Why more Brits are moving to France following the Brexit referendum

PUBLISHED: 11:29 02 January 2020

Dordogne remains the most popular department for Brits looking to buy in France (c)Xantana/Getty Images

Dordogne remains the most popular department for Brits looking to buy in France (c)Xantana/Getty Images

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Brexodus is in full swing, as a recent study shows the number of Britons moving to the EU is at a 10-year high

As we move into a new decade, the number of Britons moving across the Channel to live in the European Union is at a 10-year high, according to a recent study by the Oxford in Berlin group and the Berlin Social Science Centre (WZB).

Around 84,000 people are thought to have migrated from the UK to France and other EU countries in 2019, compared with 59,000 in 2008. The general consensus is that Britons are seeking more stability in their lives following the Brexit vote in 2016, with many securing European citizenship to preserve their EU benefits.

Daniel Tetlow, one of the researchers for the study, said "it's not just the privileged middle classes; I've met proud British mechanics, ex-British forces, British ambulance drivers, British teachers and unemployed Brits, and because of Brexit almost all of them feel a new motivation in being active Europeans, and no less British as a result."

"Yes, that's partly self-preservation in these uncertain times, but I also see emerging a new social phenomenon in British identity and migration because people are now so convinced of the value of being British and European."

Charente is rising through the ranks of most popular departments amongst Brits looking to buy in France (c)imagsan/Getty ImagesCharente is rising through the ranks of most popular departments amongst Brits looking to buy in France (c)imagsan/Getty Images

France is among the most favoured countries for Brits moving abroad and increasing numbers are on the lookout for properties - and they seem to be finding them, given that Brits remain the top foreign buyers of holiday homes in France (27% of the total).

"The desire to have a foothold in France is as strong as ever," says FPN editor Karen Tait. "In fact twice as many people visited our property portal this year as in 2016, with visitor number particularly high shortly before looming Brexit deadlines." In the past 12 months there have been over 4.5million property views of FrancePropertyShop.com, demonstrating that even those who aren't buying relish the thought of a move to France. Property agents in France agree, with many saying that they have seen a considerable increase in enquiries and purchases in the last few years.

Where are Brits buying?

It seems that Britons still gravitate towards the west of France, with Nouvelle-Aquitaine remaining the most-searched region on the FrancePropertyShop.com over the past year. Other popular regions included Brittany, Occitanie, Normandy and Pays de la Loire, all in the west of the country. While beloved Dordogne keeps its spot as the most searched department, Charente is gradually rising up the ranks as well, luring people in thanks to the tempting bargains - although this increased interest is reflected in property prices there, which have risen by 9% in the past five years. Buyers will be pleased to know that the Dordogne property market remains fairly stable.

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