Why now is the time to buy French property

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Reduced property prices, low interest rates, great mortgage deals and favourable currency conditions means that now is the perfect time to buy French property.

Throughout 2014, the FNAIM (the national association of French estate agents) reported that French property had dropped by 1.5% across the country. Even Paris, the world’s most visited city, has seen a reduction in property prices.
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Buy French property for less

When combining these lower property prices with low interest rates, attractive mortgage deals and advantageous currency pairings, as well as vendors’ general willingness to strike a deal, it is clear that there has never been a better time to buy French property.

“We have been experiencing a lot of interest from the UK because of the strength of the pound against the euro and this continues to be the case,” says Tim Swannie, Director of Home Hunts. “We have had clients from all over the world wanting to buy French property – including China, the Middle East, America, South Africa, Brazil, Russia and Europe – and they have all had one thing in common: they were all looking for a deal.”

Strike a deal on your dream home

Home Hunts has been receiving more than 600 enquiries each month from buyers and the team have made more sales in the first half of 2015 than previously anticipated.

“Over the last ten days we have agreed seven sales, averaging €2m each, and have 12 clients visiting in the next week,” says Swannie, adding that clients are taking advantage of this unique time to buy French property at dream prices.

“If owners are not willing to take an offer then their property will sit on the market for a long time,” he explains. “However, vendors who are willing to work with a buyer on price are making the sales and therefore also able to broker an interesting deal on the property they wish to buy.”

Mortgages that mean business

As Home Hunts’ recent property insights report, INSIDE FRANCE, revealed, the reasons behind Eurozone interest rates being the lowest since the euro was introduced in 1999 are twofold.

“The Euribor 3 month – the interbank rate that most variable rate mortgages are linked to – reached its historical high of 5.3% at the beginning of October 2008, and is now down to 0.08%,” explains Tim Yates of Spectrum IFA.

As the Euribor has come down the banks have taken the opportunity to increase their margins. “Six years ago a typical margin would have been 1%, now it is 2%,” says Yates. “Interest rates have therefore come down from 6.3% in 2008 to as low as 2.1% today.”

In terms of reduced outgoings, he explains that the owner of a house bought with an €800,000 20-year repayment mortgage could currently benefit from a monthly saving of almost €1,800.

Exciting exchange rates

For overseas clients looking to buy French property, current exchange rates are helping to reduce French property prices even further. Adam Bobroff, Director of Foreign Exchange at the Foremost Currency Group, says that many of the FX pairs have moved by over 10% in the favour of an overseas buyer in the past year alone and that GBP/EUR is at the best level in almost six years.

“This means your dream home in the sun, based on €1,000,000, is a staggering £100,000 cheaper now,” he says. “It’s not just the Brits that have seen a huge benefit from the exchange rate fluctuation over the past year, Americans have gained 16%, Australians will find their purchase to be 11% cheaper since the start of 2014, along with Canadians seeing similar gains, and the Scandinavians have seen smaller savings at up to 2%.”

Snap up a dream property with Home Hunts

At the beginning of the year, Home Hunts predicted that 2015 would be the year of the deal, and so far this seems to be the case. Attractive deal terms and irresistible market conditions mean that clients looking to buy French property are discovering that houses previously outside of their budget are now accessible.

As an official estate agency but also a buyer’s agent, Home Hunts acts solely for the buyer, and therefore is in the best position to help clients buy French property.

“We are perfectly placed to help people locate their dream properties and we focus on bringing clients what they want,” says Francois-Xavier de Vial, Director of Home Hunts. “As a buyer’s agent, we are in touch with all estate agents in France, and our team makes it their mission to ensure they cover the entire French market for our clients.”

To view properties for sale in Home Hunts’ portfolio, visit www.home-hunts.com. To find out more about how Home Hunts can help you buy French property, call the French office on +33 (0)970 44 66 43.

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