Buying Property in France Compared to Spain

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WHILST no longer the guaranteed return on investment of previous years, the idea of purchasing a French holiday home should not be dismissed right now, but viewed as a long-term investment as opposed to a get rich quick scheme.

The good news is that bargains can still be found but be warned, you will not be the only buyers looking for that golden nest egg and current competition for all properties is fierce due to a consistent high demand.

France Compared to Spain

Despite the current worldwide economic gloom, France remains a better investment than Spain in spite of a reduction in property values of up to 15% in some areas – which is considerably less than parts of the Costas and Canary Islands where an excess of property has seen the value of buy to let homes plummet alarmingly with no indication of an upturn on the horizon.

UK buyers who bought off-plan in France appear to have been hardest hit as a surfeit of identikit property exploded onto the market before the Europe-wide recession took hold.  Wise British buyers are limiting their property searches to areas served by budget airlines with the Cote d’Azur, Occitanie, Dordogne and Normandy prime examples.

Rental income has also suffered but not disastrously and despite incredible bargains to be found throughout France bookings remain constant although not as high as in previous years and returns on investment in the region of 6% are widely given as a benchmark figure.

The Larger, the Better?

Given those statistics it is somewhat surprising that enquiries for larger family homes, townhouses and even vineyards have increased this year seemingly at the expense of the traditional, homely, gite.

If you’re determined to buy in France you may be buoyed by the fact last year the average rise in house prices was 6% with an expected, minimum, further rise of 3% this year.  It is worth bearing in mind that demand for French rental properties far exceeds supply ensuring not only consistent interest in the right type of property but also a guaranteed healthy interest in any potential resale.

French property law dictates that deposits of between 10% and 30% apply for anybody applying for a French mortgage with canny investors conducting their transactions in Euros rather than sterling although we strongly recommend investors to seek independent financial advice and work with established currency brokers for the best rates of exchange and best service for currency transfers.

French Destinations for Investors

Whether you’re a first time buyer looking to purchase a rental home for a mix of bolthole and second income, an off-plan property for investment or simply looking to purchase with a view to relocating, you may be interested to learn that in a recent survey carried out in conjunction with Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers Paris came out top and Lyon fifth in the worldwide list of locations for property investors.

But France is best viewed as the complete package; with varied climate, excellence in gastronomy, sophistication, culture, history, country-wide demand for excellence and stunning array of such diverse destinations from mountains to beaches and everything in-between should convince you to allow us to help make your dream move a reality.

Buying Property in Spain instead, or also?

And if you’ve decided that France still isn’t for you, we may be able to help. Some people prefer the heat of Spain, others don’t like the French very much, and are happy to invest in a modern villa, a golf property or apartment for rental.

In 2022, Brits topped the buyers list for Spain with almost 10,000 properties sold, representing 10.4% of sales, ahead of German and French buyers with respectively 8.9% and 6.6%. These are promising news for the year ahead, particularly as UK currency hasn’t be strong and the weather has been unusually warm.  Take a look at our selection of properties for sale in Spain, and get in touch if you’d like to learn more.

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