5 ISSUES FOR £5 Subscribe to France Magazines today click here

Is now a good time to buy a property in France?

PUBLISHED: 09:58 23 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:58 23 May 2017

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie in Provence © Janoka82 / Thinkstockphotos

Moustiers-Sainte-Marie in Provence © Janoka82 / Thinkstockphotos

Archant

With stable property prices, low interest rates, the effect of Brexit and President Macron, is now a good time to buy to buy a French property?

Written by Professor Robert Anthony, Principal Partner, Anthony & Cie

The state of the French property market

In a market that has been calm, I am often asked the question “should I buy a property?” Depending on the location and the price range, some properties are worth around 50% of the price in 2007. If you consider the exchange rate in sterling, this is still cheaper than it was at that time.

I see a continuation of property prices strengthening nationally. Markets have been quiet and there have been good buying opportunities. Interest rates are still low and those needing or wishing to sell have created deals for buyers.

This will continue but become rarer as the market stabilises and solidifies. Already in certain towns prices have been recovering. It’s a good time to buy while you can still negotiate but this will depend on location and price bracket, with less room for manoeuvre at the lower levels.

Clearly UK investors are an important part of the French property market, and areas with higher concentrations of British people, for example, Brittany, are likely to be more affected by Brexit. However, the market has also been affected by the reduction of Russian investors in certain luxury locations.

___________________________________________________________________________

Related articles

Brexit: will I still be able to buy a property in France?

Will President Macron have a positive impact on the French property market?

___________________________________________________________________________

Good mortgage deals to be found

If you borrow locally in France, you can fix the current low interest rate for the whole period of the loan. When I moved from the UK to France over 30 years ago, I was very surprised that one could borrow money on fixed interest rates for the whole period of the loan. Depending on age, the loan can be up to 30 years. With interest rates below 2% to currently borrow money on residential property, it is a very good time to take out a mortgage.

If you also take into consideration the possibility of renting out a property, in the current market you should easily exceed the cost of interest with the rental income.

This obviously ignores the repayment of capital. It is then an exercise to calculate the monthly payments and the amount of rent required to cover the mortgage. Don’t forget to provide for local council taxes and income tax on rental profits.

___________________________________________________________________________

Related articles

How to get a French mortgage

What are the differences between French and UK mortgages?

___________________________________________________________________________

Exchange rates

Regardless of whether you intend to rent out your property, I consider it an extremely good time to buy. Prices are likely to eventually recover, giving a euro profit on a purchase. Taking out a maximum possible mortgage in euros will minimise the currency risk. If the pound strengthens, the mortgage payments will be reduced accordingly. On repatriating a profit if the euro weakens, you will have less profit, but you cannot have it all ways! My advice is not to speculate but to buy what you can afford. This way there is no pressure on any mortgage payments.

Concerning sterling, with the speculation around Brexit, it is possible the pound could weaken further before strengthening. I do not think there is ever a perfect moment to change your money, but you can look for competitive exchange rates or consider buying forward currency.

___________________________________________________________________________

Related articles

Ways to save money on currency exchange

What will happen to currency exchange rates in 2017?

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Complete France visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Complete France staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Complete France account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from French Property

Wed, 17:26

Renovation projects often come with a very attractive price tag, but how do you know the work needed to make it your dream home won’t end up costing you a fortune? Here are 7 things to think about before buying a property to renovate in France

Read more
Renovating in France
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Are you curious about when your French house was built and who else has lived there? Find out how to discover the history of your French property

Read more
Monday, September 4, 2017

Conditions for mortgage borrowers in France remain very favourable thanks to the election of President Macron, so is a mortgage a good option for British buyers?

Read more
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Currency exchange is an important aspect of buying a home in France and using a market order to time your currency purchase could save you money

Read more
Thursday, March 22, 2018

At a loss over losing money when you need to send cash back home? It’s a common problem for expats who are getting stung by excessive fees and hidden charges from banks. With CurrencyFair, an online marketplace, secure transactions are made faster and far cheaper

Read more
Monday, March 5, 2018

Once a price has been agreed, the buyer and seller of a French property sign a preliminary contract, the compromis de vente. Here is everything you need to know about this legally binding contract

Read more
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

If you want to give someone the power to act on your behalf in France, whether to sign your property purchase documents or if you lose mental capacity, you’ll need to apply for the French equivalent of power of attorney

Read more
Thursday, April 19, 2018

It is a common view that you pay very high taxes in France, so you might be surprised to learn that moving to France could actually cut your tax bill rather than increase it

Read more
Tuesday, April 10, 2018

With French income tax deadlines looming here is a guide through the maze of French income tax and information on how and when to submit a French income tax return

Read more
Thu, 16:56

Dreaming of living in a French château? Your dream could be closer than you think... We have found a number of châteaux for sale in France for less than €500,000

Read more
French property for sale
Subscribe today

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now