Resicom – Holiday Investment – 04-21 – LB

French Property Ideal Overseas Investment

House prices have fallen in France over the past 12 months, making many potential investors cautious about dipping their toes into this foreign market; however, agents predict that not only will 2016 see stability return to the sector but also that it will be a great year for overseas investors. With the market set to see positive movement, it is best to invest sooner rather than later.


One of the positive aspects of buying homes in France is that homeowners can access a variety of attractive low-interest mortgages; in addition, with the euro failing to stand up against many currencies, including the British pound, there is a favourable exchange rate for outsiders. Combined with the fact that France’s real estate sector remains a buyers’ market, now is a great time to make an investment. This is not to say that the bottom has dropped out of the sellers’ market – it hasn’t; in fact, sales are much better than in previous years, with owners wanting to sell at a competitive price often finding a buyer quickly.

One expert suggesting France is set to see a strong sales year for the real estate sector is Home Hunts Director Tim Swannie. The firm is already noting a strong amount of interest from foreign investors, including those from across Europe, China, South Africa, the US and the Middle East. The French Riviera in particular managed to remain fairly buoyant throughout 2015, and Mr Swannie expects this market to continue doing well in the coming months. ‘I think prices will remain stable and we may even see a small increase. Other areas which are proving very popular are Provence, Languedoc Roussillon and the Dordogne as well as vineyard properties around the Bordeaux area,’ he said.

Meanwhile, some in the real estate market think investing now is an extremely wise decision; for example, the chairman of Leggett Immobilier, Trevor Leggett, described current buying conditions as ‘once in a decade’ opportunities. Mr Leggett explained that positive exchange rates for foreign investors are made even more attractive by cheap borrowing and access to low property prices. ‘Subsequently they have been snapping up bargains all over France. In 2014 sales to UK buyers made up 70% of our business, last year this rose to 77%,’ Mr Leggett continued.

Many of those investing are older individuals, with an average age of 53. ‘We know that France always comes out on top of the quality of life surveys and it has one of the world’s best healthcare systems so it’s no surprise many people want to spend their golden years here,’ he explained. There is also some movement in the younger market, with a number of families and young professionals snapping up bargains in a bid to adopt a less stressful life in a country with an excellent education system.

Overall, it seems that France will see positive movement in the real estate sector this year, which means those wanting to take advantage of current market conditions should do so as quickly as possible so they don’t miss out on attractive bargains.

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