The enduring popularity of the French farmhouse


According to the latest Savills research in the UK, “buyers are feeling more positive about renovating houses and are again on the look out for big projects to do”. Couples in their forties are apparently the biggest spenders, and 82 per cent of them are keen to take on work in order to create their dream home and add value to a property.

The survey, which ranked popular house types in order of preference, also showed that the farmhouse has outstripped the manor house and the cottage to take the number one spot as Britain’s most desired type of property.

According to the report, “farmhouses have a comforting feel, they offer better value and more space with lots of potential to use the outbuildings as offices or holiday lets. Everyone wants a big farmhouse kitchen and a home which is flexible, informal and comfortable.”

Which makes me think that the French property market is about to experience a housing boom or certainly in this part of the Midi-Pyrénées where we have more than our fair share of lovely, stone farmhouses with outbuildings, many of which would make fantastic renovation projects. There was a drift away from these in the last few years with buyers looking for smaller, renovated village properties but it appears that certainly the British love affair with stone farmhouses is far from over.

These are the figures which came out of the report:


The Farmhouse

  • Desired by 27% of buyers
  • Believed by 12% to offer growth in next five years
  • 54% think it has most potential to add value
  • The informality, the stone flagged floors, the jumble of barns and stables, the sense of working history, all make the farmhouse number one
  • It offers better value than a manor house, especially a renovation
  • Renovating means the chance to incorporate modern luxury within original features and character.

In the UK the average price of a farmhouse is between £500,000 and £2 million. Here is the foothills, a farmhouse for renovation starts at around the 100,000 Euros mark, and what’s more, you are likely to get substantially more land and woodland, you might well get mountain views, planning permission to convert outbuildings will be easier to obtain and you will get a great deal more sunshine. I know where I would choose to buy my farmhouse….

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