As France’s sizzling hot summer fades into autumn, tourist numbers continue to grow keeping France on course for another world record as most visited country in the world.
Last year France welcomed 83.7 million tourists, and this year, partly due to the good weather and favourable exchange rates, the number of visitors is expected to exceed 85 million. It was at a recent press conference that Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said France was on course to achieve this impressive figure for 2015.
More tourists means higher rental yields
Currently tourism represents 7% of France’s GDP (gross domestic product or PIB, Produit intérieur brut) – approximately €150 billion – and employs around two million people. These figures are also set to rise as data analysed from the first half of 2015 shows that the number of tourists staying in hotels each night had increased by more than 2%.
This is good news for those with rental properties and there will be more to come. According to Fabius, the government plans to do more to encourage tourists to stay for longer periods of time in France and to increase the number of attractions. He has previously stated that he expects France to welcome more than 100 million tourist visits a year by 2020.
The biggest boost has been from the Asian market which increased by 14% overall in 2014. This was largely due to the introduction of fast-track visas by the French government. Statistics released by the Comité Régional du Tourisme Paris Ile-de-France (CRT) for the Ile-de-France show that during the first quarter of 2015 there was a massive 48.9% increase in the number of Chinese visitors. There was also a 3% rise in the number of American tourists while the number of Russian visitors had dropped by 39%.
Buyers’ market makes French property sales boom
The increasing number of tourists goes hand-in-hand with the rise in enquiries from buyers looking to purchase property in France. Home Hunts’ property insights guide INSIDE FRANCE, which was released earlier on this year, reported that it had received 35% more enquiries and sales for prime market properties than the previous year. It also revealed that the first part of 2015 was the busiest it had ever experienced at that time of year.
“We received a lot of interest from the UK because of the strength of the pound against the euro and this continues to be the case,” says Tim Swannie, Director of Home Hunts. “Lower prices already make the prospect of buying French property interesting, but combined with low interest rates, advantageous exchange rates and now also a reduction of Capital Gains Tax for foreign sellers, the French real estate market is offering attractive deals that were simply not possible before.”
Changes to France’s property law which gives buyers a longer “cooling off period” and reductions in the tax charged to non-residents for renting their properties, means that home owners are in a better position now than ever before to take advantage of the thriving tourist market. Buying French property and renting it can provide a healthy second income, and while renting a property used to be taxed at 35%, it is now just 20%, making it more beneficial than many other countries, even the UK.
Whether you are looking for an apartment in Paris, a vineyard in Bordeaux, a villa on the French Riviera or a chalet in the French Alps, the team at Home Hunts can help you find the perfect property for your needs. To view all the properties in Home Hunts portfolio, visit www.home-hunts.com, or to speak to a consultant directly call +33 (0)970 44 66 43