The historic centre of Rennes
In the 2nd century A.D., when the area was under Gallo-Roman domination, Rennes already gave signs of being a lively locality. Situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ille and Vilaine, the town developed within its walls until the 15th century. 400 years later, it is still the capital of the region. And it continues to preserve its attractive old centre.
This 3-bedroom apartment benefits from an ideal location. 364.100 €. Avis Immobilier (02 99 79 13 13).
The historic capital of the Duchy of Brittany, also serving as the prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine, is home to 207,180 people, and 671,845 in its greater urban area. In 2011, it was ranked first in the ratings of communes in the provinces for the production of wealth per inhabitant. The following year, L'Express designated Rennes as the most pleasant town in France. It plays host to the General Council, the hospital centre and the campuses of Beaulieu and Villejean. The station is all set to benefit from a facelift on the occasion of the introduction of the LGV Bretagne-Pays de Loire service in 2016.
"The historic centre is always in demand, though it is having to deal with a complex situation," warns Elisabeth Lumineau of the Agence du Palais. "All the old half-timbered houses built in the 18th and 19th centuries are in need of rehabilitation, which means considerable expenditure for buyers. If it is not mentioned in the proceedings, nothing prevents it from being decided in the months following the acquisition." Work carried out prior to a sale inevitably has an effect on the price. The estate-agent must be fully informed, and enlighten the client on this special aspect of the market for properties in the historic centre. Likewise, he or she has to make sellers understand that the only consequence of over-pricing is a longer wait before the property actually sells. Recently, a 1-bedroom apartment of 48 m2 to renovate found a taker at 98,000 €. Once renovated, the same property will be worth close on 130,000 €, while a so-called family apartment of 100 m2 in good condition will be priced around 285,000 €. 1-bedroom apartments meet with some demand from parents needing to house their student children or from young employees looking for a home of character. As for large surface areas in the old town, they do not account for more than 20 % of total transactions.
Jean-Yves Pincemin of Avis Immobilier, responsible for five agencies in the greater urban area of Rennes, confirms the general mistrust of timberframe buildings. "Currently, an apartment of 130 m2 in need of rehabilitation is on offer at 350,000 €. Renovation of the rear facade, which is really suffering, could cost 800,000 €, of which 10 %, ie. 80,000 €, would be borne by the owner. A sum which must necessaily be added to the sales price. The condition of a co-owned property is clearly an important topic." This real-estate expert points out that 85 % of properties which have undergone a survey change hands within a latitude of 3 %. Only those corresponding to current market prices leave the files. The price per sq. metre, which had exceeded 3,000 € in the centre, has now dropped to 2,600-2,800 €. A few exceptions remain, such as a split-level 1-bedroom apartment with quality appointments in a building in perfect condition, 200 metres from the République metro station, the nerve centre of public transport in Rennes, priced at 110,000 €.