Since the buying boom of the early 2000’s there has never been such an opportune time to buy a property in this area of France. With the uncertainties of the world economy and particularly the eurozone, property buyers have been putting off firm decisions to commit to making a purchase. However we are seeing more serious clients than ever so far this year.
Property prices have been tumbling almost on a daily basis but now we are seeing signs of a revival with prices stabilising. There are still amazing bargains in the offing but vendors are no longer accepting ‘silly offers’. The euro/sterling exchange rate is looking very favourable at around 1.22 with no wild fluctuations and French mortgages are a good buy.
Our advice : Now is the time to buy especially if you want to enjoy most of this summer in your new French home in the idyllic surroundings of the Tarn et Garonne in south west France.
Easyjet intends to establish an operational base in Toulouse shortly. They are expanding their list of destinations to Toulouse which will eventually include the following :
Bristol, London (Gatwick) , Lyon, Nantes, Paris (CDG), Madrid, Milan, Rome, Geneva and Lisbon.
There has been some disquieting news recently for prospective buyers of holiday properties in France and also for existing homeowners. The French government had seen fit to introduce a new tax to top up its coffers.This would have affected approximately 350,000 non resident owners of holiday properties used as second homes but not rented out.
We are happy to report that the government has, very sensibly, made a U-turn and will now not be introducing this controversial tax.
An important point to consider when choosing where you want to live in France, particularly if you are looking for a holiday home and you need to be within easy reach of an airport, is how reliable the airlines are which serve that airport.
One of the many advantages of living in this area of south west France is the easy access to France’s 4th largest city of Toulouse (2nd largest university). Our properties are centred in and around the villages and countryside in the department of Tarn et Garonne such as Caylus, St Antonin Noble Val and Caussade – the department of the Tarn centred in the triangle of Gaillac, Albi and Cordes-sur-Ciel – the department of the Lot centred around Cahors, Limogne en Quercy and Montcuq. Most of the properties in these areas are around 1 hour’s drive from Toulouse Blagnac international airport which is served by several airlines with a choice of destinations spread around the UK, Ireland and the rest of Europe. There are towns and cities in France served by the likes of Ryanair and other budget airlines. This is very convenient for property owners in these areas enabling them to make short weekend visits. The problems start when these airlines cease to fly there. Marseilles for one – other airports have had threats of Ryanair pull outs during the last couple of years such as Poitiers, Pau, Angoulême and La Rochelle. Owners of properties in the Toulouse area can take comfort that there will always be alternative airlines to choose from in the event of possible uncertainties with Ryanair or Easyjet such as British Airways, Bmi, Flybe, Airfrance, Iberia, Lufthansa and Alitalia.
I am writing this in November thus covering the latter part of the year. October was a particularly busy month for us with not enough hours in the day to see to clients and to catch up on admin. One property we had on the books for just 2 weeks before selling it! There are a number of good bargains around especially with properties up to 200,000 Euros; figure in the improved exchange rate of sterling and a character property, ready to move into or to rent out, can be purchased for as little as £150,000.
People often say to us ‘perhaps we should wait until the spring before marketing our house’ and our answer is ‘definitely not’. Why? Because the internet is where most people do their shopping nowadays and during the Christmas break that is exactly what a lot of people will be doing. February is when the appointments start again in earnest, especially during the ½ term week when clients are especially looking to purchase before the summer. The buying process in France takes a good three months, and sometimes longer, so it is always a good idea to start looking as early as possible.
We would like to wish all of you reading this the compliments of the coming season. If you have any enquiries about a property you see on our website then just ask, we will be more than happy to answer your questions.
More flights to south west France
In addition to the regular flights from UK and Ireland to Toulouse and Rodez a new service operated by City Jet has begun this summer from London City Airport to the new airport at Brive on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Brive is only 1¼ hours drive down south on the A20 autoroute to the Caylus, St Antonin Noble Val area of the Tarn et Garonne where we have a wonderful selection of properties for sale.
Check out their timetables at http://www.cityjet.com/dyn/pages/destinations/brive/
PROPERTY PRICE STABILITY IN FRANCE
Expectations that this will be followed by a period of large property deflation are based largely on the experiences in other countries (such as the UK, USA and Spain). However, such predictions do not take sufficient account of the important differences between these markets and the French market. To begin with, price inflation in France has been much lower than in these other countries, so the French property prices have not reached the excessive levels to be found elsewhere and consequently are under much less pressure to drop. The following diagram compares property price trends in France and the UK, using 1995 as a baseline.
