Mulhouse : a very affordable city

Once one of Europe's main industrial centres, Mulhouse, the second largest urban area in Alsace with over 100,000 inhabitants, is now confronted by economic hardship. Even so, the "town with 100 chimney stacks" has considerable assets and proposes a particularly appealing property market.

Mulhouse : a very affordable city  - Theme_1412_1.jpg

Located in Le Rebberg, this house of approx. 230 m2 offers lots of character, five bedrooms, two balconies, a study, garage, wine cellar and garden of 300 m2. 470.000 €. L'Immobilière du Château (03 89 66 55 44).

Long an independent city-state, Mulhouse became part of France in 1798, then becoming a major European industrial centre. Nicknamed "the French Manchester", the town experienced a spectacular and on-going boom thanks to the textile, chemicals, machinery and engineering industries, as well as mining. The two oil crises in 1973 and 1979 ultimately brought this exceptional dynamism to an end, though the town has managed to retain its industrial identity. As evidenced by its museums dedicated to automobiles (the world's largest), trains, and electrical energy (the largest in Europe). The "European capital of technical museums" has also retained its attractiveness : accommodating close on 40 % of the population in the Upper Rhine, its urban area can also lay claim to the highest proportion of youngsters in France.

As for Mulhouse's property market, it posts rather low prices. With one particular feature : "In large agglomerations the same size as Mulhouse, prices are defined per sq. metre in given neighbourhoods. Here, it's impossible. Prices of comparable apartments can vary substantially from one street to the next, even from one side of a street to the other," explain Anna Lorenzi and Martial Mouysset, joint managers of L'Immobilière du Château. The most popular type of property sought by their clients is a 3-bedroom apartment priced between 120,000 and 150,000 €, which at least gives an idea of current prices. Our estate-agents thus stress the excellent value for money available to buyers in an agglomeration which benefits from cross-border activity (Mulhouse is only 14 km from Germany, 30 km from Switzerland). The financial crunch has nevertheless affected their activity : "Sometimes, the lack of prospects even gives us the impression that we are really hard hit," they admit.

"In my opinion, we haven't seen the last of the crisis," agrees Rémy Koenig, CEO of Logiq'Immo. "Though we are less affected than Colmar or Saint-Louis, for example, as prices have always been relatively low in Mulhouse." His clientele is comprised of employees and workers, first-time buyers looking for apartments priced around 1,200 € per sq. metre, as well as executives drawn by the first ring around the town. "Le Rebberg, in particular, is very highly prized," says Rémy Koenig. This middle-class neighbourhood with lots of town mansions is on the hills just south of the town, beyond the railway line and straddling the chic communes of Riedisheim and Brunstatt. Here, the price per sq. metre is about 1,800 €.

Back to contents Yann Cohignac
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