (€/ m2) Increase (%)
Older apartments 2 730 10.5
New apartments 4 120 2.9
Older houses 190 000 8.6
Building land 55 000 6.2

(c) Conseil régional des notaires

Covid has changed the property market. People are now seeking spacious apartments and houses for their main residences and holiday homes. A good broadband connection is also a big criterion.

General Trends

Average Prices of Older Properties in Brittany

Departement Average Price (€) Increase (%)
Cotes d’Armor  145 000 7.4
Finistère 159 000 6.0
Morbihan 197 400 9.6
Ille et Vilaine 200 000 8.1
Loire Atlantique 245 400 9.1

(c) Conseil régional des notaires

Cities like Rennes, Nantes or Brest, as well as coastal areas are the most sought after. Prices there have soared over the year. It is not rare to note price hikes over 10 or even 15%:

10 % in La Baule, + 12 % in Roscoff, +13% in Pléneuf-Val-André, +15% in Concarneau and on the Presqu’Ile de Quiberon, +17 % in Crozon, +18 % in Trégastel, Pornic and Saint-Malo.

« The ideal product for numerous buyers is a property that is not too far from Paris and which enables people to work from home for two days during the week. Apartments in the centre of Rennes are in high demand”, according to Mr Damien Rauaud, Notary in Blain, in the Loire-Atlantique departement.

Who are these buyers?

Due to the Covid epidemic and the economic crisis, properties are now considered as security investments. “Parisians scrambling to purchase properties in Brittany is a stereotype”, according to Mr Damien Rauaud. “It is true that their budgets are much higher, but they only represent a third of home owners in Brittany’s coastal regions. Most property purchases are being undertaken by the locals.

According to Les Echos, a French financial newspaper, the number of Parisians buying properties in Brittany has increased by 7% in 2020.

Prices of Older Houses in Breton Cities

Average budgets per type of clients:

Location Parisians Bretons
Rennes city € 450 000 € 330 000
Nantes city € 402 400 € 304 500
Nantes suburbs € 355 000 € 260 000
Vannes region € 354 000 € 250 000
Brest region € 281 500 € 206 000
Rennes suburbs € 277 500 € 235 000
Saint Nazaire region € 257 500 € 175 000
Saint Brieuc region 248 000 € 160 000
Quimper region € 221 500 € 155 300
Lorient region € 217 000 € 187 500

(c) Conseil régional des notaires

Buyers in the 30s to 50s age group, essentially executives, are seeking to purchase their main residence or holiday home for the first time. It is a good time for them due to the exceptionally low interest rates.

This is where rural areas and Central Brittany are benefiting from a buoyant property market as can be seen in the chart below.

According to Les Echos, 17% of the buyers are top ranking executives who own properties in Brittany for 11 years and 9 months on the average.

Price Increases for Older Houses in Medium-Sized Towns and Rural Areas:



Rostrenen region (22) € 75 000 18.1 %
Ploërmel region (56) € 105 000 17.6 %
Coglais region (35) € 105 000 16.7 %
Redon region (35) € 120 300 14.0 %
Loudéac region (22) € 110 000 10.0 %
Chateaubriant region (44) € 107 500 6.4 %
Pontivy region (56) € 120 000 4.3 %
Caulnes region (22) € 83 000 3.8 %
Central Finistère region (29) € 81 000 2.5 %
Gourin region (22) € 85 000 1.2 %

(c) Conseil régional des notaires

To conclude, the President of the Regional Notarial Council stated that « Brittany remains very attractive price-wise compared to other regions. The property market is very diverse and inspires confidence for the years to come”.

Interested in purchasing a property in Brittany? Properties for sale are getting scarce. Contact me for advice, administrative assistance and translation services during the purchasing process.

Sources: France-3 Bretagne article dated 16/04/21, Airbnb article dated 14/4/21, Tweet by AMRF dated 14/4/21, FranceInfo dated 17/4/21, Les Echos article dated 20/04/21.