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

brandonlee10
brandonlee10 24 Jul 2017

The financial ramifications of the triggering of Article 50, the starting gun for Britain's departure from the EU, are far from clear. Buyers will be most cautious in London, given that buying a home in...

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IrisJ.
IrisJ. 19 Jul 2017

Great advice, but may I also add that when buying an already built home, make sure you do all of the proper inspections. Most importantly pest inspection because people tend to get surprised when they

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IrisJ.
IrisJ. 17 Jul 2017

The third point is, in my opinion, the most important one. People have become too inconsiderate and careless when it comes to rented properties. If a landlord wants to protect their property, regular visits...

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cornishalan
cornishalan 10 Jul 2017

Added to the cost of purchasing these village properties are the above average maintenance costs. Particularly where the property is a listed building or requires specialist building skills such as thatching...

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Jo Mullett
Jo Mullett 07 Jul 2017

Here in Swansea, known as the Japanese knotweed capital of the UK, it never fails to amazes me that people have no idea of the potential problems this invasive non-native plant can cause when buying or...

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NathanG
NathanG 05 Jul 2017

McDonalds, for example, have been purchasing their real estate on prime locations for years. If something happens to the company they'll have invaluable assets that will be able to save them. We might

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Jonah
Jonah 04 Jul 2017

Graham: surprised to see you cite the "extra tax liability" as capping out at ?560. It doesn't - the extra tax is exponential, as it is levied on the income (i.e the inflating level of rental income you...

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Dianne Griffen
Dianne Griffen 29 Jun 2017

Be very wary of anyone bringing you deals that they have ?found? and want to ?sell on to you? or ?joint venture? with you on ? you need a proper legal contract for this, involve a RICs surveyor to confirm...

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jason hadzikostas
jason hadzikostas 28 Jun 2017

The most important thing is a budget. Students have to manage their spendings in food, house maintenance, books and many other things. According to me, student Studios are the perfect option for them as...

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SecomTech
SecomTech 22 Jun 2017

AT Last...This was discussed years ago and there was a move towards landlords registering their bad tenants on a database..(can't remember where) It seems a logical step though our leaders will probably...

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Bertrand
Bertrand 02 Jun 2017

How about the Welsh Govt introducing a scheme to protect landlords against "rogue" tenants who are then taken to court for criminal damage to the properties they trash. Pretty unlikely I suspect and politically...

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AmberMorris
AmberMorris 25 May 2017

"Please don't pick a novelty tune-playing doorbell. They're not 'fun'. They're stupid." Laughed a lot to this. It's actually true, though.

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