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Eight key takeaways from French study into second homes in Brittany

From the number of owners resident abroad to the size of the properties, we look at the most interesting findings

Most second homes in Brittany are owned by Bretons Pic: Armando Oliveira / Shutterstock

France’s national statistics agency Insee has published a new study into second homes in Brittany and their owners.

Here are the most interesting findings:

1. Brittany is the French region with the fourth-highest percentage of second homes

Second homes represent 12% of all residences in Brittany (Bretagne), according to Insee, compared to 9% across the rest of France.
This means Brittany is the region with the fourth highest percentage of second homes after Corse, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Occitanie.

2. The majority of second-home owners come from Brittany

A majority of the owners of second homes in Brittany come from the region (43%) or the neighbouring Pays de la Loire (8%).
But Brittany’s figure is much lower than in the Grand Est or Hauts-de-France regions, where 72% and 70% of second homes, respectively, are owned by inhabitants of the region.
It is more in line with neighbouring regions, such as Pays de la Loire, where 48% of second homes are owned by locals, and Normandy (Normandie), 36%.

Read also: Second home in Brittany sprayed with nationalist graffiti

3. Most foreign second-home owners in Brittany are residents of Britain

Around 7% of second homes in Brittany are owned by people living abroad. That is lower than France’s overall figure of 10%.

Britons (53%) are by far the biggest group of foreign second-home owners. Around 12% are residents of Germany. 

4. Majority of second homes in Brittany were built before 1945

The study also showed that most second homes in Brittany are “old”, with 40% built before 1945, 33% between 1946 and 1984 and 10% “recently” (between 2005 and 2019). 

As a rule, homes more than two kilometres from the coast are more likely to have been built before the end of World War II.

5. Two-thirds of second homes in Brittany are within two kilometres of the coast

The attraction of having a second home near the coast is clear from the statistics. 

Insee said 65% of second homes in Brittany are located fewer than two kilometres from the coast. 

If you reduce the distance to 500 metres, it is 40%. That is more than neighbouring region Pays de la Loire (37%). It is also higher than Corsica (34%) and Normandy (30%)

Meanwhile, two-thirds of second homes built in Brittany since 2005 are situated under two kilometres from the coast. 

Read also: Five French Channel Islands you may never have heard of

6. One-in-five have owned their second homes for at least 20 years

Second homeowners in Brittany usually only own one second home, however, 13% own two or more, compared to 15% across France. 

Meanwhile, more than half (53%) of second homeowners have owned the same property for under 10 years. This proportion drops to 34% for those owning homes for fewer than five and to 19% for those who have owned their second homes for at least 20 years.

7. Majority of second homes in Brittany are houses

The vast majority, 76%, of second homes in Brittany are houses, with flats making up the other 24%.

This is higher than the national average of 56%

Two-thirds of second homes built under 500m from the coast are houses. This proportion rises to 80% between 500m and two kilometres from the shore.

8. A third of second homes in Brittany are classed as big

In Brittany, 31% of second homes have a living area of more than 100m2, compared to 23% across the rest of France, outside of the Paris region.

Similarly, 45% of second homes in Brittany have more than six rooms, compared to 33% nationally.

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