“ They say of us that we are the Neuilly de Vendôme “, laughs Albert Pigoreau, mayor of Villiers-sur-Loir (Loir-et-Cher), 1,130 inhabitants, and still a fan of door-to-door when it comes to distributing the municipal gazette. His village is an eight-minute drive from a TGV station that was commissioned thirty years ago. From there, travelers can get to Gare Montparnasse eleven times a day, in forty-four minutes. “ There was a first wave thirty years ago, which led to a rise in prices and a scarcity of goods. The Covid brought us a second salvo of Ile-de-France residents … It’s hard to complain: we are on the verge of opening a new class for primary school. “
“The Parisians move away from the station, but on condition that it is a beautiful building, a crush with a lot of character”, remarks Prisca Bruel, notary in Tours
The garage sales of Villiers-sur-Loir are famous throughout Vendômois: there are a plethora of almost new toys. As for the food shops gathered in front of the town hall, they are successful, especially around 7 pm, when the Parisians return. Among the new residents is the chief brand officer (“Brand manager”) of a communications agency that traded an 80 square meter property in Nanterre for a superb 320 square meter farmhouse. “ I am warning you, I have already been interviewed many times ”, he says.
Behind the beautiful story of Ile-de-France residents in search of a new quality of life hides the less brilliant story of locals who no longer know how or where to settle. “ All the young workers, the little country boys who hit 1,400 to 1,700 bullets, they get knocked out “, summarizes Romain Aubry, the owner of Coteaux du Loir, the PMU bar in the village.
Prisca Bruel, notary in Tours, opened her office in the village in 2020. “ And we already have nothing more to offer, she emphasizes. So Parisians move away from the station, but on condition that it is a beautiful building, a crush with a lot of character. “ Until copying the first-time buyers from Vendôme who fell back on Lunay, Mazangé or even Montoire-sur-le-Loir, 18 kilometers away: “ We still remain on low prices, around 100,000 euros, with the garden of course. These are the property of retirees who die or go home [de repos], and it sells very quickly. “
“No room for negotiation”
In less than a year, Mazangé, 900 inhabitants, lost its two grocery stores and its century-old butcher’s shop, after retiring without any buyers. In rue Marceau, all that’s left is the Café du midi, where the elders sip their kir. “ I nevertheless found a farm to renovate for my retirement ”, explains a Breton at the counter, installed for three months. “On the other hand, there was no room for negotiation. “ The town hall confirms it: “ With the Covid effect, the sale of old houses to be restored, which have been uninhabited for several years, is mainly sold. “
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