More new buildings than bargains in the rich Isère

Capital of department 38: Grenoble

Main towns: Saint-Martin-d’Hères, Echirolles, Vienne, Bourgoin-Jallieu, Voiron

Former province of Dauphiné, Isère has the sprawling conurbation of Grenoble as its capital, with its 450,000 inhabitants, which makes it the largest Alpine city.

Coldest city in France

Grenoble is surrounded by four mountain ranges (the Vercors, the Chartreuse, the Taillefer and Belledonne) and has the reputation of being the coldest city in France in winter, while enjoying summers of 30°C most days. years.

Read more: MAP: Which French city receives the most rain? (Hint: it’s not in Brittany)

The towns of Isère are among the wealthiest in France, with many high-tech industries, universities, agriculture and tourism that keep the population in work and attract well-educated incomes.

Property speculators are targeting this market: advertisements for houses to be built on land near Grenoble are numerous, with prices ranging between €250,000 and €300,000 for a 100 m² property with a small garden.

Less than €100,000

There are few bargains to be had below €50,000 – perhaps small village houses in more isolated parts in need of full restoration, but most listings at this level are for life investment properties.

In the range of €50,000 to €100,000, life investment still predominates, but you’re starting to have a few old farmhouses, with barns in need of restoration – most with steeply pitched roofs to cope with winter snow.

Transport links

On the transport side, Grenoble has three motorways to the northwest, northeast and south, with good departmental roads winding through the hills in other directions.

TGVs go direct to Marseille, Lille and Nantes, while passengers bound for Paris usually take TER trains to Lyon first.

The main airport near Grenoble gets a boost each winter with low-cost airlines bringing mainly British ski holidaymakers.

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