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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Scott Garnet
Scott Garnet 06 Nov 2017

If you have a patio or a porch it is important to make sure that any connecting doors are secured. Good advice for sliding glass doors is replacing the panels with storm resistant glass and getting heavier...

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richardrawlings
richardrawlings 01 Nov 2017

What has not been mentioned here is the effect of not only higher interest payments, but also that these payments are less likely to be offsettable as a business cost due to the scaling back of mortgage...

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Kelvin Lloyd
Kelvin Lloyd 09 Oct 2017

IT is up, to the Planners. If they will only give permission for bungalows on certain (suitable) sites, they will be built.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

It's just the beginning of the shocking rise.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

I have recently read that the bungalows can provide social housing for elderly residents in London.

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zoe glover
zoe glover 05 Oct 2017

Update! Worst company I have ever dealt with. Undervalued a Cambridge property by over 100k, wont take on any evidence of valuation including a RICS valuation done 3 years ago for the very same value...

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Paul Edwards
Paul Edwards 27 Sep 2017

Its nonsense articles such as this that make it harder to get clients to realise just how difficult the market is out there. When you see Rightmove and there are more 'price reduced' then 'new' most days...

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Tom Allen
Tom Allen 20 Sep 2017

Absolutely agree with you!

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RyanGeo
RyanGeo 18 Sep 2017

A sharp correction would be a less dramatic expression to use. That is already underway in certain sectors in Reading where I practice as Chartered Surveyor

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Identity theft is a thread for any profession. So,people should stay alarmed. I once take help from a letting agent and came to know that letting agents are taking every precaution to prevent fraudulent...

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Mark N.
Mark N. 30 Aug 2017

We have seen a surge in instructions over August and that should continue into September too.

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