France's Stable Market Bucks Europe House Price Trend

France's Stable Market Bucks Europe House Price Trend

France has proved to be one of the safest places in Europe to invest in property in a recent survey of house prices. The market has dropped significantly in Spain, Italy and Portugal, where property prices have born the brunt of the impact of Europe’s economic crisis.

The latest figures from holiday home insurance provider Schofields show sharp falls in the number of new holiday home sales to British buyers across Europe. In Spain sales are down 26% since 2008 and in Italy the figure has fallen by 42%. In France, however, prices have not only held firm but have shown a modest rise, helping the country to retain its reputation as a safe haven for investors.

“People who buy in France don’t generally expect a quick return but they do see it as a place where they can invest with confidence and in the knowledge that prices will gradually increase over time,” said Patrick Joseph, owner of French property for sale specialists

“The fact that finance is more readily available in France and stability in house prices has protected it from the worst of the European housing slump.” He said that as well as retaining its popularity with second home owners, France was attracting more interest from those looking to move there permanently.

“With budgets being squeezed in the UK people are starting to see France as somewhere to make a fresh start,” he added. “Property prices are generally more affordable in France and British buyers are often surprised at how much house and land their UK money will buy them and they are attracted by the prospect of a gentler pace of life,” he said. 

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