Top turnout

Living France - - LES PRATIQUES -

Brexit and a bout of cold win­ter weather failed to de­ter house­hunters from turn­ing out in force at The France Show in Lon­don, where the UK’s largest French prop­erty ex­hi­bi­tion was held in Jan­uary.

De­spite con­cerns raised since the UK voted to leave the EU in June last year, the prop­erty ex­hi­bi­tion en­joyed a steady flow of prop­erty buy­ers for the du­ra­tion of the three-day event at Lon­don’s Olympia, where many ex­hibitors said this was their best year yet.

“I’ve been do­ing this for 26 years and I’ve never been so busy – it’s been mag­nif­i­cent,” said Charles Small­wood of Agence L’Union.

In ad­di­tion to the im­pres­sive turnout, ex­hibitors also noted a rise in buy­ers’ bud­gets, as well as more se­ri­ous en­quiries.

“It’s been qual­ity over quan­tity this year,” said Stephen Woodrow from Brit­tany-based es­tate agency Agence Ar­guenon. “We’ve had more se­ri­ous, qual­ity leads. It’s been very pos­i­tive for us, as al­ways.”

Other agents also noted the trend for qual­ity over quan­tity, with many com­ment­ing on the big­ger bud­gets that buy­ers had avail­able. “Peo­ple def­i­nitely have higher bud­gets than in pre­vi­ous years,” said Lu­dovic Mouly of Mouly Im­mo­bilier. “We’ve also no­ticed that more peo­ple have taken the de­ci­sion to sell their UK home and move to France on a per­ma­nent ba­sis.”

First-time ex­hibitor Jeanne Bo­den from La Du­rantie said the show will be the first of many for her. “It’s been amaz­ing; we’ve had lots of in­ter­est,” she said. “It’s been a great fo­rum for net­work­ing and for get­ting ev­ery­one to­gether in the one place. I’ve also seen some clients that I’ve had on the books for years. Af­ter see­ing me here, they want to come back.”

Es­tate agents rep­re­sent­ing re­gions across France were on-hand to an­swer ques­tions about buy­ing prop­erty in France while a team of ex­perts in­clud­ing no­taires, re­moval com­pa­nies, fi­nan­cial ex­perts, mort­gage ad­vis­ers and so­lic­i­tors were avail­able to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on the practicalities of the buy­ing process.

A pro­gramme of ex­pert sem­i­nars proved ever-pop­u­lar, with talks of­fer­ing free spe­cial­ist ad­vice on a range of top­ics, in­clud­ing buy­ing and liv­ing in France, tax and le­gal is­sues and pos­si­ble im­pli­ca­tions of Brexit in­form­ing large au­di­ences of keen, po­ten­tial buy­ers.

Down­stairs, a tra­di­tional French mar­ket, wine-tast­ing ses­sions, live French mu­sic and Liv­ing France colum­nist Ian Moore gave vis­i­tors a taste of French life while the stands on the prop­erty floor, show­cas­ing ev­ery­thing from sea­side vil­las and coun­try cot­tages to ski chalets and city apart­ments of­fered vis­i­tors the chance to make their dream a re­al­ity.

If you’re still look­ing for your dream home in France, the next prop­erty ex­hi­bi­tion will take place at New­bury Race­course, Berk­shire from 17-18 March 2017. Ad­mis­sion is free. fpe­new­bury.com agencelu­nion.com agencear­guenon.com mouly-im­mo­bilier.com; du­rantie.com

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