Brits Buy More French Homes Than Other Foreign Buyers

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British expats and second homers made up the largest contingent of foreigners buying homes in France last year.

Property sales to international buyers increased by 29% to 17,785 homes, compared to 13,823 the year before and 13,621 in 2013.

British buyers snapped up 6,066 homes – just over a third of all properties – according to a survey by French bank BNP Paribas.

The most popular place for the British to buy was Rhone-Alpes.

The region accounted for 17.5% of all homes purchased by British buyers and most of these were ski lodges in Haute-Savoie.

The average price paid for a home was 262,000 euros (£220,000), which has stayed around the same mark for the past three years.

Brexit vote spurs inquiries

The most expensive average regional price paid by the British was 797,000 euros (£669,000) in Ile de France, while the lowest was 42,000 euros (£35,285) in Auvergne.

Meanwhile a post-Brexit survey has revealed that more than half of British buyers looking for a home in France want to leave the country permanently.

The figure is up by almost a third on the results of a similar survey by Leggett Immoblier, a leading French estate agent for expats and second home owners from the UK.

Sales to British home buyers were also up by a fifth in the first half of 2016.

The research was carried out in the two weeks following the Brexit referendum vote to leave the European Union on June 23.

“The attractions of living in France are as strong as ever despite the Brexit result and uncertainty,” said a spokesman for Leggett Immoblier.

Home prices static

“The British have always loved the French lifestyle, weather and culture and property prices here are affordable for British buyers.”

More than a thousand British home seekers were polled – 50% were looking to live permanently in France. A fifth wanted a holiday home and 2% were property investors.

Around 70% considered buying French property was a good financial move.

Figures from Notaires de France, specialist lawyers who deal with property sales, average house prices in the country were static again in the first three months of 2016.

All older properties gained 0.3% year-on-year, while apartments lost 0.6% and houses gained just shy of 1%.

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