With increasing numbers of tourists and appealing market conditions, there has never been a better time to buy an income-opportunity property in France.
Brexit or no Brexit, there is an ever-increasing stream of buyers wanting to buy French property. The lure of a relaxed French lifestyle, buying croissants from the boulangerie and cheese tasting at the market, has never been greater.
But the prospect of permanently changing country can be daunting for buyers – especially when giving up one career or business to start another – and is currently complicated by a question mark over the potential impact of the Brexit.
Don’t let Brexit worries hold you back
With the EU referendum looming and Brexit a possibility, Tim Swannie, Director of Home Hunts, says that some British buyers approach Home Hunts asking if it is still possible to buy into a dream lifestyle in France. Recent research by A Place in the Sun backs this observation up where one in four of those surveyed expressed concern about how this change would affect British owners of property in the EU.
Tim does not believe that the British people will ultimately vote to leave the EU. “Independent polls in the UK back this up at present and David Cameron has already negotiated a very interesting deal to stay in the EU,” he says. “However, if the British people do choose to leave there will no doubt be a solution put in place for the freedom of movement within Europe.”
Take advantage before the market changes
Those who are considering buying a property in France should be aware that a mixture of different elements have combined to give the market its current high appeal. Despite a slight drop in the value of the pound against the euro, France still has low interest rates, reduced property prices and an ongoing trend that sees buyers negotiating deals with vendors that would have not been possible a couple of years ago.
In terms of house prices, according to Notaires de France, older property prices fell by 1.7% in 2015, but the rate of the fall was easing by the end of the year. Areas experiencing increases include Toulouse (1.5%) and Bordeaux (2%), both in South West France.
“Prices definitely started to level out last year, but you can still make an offer in most areas,” says Tim. “The Riviera, Paris, parts of Provence and much of the Alps are due to see a slight rise in prices this year, but most other areas should remain pretty stable.”
Make a savvy commercial buy
Home Hunts’ consultant Rory Ramsden says that South West France is offering some excellent income opportunities, from vineyard ventures to B&B opportunities. Many buyers prefer to take over the reins of an established business. That way the risk is less and an income is practically guaranteed, once buyers have learned the ropes.
“As with all property investments, where you choose to buy is as important as what you choose to buy,” says Rory. “South West France attracts international buyers who understand the value of peace and quiet but still want to feel they can jump on a plane to a long-haul hub if they need to.”
A favourite with the expat community, the Dordogne is a busy tourist destination that has some beautiful châteaux, chartreuses and village houses up for sale. “There are also some spectacular renovation projects currently available on the market for buyers that have some experience and know-how,” says Rory.
Over in the Lot, which is about an hour from Toulouse airport, holidaymakers come for the space and privacy, and numbers are increasing which offers the right buyer a potential revenue stream. “People can be blown away by the solitude of a property knowing they are still within minutes of the essentials in life,” says Rory. “Buyers with a commercial goal should consider this area as there is a distinct lack of quality small hotels.”
To view properties in France, from commercial opportunities to family homes, visit www.home-hunts.com. To speak with a Home Hunts consultant about your individual criteria, call +33 (0)970 44 66 43.