Surge In Number of Brits Buying French Property

By Fiona Moore, for 25 July, 2014

A survey has found that Britons became the top overseas purchasers of second homes in France in 2013, and that prices have remained steady despite falling numbers of transactions.

Data supplied by notaries from across France revealed that the number of British purchasers rose by five percent in 2013, with most purchases in the Loire, Charente and Limousin areas, rather than the more expensive regions of the Alps and the Côte d'Azur. In Paris, Britons purchased just three percent of the homes bought by foreigners.

Average house prices are now EUR448,000 (USD600,000), with the average euro mortgage being EUR354,000. However, transaction volumes have continued a downward trend, from just under 15,000 in 2012 to just under 13,000 in 2013.

The survey was undertaken by French bank BNP Paribas, and its findings were noted by Offshoreonline, an advisor to UK expatriates. Offshoreonline's Tim Harvey said that the number of Britons buying property in France reflects the recovery in the UK property market.

He observed that France had weathered the economic crisis far better than Spain, making the country "a sound investment in its own right," and he added: "Mortgages in France offer a huge variety of choice to the buyer from simple variable rates through to capped, fixed, and long-term fixed rates. Banks will often allow deposits of just 15 percent, with lower rates available for those with higher deposits."

The European Central Bank's interest rates are currently at their lowest ever levels, and many banks are now offering variable rate Euro mortgages from just 2.3 percent, he said.

Tags: Expatriates | Offshore | Investment | Real-estate Investment | Mortgages | Real-estate | United Kingdom | France | Spain | Expats | Investment | Property Investment | Europe | Invest | Lifestyle | Investment | Lifestyle |


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