Why the Covid has made Eure-et-Loir a hotspot for buyers

Departmental capital: Chartres

Main cities/towns: Dreux, Lucé, Châteaudun, Vernouillet, Nogent-le-Rotrou, Mainvilliers

Eure-et-Loir takes its name from the two rivers that cross the department – the Eure, which runs northwest to join the Seine near Rouen in Normandy, and the Loir (without ‘e’), which heads south-west to join its big sister, the Loire (with an ‘e’) near Angers. Separating the two is a low watershed, rising to about 200 m.

Generally speaking, the two sides of the watershed present different landscapes. The north-east is mostly flat, with wheat fields stretching to the horizon, hence the name “Paris breadbasket”, while the south-west is made up of hills and valleys . Wind turbines are everywhere but especially along the ridges separating the valleys to the south.

The prefecture, Chartres, with its world famous cathedral, is centrally located. It is only a 90km drive from Paris but appears to be a bustling and important provincial town in its own right. The main transport axes, the A11 motorway and the TER trains serving Paris, all pass by or via Chartres.

Eure-et-Loir saw a 141% increase in property queries in June last year, mostly from wealthy Parisian families looking for more space after lockdowns. Whether this will result in more second homes remains to be seen. Indeed, between 7% and 10% of houses are classified as such.

There are few properties in the department below €170,000, with most around the €200,000 mark, and those over €400,000 are not uncommon. Demand is strong, the department is booming, with both the “Cosmetic Valley” around Chartres (specializing in the production and packaging of perfumes) and the “Polepharma” (pharmaceutical production) offering many skilled and well paid.

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