French Property Blog: Our Voice from France

Mixing Modern with the Ancient

Strategically placed on France’s Atlantic Coast, La Rochelle was founded almost a thousand years ago. It has beautifully maintained its past, making it one of the most picturesque and historically rich cities on the Atlantic coast.

Desirable property in central La Rochelle can be scarce, however Leggett are now marketing three brand new architecturally-designed developments set close to the city centre which, due to their location and specification, are expected to prove popular.

Leggett area co-ordinator, Tony Murless, says these developments are among the very best currently on the market in the Charente Maritime.


“Each has been created by well-reputed property developers and is being built to high property specifications – ensuring the best of both worlds – a new apartment with all the conveniences of modern day living close to the magnificent architecture of the old city which makes La Rochelle such a fascinating place both to live and visit.”


Architecturally designed, Le Courlis provides a choice of of generously sized apartments at relatively modest prices. A total of just eight apartments in this three-storeyed small development, provide an ideal pied a terre within 500 metres of the centre of La Rochelle close to ‘La Porte Royale – and just minutes’ walk to the old town and thriving markets. The residence itself is equipped with a lift, garaging (additional storage is available in the basement), energy control equipment and secure access through video intercom.


The apartments benefit from high quality fixtures and fittings, standard to all properties created by this developer, and range in price from € 174,900 for a 41.75 m² one bedroom apartment to € 516,220 for the largest 126 m² apartment with three bedrooms and a 59 m² terrace – each apartment in Le Courlis features either its own terrace or sheltered balcony.

Ground has already been broken, with completion due towards the end of 2015. Only recently introduced to the market, Tony says now is the ideal time to choose the apartment that best suits your needs!

Near the Canal de Rompsay and close to the heart of the old city, a particularly striking residential property Les Berges Saint Louis is under construction by the same architectural and development team. Set in a conservation area currently undergoing regeneration, these apartments provide a solid investment opportunity for the future.


Demand has been brisk for these expansive apartments with just five of the total of 10 still remaining on the market. Again set in a low rise development of just three storeys, the remaining apartments range in size from 63 m² for a two bedroomed unit at € 283,270 to the largest four roomed apartment consisting of 84 m² with its own 25 m² terrace for sale at € 350,380. Each has dedicated parking as well as additional storage boxes, lift and all the other mod cons you can expect as standard from these high quality developers.

Here again privacy is a keynote, each apartment having its own generously-sized terrace or balcony not overlooked by neighbours! Construction is already well underway with completion due in Spring 2015.

The buy-to-let market is well catered for by the third development Residence Porte de la Rochelle in Tasdon, a sought after area in central La Rochelle.


Close to hand are all the necessary amenities for day to day living, just a few minutes from the old port, train station, food shops, banks, cafes and restaurants – these attractively priced apartments provide an opportunity both for living or as a buy to let option, especially with its situation conveniently close to the university centres.

Bright and functional, each of the 34 apartments, spread over two buildings, has large windows with either a balcony or terrace, covered parking and the whole development is being built to the latest thermal regulations. As well as gas heating, there is lift access to all floors and security monitored access. The developer and architect have been careful to include green spaces within the centre of this development.

Ideal to let out to staff working at the local universities, these extremely reasonably priced apartments range from 28 m² studios at € 125,000 to the larger 70 m² two bedroom units on the market for €297,000.

Tony Murless says, for French tax residents, buying a new property can provide tax breaks as well as other incentives.


“There is no doubt, La Rochelle is a booming and vital city – its ancient port now has the biggest marina on the West Coast which is an enormous attraction for visitors and residents alike. In addition this area boasts the second highest number of sunshine hours each year which is a real draw!

“Properties are definitely holding and beginning to increase in value. Now could be the ideal time to invest in a brand new apartment – and of course each of these properties comes with a standard 10 year building guarantee!”


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French property – UK buyers back with a bang

Sales of French property to UK buyers is on the up say leading French estate agents, Leggett Immobilier.

Trevor Leggett, Chairman of Leggett immobilier, comments:

“Our half year figures are in and it’s clear that UK buyers are back in force. The first six months of 2014 show an overall increase in sales of 35% and our pipeline of “offers accepted” and “contracts exchanged” has doubled over this period. This gives us confidence that this is a clear trend in the market place which will continue throughout the year.

