2015 Update on the French property market

France is still very much a buyers’ market.

French village - Dordogne
As we ease into 2015, the property market in France is still very much a buyers’ market. There has been some increase in prices across the country, notably Paris, the Alps and the Cote d’Azur, generally general prices have remained stable or even decreased in many areas. The French economy has not yet recovered itself! This is something which naturally impacts on expats wishing to buy property in France. 
 
Sales to UK buyers generally account for about a quarter of non-resident sales in France, so our love affair with the country simply does not diminish. Property in France is still remarkably good value and it seems us Brits are now looking in diverse areas such as the Auvergne and the Midi-Pyrenees - as well as the Languedoc Roussillon, Provence’s near neighbour with the same lovely beaches, colours and climate but much lower prices. 
 
The interest of British people is more than likely to continue as we start this New Year, and for good reason: there are still many bargains to be grabbed, and plenty of property of all types on the market. Now is a truly excellent time to buy in France for various reasons: there is much more consumer confidence in the UK economy and property market, extremely low interest rates in France which allow French property to be financed cheaply and easily, and of course the pound has gained substantial strength against the euro. Someone locking in  a sterling to euro transfer at today’s exchange rate will save several thousand pounds on a property purchase compared to 9 months ago or so, for example.
 
The decrease in prices has meant that sellers in France have had to “get real” when pricing up their property to sell. Historically over the last 10 years or so, the French have cottoned on to our love for their country and have had unrealistic expectations, culminating in over pricing their properties and then wondering why they are not selling. This has resulted in too many properties sitting on the market for a year or more, and not selling due to their prices being too high. Over the course of the last year or so, the French have been forced to become more in tune with the market and thus the prices are starting to level out. The overall effect of this of course always takes time in the property market but the word on the street is that prices will this year will continue this realistic trend, resulting in an increased demand from buyers and hopefully kick starting the market again. It is also likely that the French economy will in time follow the UK’s lead and start to recover. 
 
All of this of course means that this year is shaping up to be an excellent time to buy property in France. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, it is still very much a buyers’ market here so getting in now with your property purchase is likely to pay dividends in the medium-to-long-term future.

Further reading for Buying In France

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Viewing Guide

Finding the right property and can be a challenge. What do you need to think about early on?
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Legal Matters

Buying a property in France has very different legal requirements to the UK. 

Read more...

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Hidden Costs

Spending tens and even hundreds of thousands of pounds on a property in France is a HUGE decision.
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Currency Zone

Did you know that you could save thousands of pounds when emigrating by using a currency specialist?
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