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Is it better to own a property in France or the UK?

PUBLISHED: 16:40 29 November 2016 | UPDATED: 16:40 29 November 2016

Is it better to buy a property in France? © dreamstime

Is it better to buy a property in France? © dreamstime

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A study has revealed that properties are bigger and cheaper and you will pay off your mortgage quicker in France compared to the UK

A recent property study conducted by mortgage specialists Crédit Foncier has compared a number of property and homeowning aspects in eight European countries, with some interesting results for France versus the UK and other neighbours.

You spend less on a property in France than in the UK…

In both France and the UK, 65% of households owned their home; however the study found that in France, people tend to spend a smaller percentage of their income on their homes, with the typical French citizen spending 18.3% compared with the typical UK citizen spending 25.1%.

France’s property prices are generally lower than the UK and in the years between 2006 and 2015 French house prices increased by an average of only 2%, compared with a staggering 30% jump in house prices in the UK over the same period.

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You will pay off your mortgage quicker in France than in the rest of Europe…

The study also revealed that the French took less time to pay off their mortgages, with an average repayment time of 19 years as opposed to the 23 years for Spaniards, 25 years for Germans and 30 years for the Dutch.

Average interest rates stand at 2.1% in France compared with 2.6% in the UK, while the average mortgage amount left to repay currently stands at €47,096 in France, just over the European average of €41,099 but almost half the amount that UK homeowners are facing: €82,525.

Properties are bigger in France…

Another aspect of the study compared property size, finding that homes are considerably more spacious in France than in the UK. This may surprise those looking at apartments in Paris, but on average across the country, a French home measures 102m² and accommodates 2.3 people – while in the UK, there are 2.3 people per 76m² home. There are in fact 69% of French households living in houses (as opposed to apartments), a figure not too far behind the 85% in the UK.

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More people live in the countryside…

In France people are more inclined to live in rural areas with only 66% living in urban areas compared to an average of 72% in Europe as a whole and 87% in the UK.

It is cheaper to build a property in France…

While property construction costs have risen in France by around 18% over the last decade, the European average is far worse at 27% – and the UK has suffered a cost hike of over twice the amount (41%) in 10 years.

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