If you have turned on the TV of late or tuned in to the radio, picked up a newspaper or even overheard conversations in bars or on trains there is absolutely no way you can have missed the fact that the UK is in a terrible situation financially speaking.
The situation is expected to get worse with the most negative, (or perhaps realistic) analysts suggesting that the end will not be in sight for at least five years. So how on earth can anyone find anything positive to focus on when all around us financial markets are falling, banks are going bankrupt and the average man and woman on the street are the ones being most affected.
Well, here’s a little secret that not so many people know about – the situation across the Channel in la belle France is actually a lot more positive. If you’re wondering how to squirrel your savings away into something safer than a semi-secure bank account or a rapidly dwindling stock or share, here are ten reasons to move into French investment property.
1) In France the French don’t consider their property an investment, therefore the entire feeling in the real estate sector is different and the market has not been undermined by lots of locals trying to make a quick buck out of it – unlike the markets in the UK or the USA for example. This means that the entire property sector is far healthier.
2) Unlike property prices in the UK which have reportedly fallen for the 13th consecutive month, prices in France are remaining stable on average with some regions actually reporting a price increase so far this year. In other words, as stated, the property market in France is healthier than ours and therefore worth a closer look.
3) French lenders require at least a 25% deposit before they will consider offering a buyer a mortgage…this certainly sifts out those who can afford to buy from those who can’t from the outset, and it means that anyone who can raise the 25% has a healthy stake in their own property from day one.
4) The French banks have not gambled on the sub prime mortgage market, as a result theirs is not a real estate landscape undermined by unstable loans and their banks have not over exposed themselves to bad mortgage debt in France.
5) The property sector in France is very well regulated from the inside; couple this with the fact that lending practices are mature and buyers are not gamblers and you have a far safer sector to invest your money in.
6) The same can be said for energy prices in France with the energy sector also well regulated - meaning that prices for gas have ‘only’ risen 5% and prices for electricity by 2% - what this means is that it is within more people’s reach to afford the luxury of a home in France and it could be a more affordable bet for you too.
7) With the maturity in the market, overall sentiment geared toward viewing a property in France as a home rather than an investment and excellent regulation governing all aspects of home ownership in France, the market has sustainability and is built upon excellent fundamentals for long-term stability. This makes it a far ‘safe’ property market to consider if you want a safer bricks and mortar investment for your own cash.
8) There has been a 34% year on year drop in new home sales in France in the second quarter of 2008 – this is largely because overseas buyers have been scarce in the market – this is a fact concerning developers in France and which means that if you’re an active buyer you will be able to negotiate an attractive deal on a new home.
9) The most popular regions in France have witnessed a dwindling of demand from overseas buyers and in particular from British investors. Whilst this has not had a great impact on the overall health of the market, it does mean that where there are vendors keen to sell, a buyer can make an offer, negotiate and stand a better chance of making a good deal on resale properties in France as well.
10) The overall feeling in France is one much more positive than in the UK, the French appear to have more faith in their elected leaders than the British do in a Prime Minister who picked the job for himself, and therefore if you do fancy an escape from the UK, why not hop across the Channel. It’s convenient, France is a stunning country, the property market is relatively robust and attractive, and the way of life is just so much more appealing!