Leggett Immobilier, the leading international estate agency in France, has seen a steady increase of buyers in the first quarter of 2013 attracted by the lowest mortgage rates for 65 years and sensible pricing on behalf of vendors.
Chief Executive, Trevor Leggett, comments:
“We understand that the overall number of property sales in France fell by 20% to 655,000 last year and that this year is likely to see a similar number of transactions. However, it’s clear that many people are also convinced that the market will improve over the coming years and with the cheap money available that now is the time to buy.
It’s well documented that French mortgage rates are the lowest they have been since the second world war and I am receiving anecdotal evidence every week from our agents in the field that vendors are now beginning to understand the need for sensible pricing.
As an example Lisa Greene, who runs our team in Brittany, tells me that she has had two sales recently to Parisienne buyers where they have arrived with financing in place, driven a hard bargain and picked up what Lisa calls “straightforward good value for money”. As she says, every good agent has a list in their head of properties within their portfolio that they would buy themselves if they had the money and these are the ones that the “smart money” is currently looking for.
It’s not just canny Parisiennes that are looking to buy at the moment though. France has historically been the favourite destination of UK property buyers who love the sunshine, countryside and relaxed way of life. I was at A Place in the Sun Live last month and our stand was packed throughout all three days while the seminars we gave were standing room only. Most visitors seemed fed up with the wet weather and gloomy headlines in the UK and were surprised by the value for money that they found among the property listings we had on display.
I’m not sure that it’s right for me to call the bottom of the market just yet but certainly we have clear evidence that many astute buyers think we must be close”.