Rural regions such as Loire are bringing in the British bucks Photo: Erminig Gwenn
The bank’s report, which used data from Notaires across the country, found that the number of Brits buying French property is on the rebound.
The stats follow a report from mortgage broker Conti who noted that “excellent buying conditions”, thanks to the strong pound and low mortgage rates, are continuing to draw British buyers back to the overseas property market, in particular Spain and France.
Spain recently overtook France on TheMoveChannel.com’s Top of the Props popularity chart, although the country was the second most sought-after country on the site for eight months in a row before then.
Spain is top of Brits’ wish lists for Conto too, accounting for 59 per cent of enquiries in the second quarter of 2014, ahead of France’s 27 per cent.
Indeed, overall sales of French real estate ware down from 15,000 in 2012 to 13,000 in 2013, according to BNP’s research.
Nonetheless, while overall interest may be focused elsewhere, buyers from the UK are starting to hop across the Channel once more.
One in four foreign property buyers was British in 2013, says BNP, an increase of 5 per cent over the past two years.
Tim Harvey, managing director of French euro mortgage brokers Offshoreonline.org , who picked up the BNP figures, comments: “With the UK property market now firmly in recovery mode, it was just a matter of time before UK buyers began selling in a strong market at home and banking gains to buy abroad. France represents a popular choice for many and French values have weathered the economic crisis far better than Spain’s prices over the period since 2007, making France a sound investment in its own right.”
Instead of heading straight for the ski slopes and Riviera, though, Harvey says that Brits are now house hunting in rural areas such as Loire and Charente to find cheaper bargains. Indeed, along with Limousin, these three areas made up almost 80 per cent of all foreign transactions.