Brits still buying despite Brexit
Whether you’re planning your move to France, or are already living there, we bring you the latest from the world of French property
British buyers continue to pursue their dreams of owning a property in France despite Brexit, according to a new survey commissioned by BNP Paribas for its annual International Buyers report. The survey of 1,111 UK residents who had plans before the referendum to buy a property in France was conducted between 5-19 April 2017 by Ipsos.
British buyers also remain the top foreign investors in French property, accounting for 32% of non-resident transactions in 2016. While 28% of Brits who responded to the survey said that they had abandoned their plans to buy a home in France following the Brexit vote, most of them with property-buying projects already underway in 2017 have not been deterred, and 23% have actually accelerated their plans in order to buy before the UK leaves the EU.
Of those surveyed, 52% were optimistic about the outcome of the UK/EU negotiations, while 51% of all projects to buy a primary residence in the eurozone were linked to Brexit.
The survey showed that France also attracts the biggest property budgets from UK buyers, with 44% of respondents budgeting more than €300,000 for their purchase. For British buyers, the main reasons for buying a property in France remain the way of life and the climate, which are unaffected by Brexit.
The main concerns among prospective buyers were related to visa restrictions and uncertainty over healthcare and pension rights, as well as the possible increased cost of living and whether the pound will fall in value.
The BNP International Buyers report also revealed that British buyers were the top nationality of foreign investors in 10 of France’s 21 regions (before they were merged into 13 larger regions), and in the top three nationalities in five other regions. Rhône-Alpes, Aquitaine, Poitou-Charentes and Brittany were the most popular regions with British buyers. Brits accounted for 55% of foreign non-resident property transactions in Aquitaine, 76% in Limousin and 77% in Poitou-Charentes.
The highest average spend on a property by British buyers in 2016 was €627,000 in Paris, while the lowest was in Brittany, where the average spend was recorded at just €88,000.