Ask the agent

Prop­erty pro­fes­sional Ju­lia Lloyd an­swers our ques­tions about cur­rent mar­ket con­di­tions in the Basque Coun­try

Living France - - Contents -

Ju­lia Lloyd shares her in­side knowledge of the prop­erty mar­ket in and around Biar­ritz

As a prop­erty finder, what do your ser­vices en­tail? The prop­erty-find­ing ser­vice en­tails sourc­ing the prop­erty via agents, ne­go­ti­at­ing the of­fer made, li­ais­ing be­tween es­tate agents, banks and no­taires up un­til com­ple­tion of the pur­chase. We then set up all util­i­ties to run the buyer’s home, bank ac­count and house in­sur­ance. It’s a com­plete pack­age! How much are the cheap­est and most ex­pen­sive prop­er­ties that you have for sale? Prices can vary wildly. If you go 10 min­utes in­land, you can find a charm­ing old ru­ral cot­tage with three bed­rooms, great views and some land for around €300,000. At the other end of the spec­trum, I have some huge prop­er­ties with sea views in the Biar­ritz area for more than €4m. What type of bud­get does your typ­i­cal Bri­tish buyer have? There is no typ­i­cal Bri­tish buyer in terms of bud­get, although they tend to be look­ing above €500,000 and as high as €4m. What do they tend to want to buy?

Mostly, buy­ers are look­ing for a sec­ond home, although some are mov­ing here per­ma­nently, and some are in­vest­ing for in­come. Many of our clients orig­i­nally came to us on hol­i­day, fell in love and de­cided to buy. Why do you think Bri­tish peo­ple want to buy in the Pays Basque? There are a hun­dred rea­sons. The re­laxed at­mos­phere, vi­brant cul­ture, the di­ver­sity of the re­gion, the gen­tle cli­mate… De­mand in­creas­ingly out­weighs sup­ply in the Basque Coun­try which means that in­vest­ment is pretty sta­ble and the area has not suf­fered from drop­ping house prices, un­like other parts of France. Coastal prop­er­ties in par­tic­u­lar with the best lo­ca­tions, are dif­fi­cult to find. You don’t get a sec­ond chance here so when we find you some­thing, you grab it! What’s the most un­usual re­quest that you’ve had from a buyer? One of my clients asked me to find him a field to start a glamp­ing busi­ness. I did, and he is thriv­ing! What is the prop­erty mar­ket like in the Pays Basque at the mo­ment? The mar­ket is sud­denly mov­ing quite fast af­ter a rel­a­tively slow pe­riod. Prices are hold­ing well and in prime lo­ca­tions, ris­ing steadily. Not all my clients are cur­rently from the UK; I am also help­ing clients from Switzer­land, Bel­gium and ex­pats from the Mid­dle East. De­scribe the Pays Basque in five words.

Re­laxed, beau­ti­ful, var­ied, friendly, cool. be­yond­biar­

DID YOU KNOW? The pop­u­lar­ity of sea bathing in the re­gion from the 1900s to 1930s gave rise to a new kind of ar­chi­tec­ture – the neoBasque style

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