French property sales up 30pc as future looks bright

French property sales rose 30 per cent in 2015, according to one agent, as the future looks bright for 2016.

New figures from Leggett Immobilier show that sales rose by 30 per cent year-on-year in 2015 and trebled in comparison to 2013.

Trevor Leggett, Chairman of the estate agency attributes to surge in transactions to “once in a decade buying conditions”.

Property prices have been very low in the past year, while mortgage rates have been at historic lows. Indeed, the number of buyers seeking mortgages for their purcahse jumped 25 per cent last year, as the rates attracted more buyers and the prospect of long-term capital growth also strengthened their confidence in the market’s future.

Both of these factors have been bolstered by the weak euro, which has boosted the spending power of Brits, in particular, and made French real estate more affordable.

“With fixed rate French mortgages starting from 2.15 per cent buyers see an opportunity to purchase property that they couldn’t afford in the UK,” explains Trevor.

In 2014, Brits made up 7 in 10 sales for the firm, but this rose to 77 per cent in 2015.

Retirees continued to buy in big numbers, thanks to the country’s high quality of life, but a “significant number” of young professionals and families were also snapping up bargains.

PACA and Languedoc Roussillon are highlighted as the most popular areas of the country among buyers.

“This year we’ve made most sales in the Limousin and Poitou Charentes and next year we’d suggest you also look at the Grande Ouest, Languedoc Roussillon and Midi Pyrenees,” adds Trevor.

Leggett forecasts that prices will remain flat in 2016, before rising in 2017, meaning that, with mortgage rates at record lows, the trend is expected to continue.

“Certain types of property are being sold as soon as they come to market… and that’s something we haven’t experienced since 2007,” he comments.

The forecast follows equally positive findings from TheMoveChannel.com’s latest Top of the Props report, which found that France become the second most popular country in the world among buyers at the end of last year, with enquiries surging 44 per cent in December 2015 month-on-month.

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