Written by Roseanne Bradley,
25th July 2023

A new report from the English Housing Survey, covering the years 2021-2022 has revealed that the number of Brits with second homes in France has dropped for the first time in a decade.

The current number of Britons with second homes in France was 69,000 in 2021-2022, down from 93,000 in 2012-13. Beaux Villages Immobilier, a leading French estate agent, remains confident that those interested in buying a second home in France are more focused and serious about their plans.

Could this property be your second home in France?

What caused the fall?

There are, of course, lots of things to consider, but a clear outlying influence has to be Brexit which in January 2020 meant that Brits looking to live in the EU needed a visa.

This was followed by Covid-19 a year later, which halted emigration entirely.

However, the stats show that the slowdown in second homes in France began before Brexit. To compare the same stats for Spain, the number of English households with second homes out there fell to 60,000 in 2018-2019 but soared to 93,000 in 2021-2022.

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We spoke to Beaux Villages Immobilier for comment. Julie Savill, marketing director, said: “Our experience of buyers from the UK does not reflect the official figures exactly. Prior to Brexit and where a start to the ‘decline’ has been noted, there are other contributing factors.

Not least amongst these has been the number of people either making what was their second home into their primary residence (taking them out of the second home statistics) or, as we got closer to Brexit, buying a permanent home and moving to France lock, stock.”

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Optimistic prospects for Brits buying second homes in France

Julie continued, “Now that the dust has to a greater degree settled around Brexit, we’re finding there are slightly fewer buyers, but those looking are extremely focused and serious.”

Is this you? If so, enquire with Beaux Villages Immobilier today.

They operate across France and can help you find your dream second home in France.

Very little has changed for British buyers in France. In fact, the process remains the same. Travel to and from the UK to France remains the same. It’s only if you want to reside in France for over 90 days in every 180 that you’ll be required to apply for a long-term visa. Read more about the long-term visa on France Property Guides.

La Rochelle, Charente Maritime

What areas remain the most popular for British buyers?

We know our readers range from ‘ready to buy’ and ‘just starting’, so we asked Julie about the most popular areas for British buyers, particularly those considering a second home in France.

“The Dordogne, Charente and Vienne (all with great travel links) are still a magnet for second homeowners.  Increasingly popular are the Haute-Vienne for its affordability, the Aude for its blend of culture and proximity to the Mediterranean and the Tarn for its incredible scenery and charming towns.”

For guidance on buying property in France, be that for emigration, second home, or investment, call our Property Consultants on 0808 2520 7870 for friendly advice, property insight and to be put in touch with trusted experts on the ground in France.

Source: English Housing Survey 2021 -2022

Read more about second homes in France:

Buying a House in France Guide.

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