Avoiding villages full of residences secondaires

Is there an easy way of establishing the proportion of houses in a commune which are residences secondaires? Obviously this is with a view to avoiding villages which empty over the low season. Failing that, is there a difficult way, like finding the number of houses and comparing it with the number of registered voters?

Try eg http://www.map-france.com/Malansac-56220/housing-Malansac.html

Which tells us that in 2007 Malansac had 858 primary residences and 186 2nd homes.

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Hi Stevie,
Try this… https://www.globalmapsolution.com/infos/carte?mapid=354 you can zoom in to any part of France.


I find it an odd way to look for a home. Most of rural France is quiet apart from the summer months even those with next to zero residences secondaires.

Each to their own I suppose. We were surprised by how many Brits live or have 2nd homes in the village where our house is located (we’d have bought anyway, we liked the house).

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There’s a difference between a village being quiet (something we’re familiar with) and one which is half-empty.

But thanks, Tracey and Paul, for your helpful responses.

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Another thing to look at is the schools (and school buses). We didn’t want to live in a village that was just full of remnants - even if they were here full time. So were pleased with this village - only 60 people but 5 families with little kids, and several with bigger kids.

Drive through most villages in the summer and with most shutters closed they all look like ghost towns!

Yep @JaneJones - my mental list is school, pharmacie, bar, shop. I would want a place with a future.

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This was exactly my list and I am in a vibrant village of about 900, lots going on, even in the winter with a very active association. There are holiday houses but not a huge number and it is nice in summer to see the familiar faces upping the population when many others are off on holiday!

Then you need a population of 1000+ and to be a good half an hour away from anywhere bigger, because that is the recipe for having a collège.
As for résidences secondaires you could ask at the mairie.

But then for me the joy of being in a around the 1000 village is it is big enough to be fab and have people to make friends with etc but we are only 15-20 minutes from about 5 or 6 bigger towns which for me is best of both worlds.

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Ask the neighbours, if you can find any, or the local mairie of the commune in question.

I learnt something new about my area, which I had suspected for a while, but very useful site :+1:

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Yeah, I thought so too, thanks Alex.

We live in a hamlet of 9 houses only one is a holiday home. It would be very bleak and desolate if the others were holiday homes and shuttered up during the winter. We specifically bought this house because we wanted to be in the country with neighbors so it’s a very valid consideration when house hunting.

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I wonder how accurate that is? For the communes I know well, like our own and the one next door which are both tiny, it is giving odd results. In our commune since there is only one second home it is giving far too big a percentage if logement occasional means holiday homes, and far too small if it means rental properties.

The other useful stats to look at are the results of the last election where you can find out how many of your potential neighbours voted FN.

And geoportail is great too, you can find oit all sorts of things including whether your income is similar to that of your potential neighbours…

I always try and visit any property that I am seriously looking at on several days, at different times of the day, to establish how busy the roads are,for example is the quiet road at 10 in the morning a local rat run earlier in the day. Or is the quiet house in August on the flight path to an Air Force base, which shuts down for leave in August! The only sure way is to visit the area in winter and have a look round. Caveat Emptor.


Couldn’t agree more Simon. I came out in early March, cold, fairly miserable weather and visited what was a lovely village. Everything shut. Someone up a ladder painting the front of the restaurant. The estate agent told me how much I would love it- the village was “full of artists”. Needless to say, we didn’t buy there.
I did find our house on that same trip. Met the estate agent in the local town, had lunch with her in a pizza/pasta/salad buffet restaurant that was buzzing with local office workers. Town of about 10K full of sensible things like pharmacies, banks, hairdressers, DIY shops, doctors, dentists, vets, good sized supermarkets. Our house? 10 minute drive to beautiful countryside. We’re surrounded by farmland, no immediate neighbours. Just bliss!