The success of this year’s France Show heralds a good year for the French property market, reports French Property News editor Karen Tait.
“We were delighted with the number of visitors to the show, and our exhibitors have reported that the show was a huge success for them too. This was the first year that we launched paid for’ tickets and exhibitor feedback has focused on the quality of the visitor and the number of genuine leads generated.”
Visitor numbers were significantly up on 2010, with a total audience of 17,400 over the three days. Both visitors and exhibitors said they preferred this year’s new and improved layout, with the market area and Flavours of France theatre – with cookery demonstrations and entertainment, including comedian and author Tony Hawks – being particularly popular. The wine-tasting theatres were a sell-out success, while the free property seminars were also well attended.
It was the first year Sharon Evans of Cle France estate agency had exhibited at the show. “It far exceeded our expectations,” she said, “we were only expecting to expand our database with contacts, however, we got a great number of good leads and felt we were talking to the ‘right’ people, i.e. those who plan to make the move in the coming year. From the off we were inundated with people – my final client came to the stand at 4.45pm on Sunday and has emailed this morning because he is keen to buy a house in Normandy – if all goes well he will be making an offer!”
Long-term exhibitors were equally pleased with the upturn in interest in French property.
Eve Maltese of Beautiful South commented that “there has been a positive change between last year’s show and this year’s. I have a real feeling that the market wants to pick up again, and that people who had the money ready last year, but wanted to wait and see, are now regaining confidence and want to purchase, regardless of what is going on with the economy. The improvement of the pound against the euro has also helped a lot.”
Benjamin Haas of Burgundy4U adds: “There was optimism in the air – several visitors to our stand were actively looking for a property with cash in pocket or finance in place, others were considering putting their UK house back on sale again and hoping to finally realise their French dream.”
Exhibitors were expecting to have a busy few weeks following up leads generated at the show. “I don’t remember being at a show that was this busy, it was non-stop! “ reports Joanna Leggett of Leggett Immobilier. “It’s a good sign that the French property market is going to be busy this year!”
Visitors were equally happy, with comments including “I am planning on moving to France next year and found a wealth of information at the show” I Phillips and “It was my first attendance at the France Show, I wish I had gone last year, and the year before. The exhibitors were so helpful and passionate! I was very impressed by their friendliness, the time they gave me and their willingness to give time to chat and to laugh as well as an eagerness to give earnest advice. A fantastic show which I’ll remember for a long time to come” Clive Jones.