A dramatic start to the year for the euro has given French property a boost for overseas buyers.
The single currency has been rocked multiple times in the first few months of 2015, from the arrival of QE announced last week by the ECB to the Swiss Central bank's decision to unpeg the Franc against the euro. The victory of anti-austerity party Syriza in Greece's elections on Sunday night also shook up the market, causing the euro to temporarily fall to an 11-year low against the US dollar.
As a result, buyers from Britain and America are stepping up their activity in the French property market to make the most of their higher spending power.
Indeed, property in the French Alps is around 8 per cent cheaper for UK buyers compared to the same month last year, while Swiss homes have increased in price by around 13 per cent, say ski property specialist Skiingproperty.com.
"France, a truly international market, immediately becomes more attractive to foreign buyers â and itâs not only property that has become more expensive in Switzerland, but so have all the associated costs of ownership, including mortgage repayments," comments director Julian Walker.
Last week, the France Show was held in London's Kensington Olympia. The annual exhibition welcomed a record number of visitors, with SmartCurrencyExchange.com reporting an increase in visitors.
"The main buzz this year was surrounding the current strength of sterling against the euro, and just how much more buyers can get for their money right now," says the currency exchange specialists.
Indeed, young couples who can't afford to get on the housing ladder in the UK can buy a six bedroom gÃ®te in the south of France for the cost of a studio in some parts of London.
Charles Purdy, CEO, comments: "The recent political and economic events in the Eurozone have ensured there has not been a better time for Brits to purchase property in France. In the last seven years, there has been over a 20 per cent depreciation of the euro, and by association, house prices in France. For example, in late 2008 when there was almost parity in the GBP/EUR (1.03965, December 2008) rate, a â¬300,000 property would have cost a British buyer Â£288,558. Today that same amount would cost a British buyer nearer Â£225,039 â a saving of almost Â£65,000."
Guy Hibbert, managing director of property and travel specialists FrenchEntrÃ©e, agrees that the market for French homes is becoming "more buoyant", but also adds that is more complex: "Potential buyers need to be well-informed about what they can realistically expect to negotiate in different regions, depending on the area's transport infrastructure, popularity, and quality of living, just as in the UK."