Sales to UK buyers make up around a quarter of all “non resident” purchases in France and we’re seeing increasing demand across the country. In particular our teams in the neighbouring Languedoc Roussillon and Midi Pyrenees regions have seen sales rise sharply.

We’re convinced that this increase in demand is due to three factors:

• Consumer confidence in the UK economy and property market (something that is not necessarily shared by all other European countries)
• Continued low interest rates allowing French property to be financed cheaply and relatively easily compared to previous years
• The perennial desire of UK buyers to have a home in France where the weather, culture and simple way of living is seen as attractive compared to the stress of UK living.

Quite how long the current interest rates will last for is uncertain. A small increase in the cost of borrowing over the second half of 2014 would have little or no effect on demand. However, if – as seems increasingly likely – interest rates were to rise dramatically then this could dampen things.

You can currently get a fixed mortgage with 80% loan to value at around 3.25% or a variable rate with 80% loan to value at around 2.60%. With the overall fall in property prices we have seen over the last couple of years many of our buyers have said that they see this as a “window of opportunity”.

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Do you want to join us in Pas de Calais/Picardie?

Do you want to join us in Pas de Calais/Picardie?

    Leggett Immobilier was recently voted

    ‘Best Estate Agency in France’.

    We are looking for new recruits in Pas de Calais and will be holding a recruitment roadshow in

    Amiens, BEST WESTERN Grand Hotel de l’Univers, 2 Rue de Noyon, 80000 Amiens

    on Thursday 12 June 2014

Our award winning team of agents is expanding and we are looking for new recruits in the Pas-de-Calais and Picardie. We offer excellent rates of commission and access to international buyers from all over the world. Easy access to London means this area is constantly popular with our UK clients.

You will be given intensive, residential, training and will be supported by our central team of legal, marketing and IT experts.

Our properties are promoted at numerous property shows, on our website, through all the major international property portals and in quality journals such as the Financial Times and Country Life International.

Our recruitment day for this region is on the morning of Thursday 12th June 2014 and will be held in the Somme, BEST WESTERN Grand Hotel de l’Univers, 2 Rue de Noyon, 80000 Amiens.

Places are limited and reserved through pre-approved application only. If you think you have what it takes to join “The Best Estate Agency in France” then please register here:

Register here

or email Sarah Edwards

We look forward to meeting you soon!!

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Leggett Immobilier, the premier English speaking estate agent in France, has signed a 3 year sponsorship deal with the ski club in St Gervais les Bains confirming its commitment to helping the local children at grass roots level to become tomorrow’s champions.

With nearly 200 members from the age of 5 to 20 , covering Alpine and Snowboard disciplines and the new ski jumping section, the club also fulfils a vital role by training members to become ski instructors, and to a standard required to train as ski patrol. The club is going from strength to strength with members competing in international, national and local races with a string of podiums over the 2013/14 season.

LEGGETT SKI now has a prominant position on the ski club mini bus, which takes the members to competions and training around the Alps – this week at LA Scara in Val d’Isere

insert photos..

Club President , Anne Chantal Grevy Pigelet said; “we are delighted to receive the support of LEGGETT IMMOBILIER for the years ahead and look forward to a successful cooperation for both parties.

for more information about the club visit the site:

or for information in English contact: Andrew MORGAN
tel 00 33 695 33 19 03

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Leggett Immobilier reaction to the UK budget

Chairman, Trevor Leggett, gave the following comments to the UK budget announced by George Osborne yesterday.

“Two things stood out in the budget yesterday as being of direct relevance to our business.

The first is that the UK housing market is clearly fully back on it’s feet. The “Office for Budget Responsibility” forecast that transaction numbers could rise up to 1.5m by 2018/19 with a 30% growth in prices by April 2019. We know from experience that when UK home owners have confidence in their domestic market they look to purchase their dream home overseas.

Secondly the easing of regulations covering what you can and can’t spend your pension pot on will give people quicker access to their savings with more options open to them. Buying a second home in France will be top of many people’s lists as they look to enjoy their “golden years” – property prices in France are beginning to look like excellent value again.

These are both positive signs and reinforce my opinion that we’re going to see a noticeable increase in sales of French property to UK buyers this year”.

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