Buying French Real Estate: Now is the Time!
There has never been a better time to buy French real estate than now. Sound like hyperbole, then let us go over the facts. Back in early February we held a webinar for folks around the world who were interested in finding out more about buying their dream house, cottage or apartment in France. Just over one month ago we stated that home prices in France are now nearly at the lows that were hit post economic crisis back in 2009. That means that home prices are at the lowest that they’ve been in the past 10 years except for a short time right after the crash based on statistics available to French notaires (real estate lawyers).
The real story of why now is best time to buy is with regard to exchange rates. As most of you probably know the euro has been falling over the past year increasing rapidly over the past few months. Conversion rates are down to 1.06 moving in just one year from 1.38 dollars to the euro. This change gives you a savings on a home you’d buy this year of 20%, which is quite astonishing!
Similarly the pound to the euro has gone from .83 to .71. representing a 15% savings. Add to those stunning discounts the fact that French mortgage rates are as low as they have been in years, most falling under 3%.
Paris is still expensive as its is the most visited city in the world and has remained so for decades. There is always interest in owning a place in Paris from people with money to spend from every country, so it exists in a kind of price bubble so to speak immune to big drops in price. However due to currency fluctuations the same apartment this year will cost you 20% less than it did last year if you are buying in cash using US dollars.
If you want a cottage or a castle outside of Paris in Provence, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Brittany or elsewhere you’ll see even better savings. In strolling through the website of Leggett Immobilier the agency that sold me my place near Bordeaux I’ve found countless houses I’d be thrilled to own ranging from under 100,000 euros up to 500k or more for a mini-Chateau. The values are remarkable.
The euro is down for a number of reasons, many of which have nothing to do with France so of course you’ll realize this savings anywhere where euros are charged for housing. The discounted prices in France are in large part due to the gloomy French outlook which has a lot to due with their lack of faith in their President who is the least popular President in French history despite a momentary blip of support after the Charlie Hebo crisis. The thought is that in 2016 when he is surely to be ousted, prices will begin to turn around.
France is a place to buy and invest for the long term, not a place to fix and flip. Its one of the best places in the world to retire thanks to the best health care in the world (rated #1 by the World Health Organization), first world services and affordable high quality food not to mention excellent wine at very cheap prices.
There are many other questions which come up when you talk about investing in a second home in France so feel free to email me at Doni (AT) girlsguidetoparis.com, I’d be happy to put you in touch with the realtors who helped me to realize my dream and who can answer the myriad of questions which come up when considering a purchase. I’m hoping more people will take the plunge like I did, because it is something you never regret, especially now that the dream is on sale!
Download this step by step guide on how to purchase in France.