Immovable. Medium-sized cities are able to regain their appeal

The attractiveness of medium-sized towns that benefit from the Action Coeur de Ville programme is once again evident.

Immovable. Medium-sized cities are able to regain their appeal

The attractiveness of medium-sized towns that benefit from the Action Coeur de Ville programme is once again evident. Real estate sales have increased 17% and 20% respectively since the 2018 launch of the program, when we consider the surrounding agglomerations. These are the results of the "barometer of real estate in medium-sized cities", published by the High Council of Notaries, and the National Agency for Territorial Cohesion on Tuesday. 200 cities were examined, except for Ile-de-France or Mayotte.

Nicolas Rio, consultant in territorial cooper says that the decline in attractiveness of medium-sized urban areas was due to two processes: the rise of metropolises economically and the devitalization medium-sized city with deindustrialization. The limitation of public employment and deindustrialization in prefectural municipalities.

The increase in sales does not occur uniformly across the territory. Between 2018 and 2019, 15 cities saw a decline in their sales volume. Those experiencing the most significant declines are located in the Grand-Est (Vitry-le-Francois, Haguenau, Colmar and Guebwiller), in Guadeloupe (Basse-Terre, les Abymes) and in Guyana (Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni).

Between 2020 and 2021, the market was especially dynamic. Real estate sales in medium-sized cities increased by 12% between those dates. Nicolas Rio comments, "It's a situational as well as general development that has been accelerated due to the health crisis. The saturation of public facilities and metropolises has led to a revival in medium-sized cities.

Action Coeur de Ville is a public investment program that aims to preserve or develop residential and commercial functions in the middle of medium-sized cities. Its objective is to increase their attractiveness by "restoring dynamism to small towns, through the renovation of public buildings, pedestrianization of some spaces...," says the consultant.

This renewed appeal is not necessarily a sign of better accessibility. The increase in sales in 137 cities was accompanied by an increase in prices. Old houses saw 16.6% increase, and old apartments saw 15% increase. The study's authors stated that the average house and apartment price in Action Coeur de Ville centers cities was lower than in the rest.

"What is clear from projects under the Action Coeur de Ville Program is that cities want young, dynamic executives with children. These profiles are the most in dire need of medium-sized town access. Their arrival is likely to cause harm to the public, whether it be young workers, retirees or families living in the periurban area. asks Nicolas Rio.

The commercial vacancy in these cities is another major problem that has impacted their renewed appeal. Nicolas Rio believes that it is necessary to make use of this commercial potential in order to meet new needs. This could be done through the creation coworking spaces, or associative places, to "create a connection" between old and new residents.

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