BREXIT: Vrai ou Faux?
We debunk some more of the myths swaying buyers’ judgement in a post-Brexit world…
MYTH: “British buyers should put off their move to France until a firm deal has been agreed with the European Union”
FACT: Despite the doom and gloom predicted, it seems Britons have taken the apocalyptic headlines and spine tingling projections with a pinch of salt. According to the latest report from BNP Paribas International, not only are two thirds of UK buyers (65%) still pressing ahead with their property search in the Eurozone, but 30% have actually sped up their plans to move to France to beat Brexit. The Investing & Living Abroad survey also revealed that Britons are still the top foreign investors in France, making up 32% of non-resident transactions last year – twice as much as Belgians, for instance. British property buyers are also among the top three foreign investors in 15 out of 21 French regions. However, we are seeing a slight shift in the type of properties buyers are looking for post-Brexit. There is certainly a new focus on homes with outbuildings and, as such, income potential so as to hedge against any currency fluctuations and economic uncertainty. Buyers are increasingly interested in properties with business potential; that is, large homes with flexible layouts, spare rooms for bed and breakfasts, or attached gîtes.
MYTH: “Buying in France is not the safe investment it once was”
FACT: Brexit or not, France will always be a good place to invest. In fact, at this juncture, buying property outside the UK is a smart choice. It allows you to spread your investment load in another currency, as well as keep capital in a country that is still part of the EU. And if the UK economy struggles in the wake of Brexit, you will have spread your risk and returns. The Eurozone might be the future and France has always been a secure investment for bricks and mortar, but it could also prove to be a very canny one over the next few years. There is, however, no doubt that Brexit is going to create more paperwork for British buyers in France. And there will probably be more hoops to jump through. British buyers might also find it harder to get a property loan in France or, at least, it may mean paying higher mortgage rates than EU members.
Realistically, if you started budgeting pre-Brexit, you will effectively have less money to spend on your dream property; but France is a large country with huge price variations. So why not expand your search or consider a more affordable area?
Properties less than an hour’s drive away from your dream location can sometimes be vastly different in price. There are still some very attractive deals in Limousin, for instance. Brittany also has some very interesting offers if you head away from the coast, and is easily accessible with ferry crossings to Saint-Malo and Roscoff. The Dordogne is still very appealing, too, and with regular flights from five British airports to Bergerac, it’s an ideal spot to get away for a short break.
If you would like to find out more about what the property market has to offer please don’t hesitate to give us a call at +44 (0) 1225 463752 or email us at [email protected].
Originally published in issue 122 of FrenchEntrée Magazine.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, or don’t have time to search yourself, FrenchEntrée has a dedicated Property Team to assist you in finding your dream property. Let us know what you are looking for and we will do our best to select properties matching your requirements.