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Brexit, Trumpexit, Frexit: What does it all mean to the future of French property?


French Property Insider
Volume XV, Issue 11
Thursday, March 16, 2017 • Paris, France

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Liz and Tony love life with their four kids in Melbourne. In fact, they love it so much that until very recently, they've never left the area. All that changed when they visited Paris a few years back, and now Liz is determined to break into their modest savings and buy a dream Parisian apartment.

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Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,

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According to British media, "Brexit fails to dent British demand for French property." I was originally surprised, thinking that the weakening of the British sterling would encourage the Brits to sell their French properties to repatriate the money, but that's not what happened at all. Instead, they are buying in France in record numbers. Inquiries have increased by 34% at one of the U.K.'s largest French real estate agencies (Leggett Immobilier) and sales and prices are on the rise, as a result.

British buyers don't care about Paris, however. Their focus is on less populated areas where there are large British communities and easy access by the low-cost airlines. In an article in the Telegraph noting the "Top 20 places to buy a home in France," Paris is not among them. Instead, their recommendations of holiday homes in France include Normandy, Brittany, the Dordogne, Auvergne, Provence and the Riviera, and others that are far from the country's capital. They dream of buying a "tumbledown cottage in a small village for less than €50,000," then whiling away their time there fixing it up and reveling in the pleasures of the French countryside.

This is not the M.O. of the typical American, who is hungry for urbanity and culture, with emphasis on Paris, and with new interest in Nice. But we're experiencing the same kind of "fallout" thanks to the results of the November U.S. presidential election. Americans are seeking a place to which they can turn for solid investment as well as "back-up" should they wish to escape populist politics. And the French living in the U.S. may be returning back home, as it gets tougher for the French to get visas to live in the U.S.

That begs the question of what will happen if France elects Marine Le Pen and the populist party wins out. Brexit and Trump's victory helps support her campaign, but Europe seems to be divided on this issue, as Dutch voters yesterday backed pro-European parties and the liberals to beat out the anti-Islam Freedom Party and the spread of populism.

What does all this mean to real estate investment in France and the ability to live here peacefully? It means that demand will increase, sales will increase, prices will increase. Interest rates may increase, too and that means property ownership in France is about to get more expensive.

My advice to you, if you are on the edge and thinking about making a purchase, don't "wait and see" while everyone else is grabbing up the bargains still on the market. Do something now, while the opportunity is still there.

A bientôt,

Adrian Leeds - Paris, France

Adrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group

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