London commuters head for Lille

With the launch of the new Eurostar station at St Pancras, the French city of Lille may turn out to be a good property investment area. The high speed line between the two countries sees central London just an 80 minute journey away from Lille making it within commuter distance – and it’s a journey that some Londoners may be prepared to take. London transport at rush hour is well-known for being fairly horrendous – overcrowded trains, cramped tubes and grid-locked roads – all of which make the Eurostar journey look highly civilized and very tempting.

Prices in Lille are also a far cry from the heady heights of London pricing – a basic studio apartment will set you back around 85,000 Euros (£60,000) with a one-bedroomed flat looking likely to cost around the 110,000 Euro mark.

And it’s not just the high speed link to London that Brits love – Lille is very close to the coast and just an hour from Paris via the high speed TGV. Many Brits prefer the old town – Vieux Lille – because it is near to the train station and the prices here reflect the popularity of the area.

If you are looking for a high-end luxury property, expect to pay around 3,300 Euros per square metre – this is actually a very good price with Paris coming in around 12,000 Euros per square meter, and Brussels around 4,250 Euros.

Lille has plenty going for it – narrow cobbled streets and dainty shops are flanked by tall, elegant townhouses with metal balconies and wooden shutters. There is, however, a shortage of space so you will be hard pressed to find a new-build property. The Carre Royal is one of the precious few new build developments and, when completed in 2009, will feature 196 flats and houses, many of which will come with their own gardens. Prices start from around 180,00 Euros for a studio flat with a four bed property setting you back around 500,000 Euros. As new build properties are so few and far between, these properties are definitely worth a second look.

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  1. From Property Roadmap » Some London commuters live in Lille | Dec 12, 2007

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