The impact of Brexit on the French property market
03 August 2016
Following the UK’s historic vote to leave the European Union, there’s been a lot of talk about the impact the result will have on the UK property market. What less people are talking about is the impact that this result will have, and is already having, on property markets across Europe; particularly within countries like France, where there has historically been high numbers of property purchases by British buyers.
France has long been a popular destination for Brits looking for a European holiday home. The country offers a vast variety of lifestyle benefits including delicious cuisine, fantastic climate and a uniquely laid-back Mediterranean culture. With the fall in house prices in recent years, French property also offers overseas buyers fantastic value for money.
Last year, sales of French property to foreign buyers reached 17,785; an increase of 29% from the 13,823 sales completed in 2014. British buyers accounted for just over a third of these sales, with over 6,000 agreed – a good example of the British people’s enthusiasm for French property.
At the moment it is still unclear how the UK’s eventual exit from the EU and renegotiations will play out, making the long-term impact of Brexit difficult to predict. In the short-term, however, it seems very little has changed, as buyers from all over the world continue to enquire about buying property in France.
Buyers from Germany, Scandinavia, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, America, China and the Middle East all contribute significantly to the market and these relationships are unlikely to be drastically altered by the UK’s exit from the EU. Because French property is accessible to buyers from both inside and outside of the EU, UK buyers are unlikely to face any noteworthy new obstacles to buying French property even after Article 50 is invoked.
The impact on the French property market
With 830,000 sales agreed in the 12 months leading up to April 2016, the French property market is now close to reaching the peak levels of 2008-2009. According to figures from TheMoveChannel.com, following the Brexit announcement, French property enquiries did dip marginally in July (around 1%) but France nonetheless remained in the Top 5 most popular countries for the third month in a row.
A noteworthy shift has been seen in the long-term intentions of British buyers. A recent survey showed that over half of Brits enquiring about buying property in France post-Brexit are now looking for a permanent relocation.
The poll, which was undertaken in the weeks following the referendum, suggests that British people are now keener than ever to move to France permanently, despite uncertainty surrounding how British immigration in Europe will be affected by the decision.
A similar poll by Rightmove Overseas in 2015 showed that only 38% of Brits were looking for a full time move, with more than half looking to buy a holiday home and around 2% looking for an investment property. Could it be that the after the controversial Brexit result, devout ‘remain’ voters are now considering voting with their feet?
If you’re considering buying property in France, whether for a holiday home, investment property or a permanent relocation, contact a member of our team today on +44 (0)1202 765011 or email [email protected] for more information on our available properties.