Sunny outlook for French property market

This week has seen both the first day of Spring and a budget which was great news for UK homeowners. Trevor Leggett, Chief Executive of leading French estate agency Leggett Immobilier, has the following market comment:

“The onset of Spring in France has traditionally been the time that international buyers reappear looking to snap up a bargain. 2013 is no exception and our agents are reporting increased activity right across France. The penny (or centime) seems to have finally dropped that homeowners and agents should price sensibly and we are seeing some terrific bargains being snapped up by clients. No one is trying to sell fast, as demand is rather high.  We have seen a 31% growth in sales over this time last year and our call centre team are reporting an increase in viewings booked in the run up to Easter.

Perhaps the fact that the weather in the UK has been so poor this winter has also added to the increase in demand from British buyers who have brought forward their plans to find a dream home in the sun.

The budget that George Osborne announced yesterday is likely to indirectly help stimulate demand too. The UK media has dubbed it a “budget for homeowners” with a range of measures announced under the “help to buy” scheme aimed at stimulating the housing market. The government is supporting £130bn of mortgages over three years and if confidence returns to the UK market then this spills over into overseas holiday homes too – with so many purchasers looking for a mixture of lifestyle & investment returns we think that France is ideally placed to profit.

It’s clear that bargains are to be had across all price ranges at the moment but my personal view is that it’s the top end that has most to offer, anything over €600,000 will have to be priced keenly to sell. We have many examples at www.leggett-prestige.com including a superb wine estate with farmhouse and two gites bordering the Canal du Midi. On the market for €2,300,000 the estate totals 72 hectares with 32 hectares being dedicate to a vineyard. The houses have been beautifully restored and this is a fabulous opportunity for someone who is looking to generate an income”.

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