There’s not one but two stories in my in-box this morning about the appeal of Provence for expats.
The first one, on Forbes.com, is a bit astounding, actually: it calls St. Remy the second “most idyllic place to live” in all of Europe. First, the intro talks about how Europe has become affordable again for Americans: “Despite the global recession and slumping job market, the timing--and prices--might be just right,” the writers say. “Six months ago, Americans couldn't even mull a move across the Atlantic.” It goes on to say that despite the high price of real estate, Forbes’ panel of travel and relocation experts praised St. Remy for its “rolling vineyards, opportunities for hiking and walking and average conditions some of the best in Europe…” (Speaking of walking, however, am I the only one who’s noticed that St. Remy’s cracked pavement and potholes have reached epic proportions?) The #1 "most idyllic place in Europe," by the way, is Gaiole in Chianti. Go figure! Anyway, read the Forbes article here: http://www.forbes.com/realestate/2008/11/18/europe-homes-dollar-forbeslife-cx_po_1118realestate.html
The second article, in the Daily Mail, says that despite a slowdown due to the pound’s decline against the euro—and high prices in general—quick (and eco-friendly) Eurostar service from St. Pancras to Avignon has been a huge boon to Brits wanting to vacation or settle in the area. The article encourages wanna-be home buyers to consider lesser-known regions (such as the Gard) and says that while Provençal farmhouses “have nearly all been renovated,” problems in the French wine industry have led to the sale of vineyards which, in turn, has freed up more land for building. Read the article here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1087273/Sur-le-pont-dans-le-train-Brits-buying-Avignon-getting-eco-friendly-Eurostar.html