French real estate luring foreign buyers
The French property market has been a good investment for many foreign buyers over the last year with prices of flats and houses rising in the most sought after areas. Prices in the Paris region have risen by between 3.8% and 6.2% for houses and flats, according to data release by government controlled Notaires de France.
At the same time, the numbers of UK buyers in the Paris region has remained stable at around 2% of all transactions, according to data from BNP Paribas.
Buyers from the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe are regarding the Parisian market as a good buy as it is regarded as a safe haven, a bit like London, according to Tim Harvey, managing director of a French mortgage brokerage.
‘In Paris, as in London, we can see the importance of the international buyer who has certainly contributed to the overall buoyancy of the market. Likewise, in Nice and the surrounding areas, Asian and Eastern European buyers will have provided underlying strength to the market,’ he said.
One contributing factor to the health of the French mortgage market is certainly the willingness of the banks to lend. While for the UK buyer the story has been one of disappearing banks, in France lenders have stood firm and continued to offer attractively priced mortgage funding.
John Busby, director of French Private Finance, believes ‘Non-residents can now benefit from a 25 year fixed rate at 3.75% or a variable rate for the same period from 2.7%. We have seen an increase in the number of applications sent to the bank looking for these new conditions, which is bringing renewed vigour and confidence to the property market in France,’ he said.
He believes that the low interest rates are going to sustain the property market in France over the next few years, with prices likely to remain stable. ‘There certainly are bargains to be had in the current climate where a lack of domestic buyers is opening up opportunities for British and international buyers to snap up desirable properties,’ he added.
The Alps, Paris and the Cote d’Azur remain the most popular with British buyers with 75% of French Private Finance clients buying in those areas. ‘Many people are astounded at the low rates on offer in France and the possibility to lock in your rate over 20 years at 3.6% fixed or 2.4% variable with loans available at 80% of the price of the property,’ said Busby.
Read the full article from Property Wire here.