France reclaims top spot for overseas property buyers

France reclaims top spot for overseas property buyers

France overtakes Spain with 53% of overseas mortgage enquiries

Ideal buying conditions are drawing British investors back to the French property market, according to Conti, the overseas mortgage specialist. The country accounted for a massive 53% of enquiries received by the company over the first quarter of this year.
 
French mortgage rates are at their lowest in decades and the country’s previously sluggish housing market is turning a corner at last, with reports of price increases and accelerating sales. Prices generally remain well under UK averages, however, and with the pound regaining strength against the euro in recent weeks, it’s more affordable than ever to snap up a property across the Channel.
 
Clare Nessling, director at Conti, says: “Current market conditions in France are great for prospective buyers, with some excellent deals to be made. And there’s plenty of room for price negotiation with some very motivated vendors. The country is also very accessible, by air, train and car, and the culture is familiar, which British investors like.
 
Buyers who have been deferring their plans as they waited for the market to improve are taking full advantage and making their move before they miss out on the best deals.”


Spain, back down to second place, still accounted for an impressive 38% of enquiries in the first quarter of 2016. Following a nightmarish few years, the Spanish property market is on the up at last and British investors are regaining confidence and rediscovering their love for this country.
 
Portugal, maintaining third place, took a nine per cent share of enquiries. According to a recent report from the Royal Institutional of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Portugal is one of the economies leading the euro area recovery with sales and prices expected to continue rising at a steady pace over the medium term.
 
Conti offers its lowest ever fixed rate for France

Conti is now offering its lowest ever fixed rate for property purchases in France, at just 1.8 per cent over 10 years for loans of up to 80% loan-to-value.
 
Mortgage rates are generally still at historic lows, and the best rates are not limited to those with the biggest deposits. Many of the current deals on offer are available for mortgages of up to 80 or 85%  loan-to-value.

Conti’s top five tips for buying property abroad

Obtain an Approval in Principle
 
This will confirm that you can obtain the necessary funds before signing any dotted line and prove to sellers that you’re a serious buyer.
 
Local money

Open a bank account in your chosen country and set up standing orders to meet local bills and taxes.
 
New-build properties

Check the developer’s track record and how long they’ve been trading. Obtain references from previous buyers and check comparable properties in the area and any re-sales offered on the same development.
 
Factor in additional costs

Bear in mind that bills don’t end at the asking price. Lawyer's fees, local and national taxes, insurance, and so on, can often add at least a further 10 per cent to the cost of your acquisition.  
 
Seek professional advice

Take independent advice from an English-speaking lawyer who is not connected to your seller, estate agent or property developer.

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Latest Comments

Oliver Conway
Oliver Conway 18 May 2017

Making a neat inventory is a good idea, but if the seller is not willing to provide it, can the buyer demand it?

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Bertrand
Bertrand 17 May 2017

First step to nationalisation of the private rented sector IMHO. Nanny state poking their noses into things yet again. I object, as a decent landlord, sometimes having to deal with some pretty awful tenants,...

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Izzy
Izzy 16 May 2017

This is such a great a post. I love the detail you've gone into. It's a very useful article for helping those who are looking at deciding which sector they would like to go into! When I first started investing...

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paul burnham
paul burnham 30 Apr 2017

Jeremy Corbyn's pledge that a Labour government would build 500,000 new council houses must electrify the general election campaign. Reliance on markets and the profit motive has brought huge housing-related...

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CommercialTrust
CommercialTrust 28 Apr 2017

Sadiq Khan?s announcement of an online database of landlords and letting agents who have been convicted of housing offences, appears on face value to be a variation of the already implemented Database

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warren
warren 26 Apr 2017

You're very welcome Mary! Glad you enjoyed them :)

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Mary Ward
Mary Ward 26 Apr 2017

Thank you for the wonderful ideas. First impressions can make or break a deal. It's sadly that many homeowners drop the kerb to create an off-street parking space.

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Tony Gimple
Tony Gimple 14 Apr 2017

I'm not at all surprised that so many landlords are still confused about what the tax changes really mean and how it will affect them. In particular, the blind rush to incorporation is leaving landlords...

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MH
MH 13 Apr 2017

You are right that the bank holidays are going to be spoiled in looking for the properties. But people who want to sell their property and looking for the better relocation, they can get benefits of this...

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bnellyb
bnellyb 08 Apr 2017

There will be an exodus of private landlords over the next 5 years as tax changes take effect, private landlords provide an important service to the rental market, why do housing associations and councils...

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Fred Cassman
Fred Cassman 07 Apr 2017

"Make it look like you are at home": often people forget this and share on facebook their location!

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jared townsend
jared townsend 05 Apr 2017

It'll be interesting to see how & if the Government's asset sale regarding mortgages helps

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