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French property market in buoyant mood

Posted on 22 September 2017

As hard as it is to believe right now, as the excitement of potentially owning your own ski retreat in the French Alps takes hold, there’s more to consider that just hitting the slopes when buying abroad. Savvy home hunters won’t just be planning their ski schedule as they embark on a viewing trip, they will be weighing up the long-term investment potential of any properties they’re considering making an offer on by monitoring the local property market. If like them you have one eye on the future value of your new pad, the latest figures from the National Institute for Statistical and Economic Studies (INSEE) and European Central Bank (ECB) make for encouraging reading.

French house prices were up 2.9% during the year to Q1 2017 – the fifth consecutive quarter of year-on-year price rises and the highest increase since Q4 2011. This upward trend has been fuelled by a surge in demand, after the French property market recorded a record 848,000 transactions in 2016 – that’s 19,000 more sales than the previous peak back in 2005.

The good news doesn’t end there. You won’t be short of new build alpine properties to choose from thanks to an increase in residential construction, with the number of authorised dwellings up 6.7% year-on-year in July 2017. And the French housing market is showing no signs of slowing over the coming months, with low interest rates which are making the cost of borrowing cheaper and improving economic conditions which are leaving people with more money to spend, expected to maintain demand. In June 2017, for example, the average interest rate on outstanding housing loans fell to 2.29% from 2.77% a year earlier.

So plan a viewing trip to the French Alps today and you could profit further down the line, when the time eventually comes to sell up. Obviously there’s the small matter of skiing to your hearts content before that day arrives.

For a step-by-step guide to buying a property in France, download the France Buying Guide by clicking here.

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