Tim Swannie, Director of Home Hunts Provides Insight into Property Enquiries in France comments:
Eleven French property purchases have been agreed; three of which were to British clients (prices range from approx. €730,000 to just under €6M). These purchases have been in the Var, Riviera and Aquitaine regions. The other eight are split between The French Alps, Provence, Languedoc, Paris and the Riviera.
- Home Hunts is currently negotiating seven further offers on properties. These buyers are British (one), Dutch (two), UAE (one), German (one) and Scandinavian (two)
- Total international enquiries are slightly lower than this time last year but not noticeably so (less than 10% lower). We are still getting a large number enquiries from clients in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and Scandinavian countries for all the areas of France we cover
- Enquiries from the UK however, are vastly different, nearly 50% lower than this period last year which is understandable under the current political circumstances
- In the past, the majority of Home Hunts enquiries from the UK were for holiday homes, but this has changed a lot in the recent month. Since June 23rd the only increasing area of UK buyers is from those who wish to relocate. UK-based enquiries for Paris have risen dramatically; mainly coming from people working in Finance (London-based generally)
- We are seeing a similar pattern in the French Alps too, for homes within easy reach of Geneva. This is not as high as in Paris but there is still a noticeable sharp increase
- We are also getting a number of enquiries for the Dordogne, Languedoc, Provence and Riviera from UK families and retired couples looking to relocate
- Due to the lower exchange rate from Pound to Euro, we are speaking to a lot of our British buyers and advising that even if they wish to buy in cash, it is a good idea to consider a mortgage at the moment instead. Interest rates are very low and it makes sense to take advantage of that and borrow the money in Euros from a French bank. Most British vendors have quickly become more flexible since the upset of the Brexit announcement; particularly if they are changing their money back to sterling
More information can be obtained by going online at: www.home-hunts.com
Benham & Reeves
Demand from Europeans surges to all time high post referendum
Prior to the referendum, the lettings market was facing considerable headwinds. A 3% increase in stamp duty on investment properties was deterring many landlords from adding to their portfolios while rents in prime central London (PCL) had fallen by 2.3% as demand finally abated. Since the referendum, that market has changed considerably. Analysts at Benham & Reeves Residential Lettings, London’s largest independent letting agency, have seen strong interest from overseas investors keen to capitalise on the falling pound and anticipate strong demand from tenants.
PCL was one of the few areas of the country where stock levels increased in the first two quarters of 2016. Rather than sell, most property owners here can afford to hold onto their properties and let them out. This has led to a steady supply that has softened rental returns. The good news, for tenants at least, was that they had a good choice of properties.
In the advent of the Brexit vote, Benham & Reeves Lettings branches have fielded a multitude of enquiries from applicants currently living and working in Europe but keen to move to the UK before secession is complete. In the first quarter of 2016, one in four applicants was from Europe. Since the referendum result was announced, the number of applicants from Europe has leapt up and now constitute 47% of all new enquiries. The number of new applicants has risen by 17.2% with that figure anticipated to increase further over the forthcoming weeks.
Demand has been strongest in the City, Canary Wharf and east London offices, although there has been very strong European demand near international schools like the French Lycees in South Kensington and Kentish Town. Most of the new enquiries have been from professionals in the finance sector with many expressing the view that if they relocate to the UK and secure a job before secession is negotiated, they will be able to continue working here. If the free movement of labour is withdrawn, then it is highly unlikely that Europeans already working in financial services will have any problems with work permits.
“Like many in this country, we initially felt that Brexit would have an adverse effect on the property market,” comments Anita Mehra, “While it may still prove to have a negative effect on the wider property market, the initial reports from our branches indicate that it could potentially benefit the London lettings market.”
More information from Benham & Reeves by going online at: www.b-r.co.uk
How Brexit will affect UK holiday homeowners
Now that a month has passed since the Brexit result was announced, a national holiday letting agency, www.holidaycottages.co.uk has worked with an independent financial advisor to assess the impact of Brexit on potential and current holiday homeowners in the UK.
Since April and the increased Stamp Duty price bands for UK second homeowners, the amount of people looking to invest in a second home had shown signs of slowing down. However, since the referendum result the company’s new business team has seen more enquiries coming through the website. Additionally, there has been a larger number of enquiries of potential investors seeking advice. It has also been suggested that buying a second home or holiday home will actually become cheaper to finance and potential new owners are looking to take advantage of this.
Furthermore, although there won’t be the same benefits for current holiday homeowners, it is being forecast that they will be able to take advantage of a growth in the UK tourism industry with holidaymakers in the UK expressing concerns about travelling abroad and overseas visitors looking to take advantage of more attractive exchange rates. Current homeowners are being advised to review their existing mortgage deals to see if it is possible to get a more competitive term.
James Morris, Managing Director of holidaycottages.co.uk says in the report: “Our feeling is that second home owners in the UK will see certain advantages following the European referendum result whether they currently own a holiday home or are considering investing in one.”
Furthermore, Andrew Mackenzie-Shapland, independent financial advisor from Morris Shapland states: “We are being asked by many to look at re-finance options in the wake of Brexit and uncertainty over the next few months. Markets do not like uncertainty and we expect that this will continue.”
For more information, go to www.holidaycottages.co.uk