Despite the difficult economic circumstances seen on both sides of the Channel, Archant Life France, the market-leading publisher within the Francophile market in the UK, reports steady magazine sales and healthy traffic on its property-related website www.francepropertyshop.com. The company is also confident its programme of French property exhibitions will keep attracting enthusiastic buyers.
Having watched the French property market and commented on its fluctuations over the years, Karen Tait, editor of French Property News magazine, has become a trusted voice. She believes that, despite the property market’s current bad press, now is a good time to buy in France. “It is a buyer’s market in France at the moment, indeed, many vendors in France have dropped their sale price to levels not seen for years, which means that even with the current sterling/euro exchange rate, buyers can still find a bargain,” she said. “I know there are obstacles on the path to true French property nirvana, but there are also plenty of ways to get round them. For instance, at present we’re seeing an increase in the number of people seeking to swap properties. Difficult conditions force people to innovate and new ideas are emerging.”
The next French Property Exhibition will take place in Harrogate. The three-day event will be held in the Yorkshire Event Centre. Doors will open at 10am every day and entrance is free. Tickets can be obtained from www.fpeharrogate.com. Show visitors will be able to meet the market professionals such as estate agents, tax advisors, mortgage lenders, and removal and currency exchange companies. Free seminars led by experts will run throughout the show, offering househunters a unique opportunity to have their questions answered face to face.
According to Eleanor O’Kane, the editor of Archant’s other Francophile publication, Living France, numerous British families still choose to move to France permanently. “Our readers tell us they’d rather be in France than in the UK as the lifestyle is more enjoyable,” she explained. “The bottom line is that those who are seriously committed to a French lifestyle do their homework and make sure the move is sustainable. On the whole France still offers a good long-term return on investment.”
When asked if she knows of British expats coming home, she said: “It’s those bringing money across, or relying on UK incomes (ie pensions) that are hardest hit by the exchange rate but those who earn income in France are totally fine.”