The French property market has performed well in 2013 – a relief after a sluggish 2012.
The country is one of the most popular destinations for tourists and house hunters in the world thanks to France’s reputation for culture, sumptuous cuisine, stunning shores and green rolling hills. With a stable and large economy to boot, France’s appeal also extends to investors, particularly wealthier buyers on the hunt for high-end real estate and a secure place to put their cash.
The country’s lifestyle appeal remained, but as France attempted to introduce austerity measures, the drop in interest was attributed to President Francois Hollande’s hike in Capital Gains Tax from 19 per cent to 34.5 per cent: sellers were keen to hold on to property rather than place it on the market and avoid any fees.
Now, though, that rise has been retracted, while the length of time before homeowners are exempt from CGT on second homes has been reduced.
Since that announcement, agents have become more confident in the market, while buyers have already returned in strength. Indeed, France climbed three places in TheMoveChannel.com’s popularity rankings in June 2013 to become the third most sought-after country on the site – the first time it had been in the top five for months.
Knight Frank, meanwhile, reported a 16 per cent surge in French property searches in the first five months of 2013.
Buyers have also benefitted from historically low mortgage rates, with rates falling to just 2.10 per cent for a loan of up to 80 per cent of a property’s value. As real estate became more affordable, France’s international appeal swiftly climbed once again – a relief? Yes. A surprise? Not at all.
Most popular hotspots
The most popular region in France is Provences-Alpes Cote d’Azur. Home to the breathtaking French Riviera, an area that wins over bargain hunters and wealthy buyers alike, it accounts for 15.56 per cent of all French enquiries on TheMovChannel.com.
Other popular hotspots include:
Paris. City of light. City of love. Who has not dreamed of owning a home in the gorgeous French capital? Far and away the most popular French location on TheMoveChannel.com, it accounts for 21.5 per cent of all the country’s property searches. And little wonder: its high-end property in the city centre is a stable investment for wealthy buyers or a stunning second home for those wanting an Eiffel Tower view with their croissants for breakfast. The outer arrondissements are more affordable for mid-end house hunters.
Have you ever tasted Bordeaux? For house hunters, the real estate is just as delectable. From its old-fashioned streets and stunning river views, the city has a bouquet of tradition rounded off with a hint of class – and a faint note of exclusivity. Most of all, though, it is a quiet place that, although popular with British property buyers, never feels too crowded. Drink it up.
Paris is the big boy in France’s property market, but Marseille is the second largest city in the country, let alone the Mediterranean coast. Nestled on France’s southern shores, Marseille manages to mix beachside popularity with traditional French culture– a heady blend that attracts over 1 in 10 of all French property searches on TheMoveChannel.com.
Right at the heart of the French Riviera, Cannes is famous for its film festival that takes place every spring. Hollywood’s brightest and best walk the city’s red carpets and soak up its sunlight. When they’re gone, the magic stays: from private beaches and world-class restaurants to prestigious galleries and exclusive shops, Cannes is a glitzy playground for many, but a glamorous home for the select few.