Where to Buy Property in France

The property market in France has been generally good over the last half decade with house valuations remaining on a slight upward trend. Country properties remain very good value, particularly if you’re after plenty of land, with some unbelievable bargain available. However, as in the most European countries, the house valuations of seaside and city properties are at a premium and therefore cost an awful lot more.

Town or Country?

Property on the French Riviera remains among the most expensive, but also prestigious, in the world and with such a beautiful capital city one would expect Paris to be a very expensive buy as well but property in Paris remains a good long-term investment. In France, new properties are widely available and include coastal and city apartments, ski and golf developments, and a wide range of individually designed houses and chalets. It must be said that most new French properties are part of purpose-built developments, often located along the coast or in mountain areas, encompassing a golf course, swimming pool, tennis and squash courts, a gym or fitness club, and a restaurant. British purchasers of French property need to understand that the French purchase procedure for property is somewhat different to the norm in the UK, the French have different Building Surveys and their own version of the Home Buyers Report.

North or South?

Some of the most popular areas for buyers of French property include Paris, the Loire Valley, the South of France (particularly the French Riviera or Côte d’Azur and Provence), south-west France (e.g. Charente, Dordogne and Gascony), and of course Brittany and Normandy, which are particularly popular with the British. Winter holiday homes in French alpine ski resorts are also popular, especially in fashionable resorts such as Chamonix. Properties in French ski resorts are usually an excellent investment and also make fine summer holiday homes, especially if you’re a keen hiker. But do remember that French properties are built differently than in the UK, they not only look different, but tend to use different techniques and materials, so don’t expect a UK Building Survey to be of enormous help!

Big or Small?

Apart from obvious points such as size, quality and land area, the most important factor influencing a house valuation in France is its location. A restored or modernised two-bedroom house in the north-west (e.g. Normandy) but sells for double or treble that price in the south-east (e.g. Provence), so don’t rely on a one size fits all assumption for house valuations, France is a huge country. Similarly, the closer you are to the coast or Paris the more the house valuation is.

A farmhouse with a barn and a large plot of land in North West France will have the same house valuation or cost as a tiny studio apartment in Paris or on the Côte d’Azur. Property in ski resorts varies considerably in price according to the resort and the location of the property.

Help financing your French property in France is well worth investigating, mortgages are available from all major French banks (both for residents and non-residents) and many foreign banks and by using local services you will get the right building survey and equivalent of the HomeBuyer Report.

Article courtesy of www.direct-valuations.com