The Times reports that Brexit-related uncertainty has caused the number of British buyers purchasing permanent homes in France to rise, and the number of second property buyers to fall. So, do the Winkworth International property experts agree? Well, yes and no.
Forever Home Buyers
Yes, in our experience more Britons are emigrating to France in order to guarantee their EU rights before the final Brexit in March 2019. With a transition period expected to last a good 18 months after this cut off date, there’s still time for you to join them. However, an administrative backlog is likely, so do make buying a French property and registering yourself as a tax resident an immediate priority. You can keep up with the latest advice for UK citizens living in France via the Remain in France Together (RIFT) website.
“Brexit apart, value for money and authentic French life have always been a deciding factor for expat buyers settling permanently in France,” says David King of Winkworth International. Brittany in the North, and Burgundy in the centre remain popular for these very reasons. Further South meanwhile, you’ll find affordable forever homes in lesser known Lot.
Idyllic countryside properties and period townhouses in Lot can be bought at half the price of equivalent properties in the UK, as our Lot property listings testify. Here, buyers can appreciate a supportive – but not overwhelming – expat network, together with positive integration between locals and new arrivals.
Perched on a hill amidst undulating countryside, the small medieval town of Gourdon is a fine example of how well connected Lot is, in France and beyond. A 90 minute drive from Bergerac airport – serviced by British Airways, Ryanair and Flybe – the town also has its own station. From here you can travel to Paris in a little over 5 hours on the direct intercité line. Gourdon boasts an excellent weekly market, beautiful architecture, restaurants and botanical gardens. Superb hiking and biking terrain is moments away and there’s even a bathing lake. With warm summers and a steady tourist trade, restored Châteaux for sale in and around Gourdon offer added holiday let value too.
Second Property Buyers
Second home purchases from the UK might be down as buyers wait out a period of uncertainty, but as our France property agents maintain, there are still buyers looking for second properties despite – and even because of – the current situation. New wealth tax incentives have made prime holiday property markets like Provence and Côte D’Azur attractive to HNW buyers all over again. Meanwhile, with hundreds of banking jobs moving from London to Paris, a Paris apartment has become a necessary career investment. “Looking beyond Brexit, this could also be a lucrative investment as Paris gears up to host the 2024 Olympic games,” says David King.
With many years experience selling property overseas, we’d love to share our expertise. For further Winkworth International property insights, subscribe to our newsletter or get in touch.