Is now a good time to buy in France?

We look at the latest property prices in France – and why this is now a great time to buy a second or permanent home in France.

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As we say goodbye to 2015, many of us will be saying hello to a super new home in France. This is an excellent time to buy in France. Conditions really could not be much better for the buyer.
 
Sellers across the country have, over the last couple of years, had to come to terms with the fact that their property may not be worth what they previously thought it was, and have had to make sometimes fairly drastic reductions in order to attract a sale. 
 
The French have generally cottoned on to the fact that British people love their country, so up until a few years ago, property prices rose fairly substantially. However, the tables have now turned somewhat, and many sellers have been forced to be much more realistic about their property’s worth in order to make sure their house isn’t sitting on the markets for months, and maybe even years, without any offers made on it. 
 
Prices in a number of areas have recently come down and foreign buyers now stand in a great bargaining position
 
Prices in a number of areas have recently come down and foreign buyers now stand in a great bargaining position: there is more property for sale than there is people actually looking for properties, so buyers really do have the upper hand - and this trend is likely to continue into 2016.
 
Having said all that, there are signs that prices will start to even out or rise again over the next few years, and the downward price adjustment of the last four years may be ending in the medium term future. In actual volume, the annual number of transactions increased during the second quarter of 2015, and this carried on in the third quarter where the number of transactions over the past twelve months was estimated to be 753,000 - an increase of 4.2% year over year. One contributing factor to this may be that some sellers have recently deferred their plans to move due to a lack of confidence in the market - but now, with many foreign buyers eager to find their bolt hole in France, the market is gradually becoming more dynamic.
 
Furthermore, overseas buyers are still benefitting from a very attractive exchange rate due to the euro remaining by and large weak. This has a massive impact on prices and means that both the dollar and sterling budgets are stretching further, adding to the reasons why now is a great time to buy in France.
 
Overseas buyers are still benefitting from a very attractive exchange rate due to the euro remaining by and large weak
 
But it does not end there: mortgage rates are low in France, with many French banks letting their borrowing rates slide down even more during the month of December, some even bringing their rates back to where they were in January 2015 -  with no sign of mortgage companies increasing their rates in 2016. More good news for the buyer!
 
To summarise, the French property market has plenty of property for sale at bargain prices, coupled with the good exchange rate and low mortgage interest rate options, so there has rarely been a better time to buy in France.

Further reading for Living In France

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