Emmanuel Macron as France’s new President

The election result bodes well for would-be buyers as French mortgage rates are set to remain low (for the time being), says Felicity Sullivan

In the wake of Brexit and the US election, the appointment of Emmanuel Macron as France’s new President on May 14 has been met with a sigh of relief across European markets. Despite a tumultuous year, politically speaking, the French property market has continued to grow in 2017 with an increased number of international buyers looking to purchase a French home.

For buyers looking to take out a French mortgage to fund their purchase, the good news is that French mortgage rates look set to remain low, in the short term, following Macron’s success. It is important that buyers act quickly to avoid losing out on their dream home.

For buyers looking to speed up the purchasing process, a French mortgage ‘agreement in principle’ is becoming an increasingly attractive option. Having had your finances fully approved by a lender in France means you essentially become a cash buyer in the eyes of the vendor and are able to move quickly towards completion, without unnecessary delays.

This approach helps to reassure estate agents and vendors alike and can help to strengthen your negotiating power when it comes to making an offer on a property in France.

Low French mortgage rates and a strengthening market paired with an increased compliance and regulatory framework has seen many of the French banks struggling to keep up with demand.

Working with a good French mortgage broker will help you to avoid delays, especially in cases where you have not yet found a property but are keen to get an agreement in principle.

A good French mortgage broker will have dedicated underwriters at the banks and will therefore be able to offer you a fast-track service to ensure that your application is dealt with as quickly as possible.

The financial crisis and the introduction of directives such as the Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD) have seen many of the French lenders tightening their lending criteria and internal procedures to ensure that they are compliant. Whilst directives like the MCD have been put in place to protect borrowers, the increased documentation required and the potential delays can be frustrating for clients taking out a French mortgage.

As we’ve already mentioned, working with a specialist French mortgage broker can help you to navigate this process as smoothly as possible and potentially save you time. Through their intimate knowledge of the process, a broker will be able to advise you on the paperwork required and work with you to ensure that your case is complete prior to sending it to the lender, increasing your chances of success whilst reducing the time frames involved.

With French mortgage interest rates set to remain low in the coming months and the property market on the up, now may be the opportune time to start searching for that rustic Normandy farmhouse or alpine chalet you have always dreamed of.

Felicity Sullivan is a French Mortgage Consultant at IPF.


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