While French property hasn’t been reduced to bargain basement prices, it generally remains well under UK averages, with plenty to choose from within a budget and the stronger pound allowing buyers to get more bang for their euro. In fact, not only does France currently offer UK buyers the widest range of finance options in Europe for overseas property, it also offers the lowest available mortgage rates.
According to Notaires de France, the national average house price in France is €156,000 compared with around €354,140 (or £196,829) in the UK*. There are, of course, very wide regional variations, the cheapest including Limousin and Burgundy where the averages are €105,000 and €120,000 respectively. And it’s the British who are the biggest buyers, accounting for 32.6 percent of the total non-resident buyers in France last year. They were especially active in central and western France, where they made up between 70 and 80 percent of foreign buyers.
Figures from the statistical office of the European Union, Eurostat, indicate that house prices fell by 1.2 per cent between July and September 2015, compared with the same period in 2014. The drop was slightly higher according to the Knight Frank Global House Price Index which quotes a 2.9 per cent average decrease over the comparable period.
Market research agency Standard & Poor’s, however, expects house prices to remain stable in France over the next year, thanks to ultra-low interest rates, which is good news for anyone thinking of entering the market now. Current market conditions are, in fact, very good for prospective buyers, with some excellent deals to be made. And there’s plenty of room for price negotiation with some very motivated vendors.