Colmar, a lively, pleasant place to live...

The third largest town in Alsace, the second largest in the Upper Rhine, with almost 70,000 residents, Colmar is an important economic hub. Which doesn't prevent it from offering a remarkable life-style. As witnessed by the development of its tourist industry.

Colmar, a lively, pleasant place to live... - Theme_1580_1.jpg

In the Saint-Joseph neighbourhood, this bourgeois house of 250 m2 comes with a garden of 500 m2. 371.000 €. Contact Immo (03 89 24 42 40).

Benefiting from activities in the Rhineland, the most go-ahead area in Europe (and one of the liveliest in the world), Colmar is the economic driving-force behind Central Alsace. Endowed with modern infrastructures, it also enjoys the status of préfecture of the Upper Rhine, and plays host to the General Council. Even so, it offers a particularly pleasant life-style : on the famous "Route of the Wines of Alsace " (of which it has been the capital since the Middle Ages), the town itself also proposes lots of parks and gardens. Its centre is largely pedestrian, making it easy to visit its magnificent, typical architectural heritage. Not forgetting a surprising local micro-climate thanks to the presence of the Vosges, making Colmar one of the towns with lowest rainfall in France.

"These high-quality living conditions attract people working within a radius of up to 30-40 km, sometimes more, around the agglomeration : some of our clients, for example, travel back and forth to Basel in Switzerland, yet Mulhouse is much closer," says Valère Guedj, manager of Contact Immo, an agency based in the centre of Colmar since 1999, covering an area of up to 15 km around the town. In the case of apartments, most transactions concern properties ranging from 1,700 to 1,800 € per sq. metre ; one example of almost 70 m2 in excellent condition, close to the centre, recently sold for 110,000 €. "Small apartments are, in fact, in strong demand from a clientele wanting to propose furnished rentals to tourists by the week : a market that has seen a boom over the past 3 or 4 years." As for houses, those in residential areas to the south and in Les Maraîchers (south-east) range from 350,000 to 1 million euros, "while those in the neighbourhoods of Sainte-Marie and Saint-Joseph (west), pleasant but with fewer fans, are more affordable". Otherwise, town houses sell in the centre from 150,000 to 400,000 €. Buyers in search of building land have to go outside Colmar. "For instance, we are currently handling the sale of a plot of 1,050 m2 on the neighbouring commune of Horbourg-Wihr, priced at 209,000 €."

Thomas Missemer has been manager of ICA Immobilière Centre Alsace since 1996 : a family-run proximity agency with four branches in Obernai, Sélestat, Pfastatt (a commune in the suburbs of Mulhouse) and Colmar (in the town centre, close to the neighbourhood of La Petite Venise). For apartments in old buildings, he pegs the average price per sq. metre from 1,800 to 2,500 €. "In Sainte-Marie and Saint-Joseph, it ranges more from 1,500 to 1,800 €." In new residences, prices are rising "due to a lack of new developments and building land", giving 3,000 to 3,500 € per sqm. What about detached houses ? "In the area to the south and that of Les Maraîchers, they are usually prop­osed above 2,000 € per sqm., whereas those in Sainte-Marie and Saint-Joseph are on offer at lower prices." One of the agency's most recent sales was a house of 100 m2 in about 4,500 m2 of grounds with a pool, priced at 215,000 €. As for building plots, "they are very rare and thus relatively expensive : the few plots available in Les Maraîchers often exceed 30,000 € per 100 sq. metres". Prices which now lack stability, especially for older properties : "We have seen a decline of about 5 to 10 % which is not really reflected in the prices posted, but which be­comes more evident when a sale is under negotiation".

Back to contents Yann Cohignac
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