Telecommuting has led to a “race to the sea” in the real estate market

With the development of teleworking, many French people have moved near the sea Population growth is estimated between 2 and 5%, or even 10% in some territories.

In a world marked by Covid-19, with the development of teleworking, many French have moved near the sea, an increase that mainly affects the Atlantic coasts, with the pandemic amplifying certain dynamics already underway, according to a published study last April.

Comparing the latest pre-pandemic INSEE data of 2017 and those of 2021, Ifop political analyst Jérôme Fourquet and the associated geographer of the Jean Jaurès foundation Sylvain Manternach observe, with supporting maps, “a race to the sea”. , with population gains of 2 to 5 or even 10%.

“New Fertile Crescent”

These movements of populations affect “primarily the Atlantic coasts”, like Morbihan or the coast of Aquitaine, with less intensity for the Mediterranean coast. Population pressure is less on the Channel coast (except around Saint-Malo), which is “less sunny”. The peri-urban fringes of some large cities are also in similar population movements, such as Orléans, Tours, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, and even the border strip with Switzerland.

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From this data, the authors draw a band that goes from Saint-Malo in the Basque Country and then turns towards Toulouse, Montpellier, before going up the Rhône valley towards the Swiss border. “We will call this area of ​​demographic growth the ‘new fertile growing area'”, they analyse, emphasizing the contrast with “a vast central area in which the population has decreased”.

“Detached house with garden”

These movements confirm phenomena already underway, according to the authors: a knock-on effect of tourism and the attraction of residential areas, with the aspiration to “the detached house with garden”. If the French have come to the sea, it is thanks to the development of teleworking.

“This phenomenon has contributed to reinforcing the continuity of peri-urbanization and demographic growth in the suburbs increasingly distant from the centers of the main French metropolises”, write Jérôme Fourquet and Sylvain Manternach.

The recent arrival of “an affluent population who wanted to acquire housing in coastal areas where real estate was already expensive has also increased prices, which has had the effect of making it less and less accessible to the classes average and modest natives,” note the authors. .

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