The last two months have seen a rise in the number of people looking to buy property in France with new enquiries for mortgages more than doubling in May compared with April. France is particularly appealing to UK investors at the moment because of the weakening Euro and the availability and competitiveness of mortgage products being offered by French banks to attract foreign investors, according to experts.
French mortgage specialist Athena Mortgages said it has seen a surge in the number of enquiries by UK investors looking to buy properties in France and May was its busiest month for new enquiries in any single month in the past year.
Interest from UK buyers has gathered momentum since the start of the year and new enquiries from Brits looking to purchase in France were up by 72% in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the last quarter of 2009, the company revealed.
Also, the first quarter of 2010 saw the highest level of enquiries by UK investors in any quarter since the last three months of 2007.
With property prices in France rebounding over the past 12 months, foreign investors are starting to feel more confident about re-entering the market. The new build market, in particular, is performing strongly. Prices in Paris and Marseille, for example, are up by 8% and 11% respectively, compared to this time last year, the company added.
This increased confidence is also reflected in the number of enquiries that the company received in February and March this year that progressed to the application stage and all the way through to a firm mortgage offer being made.
‘Since the beginning of this year, we have certainly noticed a change in the mindset of UK investors, and in particular the last two months we have taken a lot of calls from prospective buyers who are serious about investing in France,’ said director John Busby.
‘There is definitely a feeling amongst investors that this is a pretty good time to buy in France with the value of the Euro plummeting in the last couple of months, the European Central Bank rate likely to remain low for some time yet and the relative stability of the French property market. There are also more competition mortgage products coming onto the market, as French banks look to attract foreign investors,’ he explained.
‘Also, with concerns over the UK Government’s proposal to hike Capital Gains Tax on second homes, we are predicting that more UK investors, who are planning to realize their gains in the domestic buy to let market, will turn to the French property market as an attractive and safe long term investment option,’ he added.[Property Wire]