French Property Blog: Our Voice from France

Latest buying trends…

It’s been a pivotal year for the French market overall with the weak euro driving the return of buyers from the UK – and also the USA. But what areas did we sell the most in last month?

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Well in some ways no big surprises there with the ever-popular Poitou-Charentes leading the way comfortably, showing that that sunny little pocket of south-west France still has much to offer in terms of affordability, lifestyle and chocolate-box pretty villages. The average house price of €138,000 is pretty alluring, plus the sunshine hours in this part of France are matched only by those on the Cote d’Azur.

Next up are three very different regions that are all enjoying similar popularity: Brittany, Aquitaine and the Limousin. We reported on Brittany’s jump in popularity in September, but its stunning coastline and accessibility from the UK continues to draw buyers.

Aquitaine? Well it’s an old favourite with vast diversity, from the winelands of the Bordeaux region to the hot spots of the Lot et Garonne and the Dordogne to some real gems close to the Spanish border in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques; and the wonderfully rural Limousin, full of so much potential for farm properties and incredibly good value.

Next up is the sunny Languedoc-Roussillon that includes the dynamic city of Montpellier, the historic Carcassonne surrounded by all those wine-growing villages.  The neighbouring Midi-Pyrenees – with Toulouse its vibrant hub – comes in next, followed by Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azur (PACA) – where you can pick up a property for less than you would think – and then Normandy, Pays-de-la-Loire, Bourgogne and the French Alps. With the ski season just starting, it’s likely that many of those winter sports fans will be on the look out for a ski home.

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Let’s talk about tax…

It’s true to say that tax is a big issue amongst those hoping to move to France. But when it comes to income, wealth and inheritance tax, do you have a clear picture?

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Some people naturally worry if their pensions will be heavily taxed. This depends on the type of pension you have, but bear in mind you won’t be taxed twice on your income – the Double Taxation Treaty between France and the UK makes sure of this.

Inheritance tax is a big issue – as ever. An historic system of forced heirship in France has until recently meant that you can’t leave assets to whomever you want – but there is some good news!

Changes to EU legislation this summer has given greater security of assets to those tax resident in France. But what about wealth tax: don’t you have to pay an extra tax on assets if you move to France? A five-year exemption is available on assets held outside of France (valid for the first five years of residency) and any mortgage held on a property will be offset against the overall value of assets, resulting in a decreased tax bill.

It is worth seeking expert advice on tax issues. We work closely with partners who will be happy to advise you on French tax issues, please email us to find out more.

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St-Gervais on the up!

Residents of the charming historic market town of St-Gervais are delighted to hear that the 2016 Tour de France will pass through next summer.


The former spa town with year-round appeal will be beamed across the TV screens of 80 nations on 22nd July – and so it should, says local Leggett agent Andrew Morgan.

“It means great prestige for us, as it hasn’t visited us since 1992,” he reports. If you fancy a room with a view, there’s plenty of time to buy an apartment in a lovely period building from around €136,000; or a chalet for about €550,000. The town – of which the mighty Mont Blanc is technically part – has much to offer including easy access from Geneva and to France’s third largest ski area.

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Best in Show…. What a season it has been!

Well, it’s been show season for us, and what a hectic six weeks it has been – proof if ever we needed it that the market is very definitely back.



It all started in September when we were deluged with interest from buyers hoping to make a permanent move to France at The Expat Show. Many of you are seeking ways to fund your move by running a business such as a gite, chambre d’hote or even becoming a Leggett agent (find out more here).


At the France show at Olympia the Languedoc-Roussilon and Charente were flavour of the month; whilst at Place in the Sun Live! we spoke to a whopping 450 property-hunters who also picked up copies of our magazine (click here to read a copy online).


Make a note in your diary of our next show – 29-31st January 2016 at Olympia. 

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Homes on the market, near the market…

With only seven weeks until Christmas, we are taking a look at three properties close to wonderful markets, perfect for seasonal shopping.

Near the medieval town of Sarlat – in the gourmet heartlands of the Dordogne – this is a fabulous three-bedroom Perigordian style house with a pool, beautifully renovated.


What a beauty! A charming quintessentially French six-bedroom Charentaise stone house on the fringes of Rochefort in Poitou-Charentes that comes with a gite.


This three-bedroom, two-bath apartment within a beautiful historic building within half an hour of the markets of Carcassonne – in Aude – is eminently rentable.


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