French Property Blog: Our Voice from France

Would you like to be first to hear of new houses on the market?

We are delighted to announce that clients can now register to receive instant property alerts to put them one step ahead of the game. You can set your own search criteria and we will automatically mail you details of any suitable properties the minute they come onto the market. In addition you will hear about any properties that have just been reduced in price so that you can snap up a bargain before someone else does.

You can tailor your search criteria to include price, location, property type, number of bedrooms and size of the garden and you can stop the alerts at any time. In addition you can ask to receive a digital copy of our bi-annual magazine or a series of useful emails describing the buying process, how to get a mortgage, how to transfer money overseas and what role the notaire has to play.

You can sign up using the form on our home page, it takes 30 seconds!.

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French ski property prices grow by 0.7% in first quarter of 2015

All three types of Alpine ski property (apartments, chalets & houses) saw price increases in the first quarter of the year highlighting an improving sentiment in the ski property market in France. This is an important reversal of the trend in falling prices, particularly for houses and chalets.


Heather Byrne, area coordinator for Leggett Immobilier in the region comments:

These are early days in terms of price growth and values but our pipeline of offers accepted and our completed sales confirm that demand continues to increase across the Alps. These price changes may seem modest but the cumulative effect over a number of quarters is significant to owners and investors alike.

With 23 agents on the ground we are in a unique position to see the market as a whole – it has definitely stabilised and there are early signs of a rising trend in a number of key locations“.

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Leggett Immobilier launches free guides for both buyers & sellers of French property

Having helped thousands of people turn their dreams into reality over the last two decades we thought that we should share our experience. If you are looking to purchase then our “Guide to buying French property” takes you through the whole process – from beginning your property search through making an offer and signing the contracts to being handed the keys in the notaires office. Please feel free to download it and print it out so that you can take it with you when you come on your first viewing trip.

The second guide is for those of you looking to sell your property – our free “Guide to selling French property” gives handy hints on how best to prepare your house for sale, the documentation you will need to gather together, the diagnostic tests you will need to commission and the legal process you will need to go through.

We hope that you find these guides useful – please do get in touch if you would like us to help further.

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Conservative win fuels British interest in French property

British buyers are snapping up French property bargains following last months election, in what is described as “once in a decade” conditions.

Trevor Leggett, Chairman of Leggett Immobilier comments on the recent surge in demand for French property.

It was a timely photo opportunity between David Cameron & Francois Hollande in Paris yesterday. One could almost imagine the British premier asking M Hollande whether yields are better in the 8th Arondissement or on the Cote d’Azur.

damien - cote d'azur

Leggett’s sales in the first quarter jumped by 40% and, following the election result in early May things have really exploded. It’s clear that a Conservative majority has given confidence to UK buyers who see the triple whammy of low prices, cheap financing and a weak euro as an exceptional opportunity.

To illustrate that last point here are two examples of properties around the €850,000 mark that Messieurs Cameron & Hollande would have had fun discussing.

damien - paris

The first is in Paris, the second on the Cote d’Azur. A purchase of this nature would have cost you around £725,000 this time in 2013, around £695,000 this time last year and just £605,000 today. That’s a saving of around £120,000 over the last two years.

Add in the facts that prices have dropped in recent years and that you can get a fixed rate mortgage for around 2.55% with an 80% loan to value and our view is that these are “once a decade” buying conditions.

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Installation of smoke detectors by 8th March 2015


The point is to detect smoke right at the start of a house fire and immediately emit a sound signal which is loud enough to wake up someone who is asleep.

The smoke detector should carry the CE mark and conform to the European standard n° NF EN 14604. It should be solidly fixed high up, away from the walls and sources of steam, preferably in a corridor serving the bedrooms. It is recommended that you install more than one smoke detector in large dwellings or those which are on more than one floor. Smoke detectors adapted for deaf people are available and work with a light signal or vibration.

In theory… Property owners must install a detector before 8th March 2015.
The installation is the responsability of the owner whether he lives in the property or rents it out. For a new rental the smoke detector must be in place when the tenant takes over the property and maintenance can be done as required for a seasonal rental, a hostel, a hôtel, social housing, accommodation at a place of work or for a furnished rental. In other cases it is the tenant who is responsible for maintenance (changing batteries etc) and the landlord can ask the tenant to install the smoke detector – provided he pays for it or reimburses the tenant for its cost.
Proof of installation should be provided to the company which insures the property.

In practice…
At the moment there is no legal sanction for not installing a smoke detector. Insurance companies cannot use the absence of a smoke detector to get round their obligation to indemnify damage caused by a fire in the dwellings they insure.

Specific measures for shared areas.
In buildings whose building permit (or extension of a permit) was applied for before 5th March 1987, and where the floor of the highest dwelling is no more than 50 metres above ground level, there should be fire doors separating the area where dustbins are kept (if they do not open to the outside or onto corridors) and the staircases between the basement and the rest of the building. A floor plan of the basement and the ground floor, and instructions for what to do in the case of a fire, should be on display in entrance foyers and close to stairwells and lifts.

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