French property market bargains for fleeing Brits

Published:  13 Jul at 6 PM
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France has been a favourite destination for expat Brits for 150 years now, with its appeal even stronger since the Brexit referendum.

There’s a historic familiarity to France for many aspiring expats, as it’s Britain’s nearest neighbour and still projects the glamour of Paris and the Riviera as well as the cosiness of rural villages just a few hours’ journey from the home country. Buying a second home for retirement or emigrating to start a business has been relatively easy up until now, but the Brexit boom of new arrivals from across the Channel and even the Trump-inspired exodus from the USA has forced an upswing in French real estate prices.

Britons are still the top French property investors, most of whom are buying ahead before the end of March 2018, but not all regions are seeing dramatic price hikes. There’s a widening gulf between property values in Paris and Bordeaux and the rest of the country with, in many rural areas and small towns, house prices actually falling. The gulf between the two extremes is still increasing, giving good news for British expat property owners already settled in the major cities and even better news for those searching for a bargain property elsewhere.

Brittany, Limousin, Provence-Alpes- Cote d’Azure and Haute-Vienne are provinces where house prices are still falling, with older, stone-built properties needing renovation the hardest hit and the best bargains. Languedoc is becoming more popular with expat retirees for its warm climate, great beaches and historic cities, and the south-western province of Poitou-Charentes boasts vineyards, quaint homes and many miles of stunning coastline. The Dordogne offers family-friendly gastronomic heaven dotted with historic buildings and a good choice of real estate bargains, and Pyrenees-Orientales is perfect for skiing enthusiasts as well as famed for its stunning mountain views.
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