For many British people hoping to buy a home in France, the dream French property that springs to mind is probably is an ancient character house with a large stone chimney, beams and wobbly old tiled floors. However, buying a brand new property with a bit of land and a swimming pool is increasingly appealing.
New build properties in France are a very different option – but you will soon find that the number of new builds in France is on the increase. Many developments are truly stunning, usually built in the style of the region, with many advantages over buying an old house (which may bring with it a need for considerable ongoing maintenance!)
Could buying a new build be for you? With the thought that you can simply move in with your suitcase, knowing that everything is new and ship shape, this may well be worth considering.
More than 300,000 new homes each year are built in France, compared with about 125,000 in the UK; many are architecturally designed, and many are strategically built near the ski slopes or golf courses. You also don’t need to work about ugly modern boxes; down here in the Languedoc Roussillon, the new build villas are almost always built copying the old Languedocienne style of roof, in warm Mediterranean colours. They blend in well with the older, more traditional buildings.
It is well worth considering that buying from a reputable developer in France means you will have a 10 year guarantee on the building, so you can move in with real peace of mind. Building regulations these days in France mean that your property will be properly insulated and energy efficient which will mean your yearly bills will be less.
France has plenty of coastline; new builds by the sea are very popular, for obvious reasons. If you are looking for a holiday home for all the family, new build properties may be the best option for you. Buying anywhere near water will always be a good investment, too.
Another advantage of buying a new build property is the lower purchase costs.
Another advantage of buying a new build property is the lower purchase costs. Notary fees on an old property in France range from 6-8%, but on a new property, they are just 3% – worth factoring in to your decision making.
The French property market has been flat for several years, which has been – and still is – good news for British property buyers in France. There are some small signs that prices will slowly start to creep up over the next couple of years, but many developers continue to price their developments with market stagnation in mind, meaning that buying a new build will offer you a great investment if you buy now. Sometimes it is worth thinking outside the box!