Le Tarn-et-Garonne : one "département", several different markets
It owes its name quite simply to the River Garonne and its tributary, Le Tarn. Bordered by Le Lot, L'Aveyron, La Haute-Garonne, Le Gers and Le Lot-et-Garonne, this "département" in the Midi-Pyrénées region is above all agricultural. And offers a diverse property market.
In Montauban, this "Toulousaine" of 220 m2 comes with an independent apartment, all opening out to a garden of approx. 700 m2. 239.000 €. L'Adresse (05 63 91 62 62).
The second most important activity zone in the Midi-Pyrénées, with 4,200 companies providing some 35,000 jobs, Montauban is listed as a town of art and history. Ingres was born here and a museum bearing his name displays some of his works together with paintings by Bourdelle. A go-ahead town experiencing a boom, Montauban has 57,969 inhabitants housed in several distinct neighbourhoods. The most highly-prized include those near the
centre, Beausoleil, Saint-Michel and Le Rond. They offer houses with "toulousaines" (a corridor leading to the various rooms) and gardens at the rear. In Saint-Michel, an attractive bourgeois house of 180 m2 in a park of over 1,000 m2 just found a buyer at 405,000 €. Another home of 200 m2, this time with refurbishment on the programme, in grounds of 1,500 m2, sold for 390,000 €. Senior executives and self-employed professionals are drawn here by the proximity of clinics and fast access to the ring-roads. A little further out, Le Rond is neverthess popular ; a terraced house of 140 m2 with a garden of 200 m2 costs 211,000 €. The heart of town with its Place Nationale, very close to the Ingres Museum, Place des Fontaines and pedestrian zone, has been treated to a flattering facelift. Car-parks have been built, the municipality has participated in renovation of facades, neighbourhood police are backed up by cameras. As a result, the town centre has been endowed with appealing shops, the main square is once again a pleasant spot with inviting bistros. First-time buyers are keen to find homes here ; an attractively refurbished apartment of 98 m2 recently sold for 155,000 €. Investors also show an interest, as rental demand is high in this part of town. Recently, one such client was fortunate enough to find a building consisting of 5 apartments and a shop, giving a total surface area of 370 m2, for 370,000 €.
Sopiac has a major disadvantage, in that it is subject to flooding ; the construction of dykes has, however, provided reassurance, and it is within walking distance of the centre. The houses with their gardens are attractive, and appeal to families. They pay 210,000 € for a home of 138 m2 with a garden of 750 m2, or 214,500 € for a house of 286 m2 with grounds of 1,412 m2. Villebourbon is a village within the town, with shops, primary and intermediate schools, close to the train station. A house of 168 m2 in need of renovation with a garden of 146 m2 was recently acquired here for 114,500 € by a couple with children. Then there are residential areas suiting senior managers, self-employed professionals, surgeons etc. 5 km from the town centre, at the very top of Montauban, one finds Le Fau Vignarnaud, offering a charming view of the Pyrenees. A desirable property here costs 350,000 €. In Carreyrat and Saint-Martial, the houses are more recent, the gardens of medium size. A house of 150 m2, designed by an architect, with grounds of 5,000 m2, found a taker at 315,000 €. North of Montauban, near the ring-roads and new shopping malls, Fontneuve offers estates freshly risen from the ground ; 222,000 € will bring a house of 150 m2 with a garden of 1,000 m2. "Montauban holds lots of promise ; it ranks second after Toulouse in terms of growth," comments Christian Molinari of L'Adresse. The town has just inaugurated its 18-hole golf-course, and by the end of 2018, the NGV station will put Paris less than 3 hours away. All positive factors to look forward to.
To the south of Le Tarn-et-Garonne, one comes across a multitude of villages, some larger than others, such as Verdun-sur-Garonne, Grisolles, Finhan and Bessens. The first two offer a certain charm and all amenities essential for modern living ; shops, primary schools and even an intermediate school in the case of Grisolles. For a village house of 100 m2 with renovation on the cards and a small outdoor area, one needs a modest budget of 90,000 €. The type of home likely to be snapped up by first-time buyers. "You can also find houses of style and character, whose prices can rise quite high," says Thierry Giner of Atout Immobilier. As, for example, a rather exceptional bourgeois house of 380 m2 with a garden of 635 m2 and swimming pool, on offer at 590,000 €. This area also proposes fairly recent houses. Two years ago, a residence of character in grounds of 1,000 m2 with a pool sold for 420,000 € + 200,000 € in renovation work. Beaumont de Lomagne, with its semi-fortified church surveying the village, witnessed a property boom in 2005/2006. The distance separating it from Blagnac (a 45-minute car ride) and the price of petrol now act as a brake on transactions. Properties are available, with large surface areas and generous grounds, already renovated (around 400,000 €) or awaiting restoration (from 180,000 €), though supply clearly outstrips demand.
To the north and north-west of the "département", Moissac and Le Quercy have all the attractions to draw a foreign clientele. Moissac plays on eclecticism. Army personnel rub shoulders with retirees, investors and a few north Europeans. The first target houses priced from 200,000 to 300,000 €, depending on their income. Retirees opt for houses in the town centre with gardens and garages (300,000 € for 300 m2, with renovation requiring a further 100,000 €). The most well-off set their sights on private mansions priced around 550,000 € plus the cost of renovation. The hyper-centre proposes a rare property : a very lovely house of 400 m2, renovated throughout by "compagnons" (local craftsmen), with a swimming pool, up for sale at 700,000 €. Investors are looking for houses at 90,000 € which they will rent out for 550 € per month. "Dutch and Belgian clients are keen to acquire substantial properties which they sometimes transform into guest-houses," says Maïté Marty of Saint-Pierre Immobilier. At the entrance to Moissac, a property of about 39.5 acres with a main residence and outbuildings in need of refurbishment recently sold for 210,000 €. In Bourg de Visa, in the lower part of Le Quercy, an attractively restored stone house with grounds of 2,000 m2 and a pool was a real find for its new owner, who paid 350,000 €. Generally, for this type of property, estate agents say that buyers pay cash, and that their acquisitions are likely to become guest-houses or offer furnished accommodation for tourists.
While Montauban, the most privileged address in the "département", can look forward to a rosy future, people in the rest of Le Tarn-et-Garonne are waiting for the new government's first reforms before beginning to celebrate.