A strong pound means now's the time to move to France
Whatever your reasons for considering a new expat life abroad, whether it be better employment opportunities, a more satisfying work/life balance or sunnier weather, there’s one thing that transcends all doubt: you’re going to need a place to live.
The strength of sterling
Rental and property prices vary considerably all over the world – there are certainly some countries where you can get a whole lot of house for your money and others where space comes at an intimidating premium. However, if you have been thinking about making a purchase in Europe, 2015 could be the year to strike.
The current strength of the pound against the euro is encouraging British expats to sit up and take notice of the property market abroad; and the outlook is bright. In fact, the pound is stronger than it has been in seven years and as a result, British buyers are beginning to make the move they may have been considering for years and are purchasing properties.
Data collated from property website, Rightmove, demonstrates that 48% more Brits are house-hunting in both Ireland and Spain than 12 months ago, and foreign exchange specialist HiFX has recorded a 27% increase in queries from Brits investigating the European market.
Opportunities in France
However, there are certain locations that are looking more promising for British buyers than others. The EU statistics office Eurostat reports that the value of property across the continent is experiencing an upward swing – property value has increased in Portugal by 4.9% compared to a year ago – so where exactly should savvy expat buyers be looking to take advantage of favourable exchange rates?
According to European news website, The Local, the answer to this burning question is, without a doubt: France. The website states that French property prices are reportedly at their lowest since the crisis of 2008 and that, with the current strength of the pound, a dream home in France could be well within the reach of British buyers moving to France from London.
The current situation could actually save buyers hundreds of thousands of Euros. £1 million currently buys around 1.34 million Euros, whereas a year ago, it would have netted just 1.18 million Euros. On this budget, roughly the price of a one-bed flat in London, The Telegraph reports that you could buy beautifully-restored eight bedroom country estate near Bordeaux, or a 17-bedroom historic stone chalet in the French Alps.
Additionally, not only are the property prices low but French mortgage rates have come tumbling down too, as the government mirrors UK strategies to keep the market buying and selling and the economy moving.
A final factor to seal the deal, should you be considering a property purchase in France, is that the current French property market is reportedly relatively calm – although UK buyers are becoming more active, there is still a good selection of properties available.
It seems to us that the stars have certainly aligned around the French property market for British buyers. Perhaps 2015 is the year to purchase that property you’ve been considering for a while? Who knows if and when these factors will line up so favourably again.
If you are considering a move to France, Cadogan Tate will assist you every step of the way – from your first enquiry to unpacking at your new home, we are here to help and advise you.
Information correct at the time of publication.