French Property Blog: Our Voice from France

Leggett Immobilier voted “Best Estate Agency in France”

awards

This week, at a prestigious ceremony in the west end of London Leggett Immobilier were officially crowned as the best estate agency in France.

The International Property Awards are sponsored by Virgin Atlantic and the judging panel is made up of 70 of the most repected names in the property industry. Leggett Immobilier competed against a number of real estate companies in France to receive this recognition and were the clear overall winner.

Europe’s finest estate agents and property consultants gathered at the glamorous Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Tuesday, September 24th to watch Trevor and Joanna Leggett go up to receive the award.

The judges took almost three months with their deliberations and were looking at customer service, innovation, marketing and overall excellence and Leggetts led the field in all areas – Chief Executive, Trevor Leggett commented:

“We were delighted to be crowned as the best agency in France and this is testament to the hard work put in by all of our staff and agents.

We are a family firm and we all know that the customer comes first. It’s lovely to pick up awards but the real recognition of our hard work is that over one in ten British buyers of French property now do so through Leggett Immobilier. Our business is expanding and we are looking for hardworking, trustworthy and professional agents all over France to join our team – maybe this award will help to continue attracting the best people out there”.

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Leggett Immobilier sponsors French “conkers” championships.

conkers

Leggett Immobilier are delighted to sponsor this years French conkers championships which take place at 2.30pm on Saturday 5th October in Abjat sur Bandiat in the Dordogne.

Viewers of the hit TV show “Little Britain” will be familiar with the event which has roots going back to 1990. Indeed TF1, BBC, ITV and a host of other TV channels have provided coverage and we are delighted to invite all of our clients and friends to visit the championships and to drop by the Leggett Immobilier stand and come and say hello.

The event is being organised by Stuart Edwards and we will let him explain the history of the tournament:

“In 1989 my wife and I bought a hotel,bar restaurant in Abjat sur Bandiat in the Perigord Vert–the modern history of conkers in France starts here!

In 1990 with a few locally collected conkers we held an impromptu conker tournament with a few Brits on holiday and a couple of bemused Frenchmen. In 1994 a conker competition with 50 people taking part was won by a young Frenchman—Stephane Jally. When we told him of the World Conker Championships, held each year in England he insisted that he wanted to take a team to England to represent France and so in October 1995 France was represented in front of 8000 spectators at the World Champioships near Oundle in England.

Stephane won the French Championships again the following year and so we decided to officially create “La Federation Francaise de Conkers” in order to keep the annual French Conker Championships here in Abjat.

The event took off and we attracted sponsors such as Pand O Ferries, Flybe, Pastis and Futuroscope.

French success in the world championships have been r reserved for the women’s team which has been victorious twice.

This year’s French Champioships are being held on Saturday 5th. October wtth a randonnee pedestre in the morning,a huge vide grenier and a free concert in the evening. The conkers championship starts at 2.30 in the afternoon and will run on well into the evening.

For further information contact Stewart Edwards on 05.53.56.16.93″.

Leggett Immobilier would like to wish all entrants and spectators a terrific day out and will be rooting for a French winner at the next World championships.

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Next Exhibitions Shows

Please come and see us at our next exhibitions in England and France.

We will be at Olympia in London from 20 – 22 September at the French Property Exhibition from 10 – 5 pm each day.

Followed by the Place in the Sun exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham from 27 – 29 September 10 – 5 pm each day in the French village.

We will also be presenting seminars on ‘Where to live in France’ each day at both exhibitions.

We will also be at the Salon de l’immmobilier in Bordeaux from 4 October 2 – 9pm and 5/6 10 – 6 pm.

Address : 173 Quai des Chartrons – Hangar 14 (1er), 33000 Bordeaux – stand E16.

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Wealthy buyers coming back to the French property market

The recent clarification of Capital Gains Tax rules is tempting HNWI’s (High Net Worth Individuals) back into the French property market according to Leggett Immobilier.

Chief Executive, Trevor Leggett, explains that when President Hollande first came to power he had toyed with the idea of ending tax breaks for the wealthy and of introducing a marked increase in CGT.  However, two things have calmed the fears of wealthy buyers.  Firstly, the recent announcement that the exoneration period will go down from 30 years to 22 years from September 1st 2013 and secondly that there will be a special temporary reduction to “aid the fluidity of the property market” – a tax allowance of 25% has been introduced for one year only which will apply to sales between September 1st 2013 and August 31st 2014.

“There is no doubt that the recent tax clarifications are tempting wealthy buyers back into the market.  I read last week that Knight Frank are reporting a 16% increase in French property searches for the first five months of 2013 and are forecasting an increase in the demand for prime property from overseas investors this year.  Well, I’m delighted to confirm that visits to our Prestige property website have doubled over the same period. These visits are also converting into sales – our Prestige team are on course for a record year with particularly strong figures in the Rhone Alpes, Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur and Aquitaine.

In addition to this increased demand I saw that the highly respected research team at Savills told the Wall Street Journal that new European lenders are coming into France at the rate of one a week.  This lead the newspaper to report that “France is one of a select few countries where lenders are daring to tread once again“.

Mortgage rates are at historical lows, starting at 2.10% for a loan up to 80% of the purchase price and wealthy international buyers can sense that there are some excellent deals to be had.  Indeed just last night I had back to back phone calls from two of our agents on the Cote d’Azur and in the Midi Pyrenees saying that offers had been accepted on prime properties from within our prestige portfolio”.
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Government tries to kick start French property market by improving CGT exoneration period

President Hollande has confirmed that the exoneration period for
French property capital gains tax (CGT) will go down from 30 years to
22 years from September 1st 2013.

This was previously trailered and expected by the market but the big
news is that budget minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, also told the senate
that there will be a special temporary reduction to “aid the fluidity
of the property market” – this tax allowance of 25% is for one year
only and will apply to sales between September 1st 2013 and August
31st 2014.

Commenting on this move to boost transaction numbers within the French
property market Trevor Leggett (Chief Executive of Leggett Immobilier)
says:

“It’s clear that the government are determined to boost property sales
over the next 12 months. Last year France saw a 12% drop in house
sales down to 709,000 and this year we’ll see a further decrease.
President Hollande recognises the danger this presents to the wider
economy and has acted to halt the decline.

Whilst these changes have still to be ratified by parliament next
month I see this as a formality, although some of the detail still has
to be clarified. It was interesting that Mr Cazeneuve also promised
to lighten the social contributions that are currently levied on CGT.
Our in-house legal team will be following this closely and combing
through the fine print once the law is passed.

Over one in ten UK buyers of French property now purchase their homes
through Leggett Immobilier and I’m sure that they will be delighted
that President Hollande finally seems to accept that the property
market is the cornerstone of French foreign investment. We see this as
a big step forward for the Hollande government and we are expecting a
spike in sales from September onwards”.

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