Where to buy property in France?
Over a lunchtime on 12 January, Graham Downie, Chief Executive of Leggett, answered questions on Twitter from the public and France Show exhibitors on the topic: where to live in France.
The questions came thick and fast – here is a selection of questions and answers. You can search for the full Q&A on Twitter using the hashtag #AskLeggett.
Which are the most popular areas in France for British buyers?
PACA top with 22% of all Brit buyers, followed by Alps (16%), Lang Rouss (11%) then Paris, Aquitaine & Poitou Charentes.
France is such a huge country – how does one start their property search? Decide what matters most - access/climate/property size then look at prices to see if you can afford that area. #researchresearchresearch
We want sun & value for money when we buy but not in Dordogne or Côte d'Azur. Does such a place exist?
Yup, lots of choice. Try Charente Maritime (has a superb microclimate) or the Med coast in Languedoc Roussillon. Lots of sun & great value.
Do I need to be right on the Côte d’Azur to get guaranteed sunshine? Absolutely not. Generally accepted that dramatic improvement south of the Loire. Our magazine shows sunshine hours in the regional sections.
Are there any hidden French gems that are still relatively undiscovered, property-wise?
A country full! Suisse Normande, Massif des Bauges, Besse, Olonzac (Minervois). We have 450 agents across the country so pick their brains!
Is rural life in France really as idyllic as people believe?
I swapped London for deepest Charente 14 years ago. Prepare yourself though & ask locals questions about what is open & when....
I’m seeking value for money in Languedoc-Roussillon w/access to sea & the mountains. Any advice?
Perfect choice. The Aude has average price of €138k while prices in Pyrenees Orientales rose by 4% last yr (source Notaires de France)....
I have visited and love the Loire Valley and hope to buy there in the future; your thoughts?
Always really strong international demand & a personal favourite. Loir-et-Cher has av. price of €130k and prices rose by 8.3% so on the up.
I want to move with my young family to SW France - where should I be looking?
I moved in 2003 with a 3 & 5 yr old & love Charente. Find an area then research schools - if the kids are happy then you're likely to be too.
Which areas do you think will see the biggest price rises in 2017?
We think overall prices will rise by 2-3% but I'm dire at forecasting :-) Bordeaux & surrounding villages are in the press & "hot" now....
What's Leggett's opinion on the #Brexit impact on French property prices in 2017?
Minimal - prices are driven by domestic demand. 840,000 sales in last 12 months (up 15%) with only 6-7,000 of these from the UK.
A reader based in London is looking for a w/e bolthole – any suggestions?
City airport flies to 9 destinations (Nantes one of my favourites, always tops polls of best French city) or anywhere near the ports/eurostar.
Will France’s new regions make any difference to property prices/househunting?
Nope, none at all - it's an admin issue. Sun is still shining & property still great value compared to UK.
Is it still possible to find villages with a good balance of expats and locals and be welcomed by both?!
You get out what you put in. Join a club....I joined the local cycling club & apart from the obligatory dope tests it's great :-)
Leggett Immobilier are one of the many property experts you can talk to at the French Property Exhibition. To get more expert advice about all the issues around buying property in France – from where to buy to taxation and legal issues – come to the free seminars in the Property Theatres on Level Two during the France Show. To find out more about the topics and times, click here.