A recently-released report about the French property market reveals that house sales are up 11% compared with last year (838,000 houses sold at the end of September compared with 755,000 twelve months ago). This is the highest level of sales in the last ten years.
“For Home Hunts the report confirms what the team has been experiencing during the last year,” says Tim Swannie, Director at Home Hunts. “Despite political uncertainty in Europe and the States, the French property market has continued to thrive throughout 2016.”
“While we did see fewer British buyers search for second homes after Brexit, many have been searching for permanent residences instead. Other European and American buyers have been plentiful, looking for ways to enhance their investment portfolios and lifestyles at the same time.”
French bank loans supporting British buyers:
“Despite sterling not performing as well against the euro, Home Hunts has many clients who are investing anyway because of the advantageous mortgage rates and supportive loan structures.
French banks offer what is called a back to-back-loan where you can deposit your money in sterling with them and then you borrow the same amount in euros,” explains Tim. “This is a perfect solution to avoid taking a hit on exchange rates, as when rates improve in the future, buyers can choose to pay off the mortgage.”
In terms of where Home Hunts’ clients are looking, Tim has seen a noticeable rise in the number of enquiries from the UK for property in Paris and the French Alps. “The majority of these enquiries come from clients who work in finance,” says Tim. “Some are looking to relocate closer to Paris or Geneva and others are buying for investment purposes, with a view to relocation in the future.”
What can you get for your money?
According to the Notaires de France report, buyers should expect €500,000 to snap up a four-room apartment in Nice, a two-room apartment in the first arrondissement in Paris or a three-room apartment in the tenth, eleventh and fifteenth arrondissements. In terms of houses, it is still possible to find a five-room property in Bordeaux or a four-room house in Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, an area that is approximately 10km from Paris.
When considering where to buy, the Notaires de France report also looks at where prices have stabilised and where they are rising. For buyers looking to invest in an apartment, prices have stabilised in Grenoble and Toulouse and are rising in Marseille and Bordeaux (1.2% and 4.1% respectively over the last year).
In terms of houses, areas where prices have stabilised, include Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Montpellier. However, buyers looking to invest in locations where price rises are already happening and expected to increase should target the following areas: Toulouse (prices up by 4.1%), Bordeaux (5.8%), Grenoble (3.7%) and Nice (1.1%).
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