The acquisition of the land:
The authorities distinguish between “existing neighbourhoods” (“quartiers existants”) inside a commune, and “new neighbourhoods” (“nouveaux quartiers”) usually found on the outline of a commune. Outside of these areas, it is impossible to find a site unless you purchase a working farm with the intent of running it.
When buying a piece of land in an “existing neighbourhood”, the site for sale will be an isolated one tucked in between two fully developed sites. Usually all the infrastructures are already all in place.
Some agricultural lands are regularly rezoned as residential sites and then named “new neighbourhoods” so as to accommodate the ever growing housing expansion. When you buy there, you usually come across builders and promoters who acquire the entire neighbourhood for future developments.
Smaller developments such as those on a single site are less attractive to developers as the next administrative and planning steps are lengthy, expensive and more profitable as the site to be developed grows in size.