The recovery of the French property market is beginning to gain momentum, and there is no shortage of British people looking to buy. But in terms of property price rises, where is hot in France right now?
Maybe British people are trying to get in before Article 50 is triggered, or maybe some British “remainers” are demonstrating their commitment to Europe in a very practical way, but the numbers coming over to France to look for property right now are up, if local estate agents are to be believed.
Generally speaking, prices have either been falling or at best (for sellers) staying the same in France for the last eight years or so. Many British buyers have taken advantage of this recently, as well as the low interest rates available on French mortgages.
A new TGV launches in July, cutting the journey from Paris to Bordeaux to two hours, and this is surely going to prompt further price rises
Signs are there, however, that there are green shoots in the French property market, with many agents reporting healthy sales sheets during the last year. The latest news from the Notaires of France estimates that there was a rise in price of 0.5% during the last year and the forecast is that this will grow as this year progresses. Some say the price increase will be as much as 2.5% for houses and 2% for apartments.
All of this suggests that right now is a great time to buy in France. Many of us buy in France simply because we love the country, without any real wish to make a good investment. But buying now may well serve both causes: your own bolt hole in France and making money as the years progress.
So what are the most popular areas and where can you still strike a bargain? The south west is ever popular, with the Aquitaine and Poitou Charente seeing an upsurge in sales. The area around Bordeaux has always been one of the favourites for expats and it is not just because of the wonderful wine. Bordeaux is a beautiful and thriving city, with year-round flights back to the UK and excellent transport links by motorway. A new TGV launches in July cutting the journey from Paris to two hours, and this is surely going to prompt further price rises. The countryside around is stunning and there are some wonderful villages and rivers in the Dordogne and the Charente.
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Further south, the Languedoc Roussillon is gaining in popularity. With very similar geography and climate to its more expensive neighbour, Provence, this area offers sun, sea, ski and proximity to Spain.
The cheapest properties are still to be found in the Limousin. There may not be quite as much sun as down south but prices are remarkably reasonable. You can still find a small house with outside space for well under €100,000 here.