Falling house prices, cheap long-term mortgages and favourable currency exchange rates have combined to make a property in France even more appealing to British buyers, agree a number of property experts. The effect of all these factors is that buying a home in France is now almost 25% cheaper than it was 12 months ago.
Figures from the French national estate agency association, FNAIM, show average house prices had been falling by 1%-2% annually over the past few years, with a further 3% drop expected nationally this year.
However, some commentators, such as John Busby of French Private Finance, believe prices could rise by 15%-20% over the next ten years. With French lenders keen on long-term fixed mortgages, there are some very inexpensive deals to be picked up, such as a 20-year fix at 2.55%, down from 3.5% a year ago. This could save over £45,000 on a €400,000 loan over the 20-year term.
Busby says: “With the euro now almost 15% weaker against sterling, French real estate, deposits and the monthly repayments on mortgages are now 24% cheaper for UK buyers. This, combined with the good supply of properties across France, is driving an increase in sales. So far this year our completed mortgage applications have already surpassed last year’s total.”