Brits £50k better off in France

British buyers of property in Europe are enjoying a bonanza of bargains, thanks to the pound recently reaching an eight-year high against the euro.
The strong sterling against the weak euro has led to extremely favourable conditions for property hunters on the lookout for a holiday home or a good value luxury investment. Indeed, since the start of November 2007, on a €500,000 purchase, British buyers have become more than £51,000 better off.
“[That’s] a saving of over 10 percent in just 12 months,” notes Nicholas Leach, Partner at Athena Advisors.
“The plights of the Eurozone are paying into the hands of British property investors.”
The perfect market conditions of a strong pound and low-interest rates in France are becoming a heady mix for British investors,” he adds. “Prices are soft and buyers can negotiate hard, except on new-builds in prime areas as these remain in huge demand.”
According to overseas mortgage broker Conti, Spain remains the top choice for buying property abroad, accounting for just under half of all enquiries in the second quarter of 2015. France, though, is a strong second place, with 31 percent of enquiries, ahead of Portugal (18 per cent). 
Clare Nessling, director at Conti, says: “With the strong pound boosting buyers’ budgets, a little slice of life overseas is proving to be even more tempting, especially when you compare the cost with overheated parts of the UK market. Record low borrowing rates and bargain prices are also luring investors to overseas property markets.
Even on lower-priced properties, Conti notes, buyers can make considerable savings: a €200,000 holiday home now costs £142,857 compared with £158,228 a year ago, a saving of £15,371 on currency rates alone.
“We’ve become accustomed to good rates over the last 6 months, but conditions like this won’t last forever so it seems Brits are buying now while the timing is right,” concludes Leach.

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