The diagram shows that property prices in France have risen much slower than the UK and have not reached the same excessive levels. Furthermore, in response to the global economic issues, rather than the rapid drop seen elsewhere, they have shown first a gradual decline in price inflation over a 3 year period (2005 to 2007 inclusive) and then a small price decline.
In our area May is one of the loveliest months of the year. I know that is often said about the UK but the big difference is that here in south west France the sun is hot and the breeze blissfully warm. The trees heavy with blossom and the carpets of daisies are quite a sight this year and makes us realise just how lucky we are to live in this area of France. The property market back in February was very buoyant, in fact it was the busiest February we had had for two years with many appointments and a number of sales.
We are now still getting a huge number of enquiries but there is definitely a feeling amongst UK buyers of unease, due we feel entirely to the coming General Election. However the pound is improving against the euro making a property purchase in France even more attractive now. We are however gearing ourselves up for what we are sure will be a busy summer as all the indicators are there. To that end we have been taking on a number of properties recently and when you look on our website you will now see ‘NEW ON’ written against them. Many vendors are now being a lot more realistic concerning price and there are some extremely well priced properties around at the moment.
The covers are now off all the pools and people that rent out their properties during the hot summer months are busy preparing them. A word of advice here; some of the properties that rent out are also on the market for sale, making it very difficult to show them to prospective buyers during the summer months. So if you find a property being offered for sale do make sure that you check this out beforehand, otherwise you might not be able to view it and have a wasted journey. We at Allezsouthwestfrance always check the day of the changeover (they are not always Saturdays) and if we have clients interested in one of these properties, make sure they know which day it is possible to view.
The property market is definitely moving compared to last year and there have now been many properties sold that had been for sale for some time. Unlike the UK market, in France 6-12 months for a property to be on the market is considered the norm and doesn’t necessarily mean that there is any problem with it. One of the first questions a lot of UK buyers ask is ‘how long has it been on the market?’ and in many ways it is just not relevant in France mainly because all the properties are so individual.
If you are thinking about buying a property in France this year and would like some help and advice then send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and to whet your appetite have a look at the properties currently available on our website.
I am a little late writing our March newsletter but there is a very good reason for this. We have been processing a lot of enquiries as there appears to be more and more people extremely keen to find their dream property in France, regardless of the bad exchange rate of Euros to the Pound. Clients are mainly looking for a lifestyle change and they know that France still offers a complete change to their hectic lives in the UK with a slower pace of life and very little crime and the health service is second to none - no waiting times and a service that feels very much like private health care. Step back to the 1950’s because that is what it feels like with time to spend with individual patients. Property prices are much reduced to what they were two years ago and stone houses with an abundance of character can now be bought for a fraction of what they were.
This area of south west France is a popular one because it is far enough south to get the long hot summers that most UK buyers want and it is close enough to Toulouse to enable people to commute if they wish.
Our office in Caylus is exactly 1 hour from Toulouse airport and it is an easy drive as the A20 auto route is just 20 minutes away. So what are clients looking for now? There is a varied mix, some are looking to move to France permanently but want good links back to the UK in order to see family members; others are looking to buy a property that they can let out during the summer months, but still use themselves in the Spring and Autumn. The letting side is very buoyant as this is such a popular area and last summer most properties were over subscribed. Thus buying a property as an investment that will pay for itself by letting out during the busy summer months is a popular request. We also have a number of enquiries for two families to buy together, thus sharing the initial cost, but also having the benefit of using their home for their own use.
Uncongested roads, endless open spaces and medieval villages steeped in history, is what you will encounter in this area of France. Local markets selling fresh locally grown produce are available every day (including Sundays) and the atmosphere is a very relaxed one. As I said it is a lifestyle that many more people are buying into and that is what owning a house in France is all about.
If you want a ‘hands on’ service which offers you all the information and help in order to find that dream property in France then contact us at email@example.com.
We are here to help.
Well what a change in the market! We have been inundated with enquiries from prospective buyers and it seems all are keen to buy a property in France this year. Our problem is to find suitable properties because so many are now sold! There are however some bargains still available, but you have to be quick and that means having your finances in place and being in a position to buy. The same advice is to do your ground work -identify the area that you want to buy in and then find an agent who will work with you and who knows exactly what you are looking for. We at Allez south west France understand very well how difficult it is to find that perfect property and because we work with agents in 4 departments, the Aveyron, Tarn, Lot and the Tarn et Garonne, all located in south west France, we are in the perfect position to help. Finding a property on the website that looks exactly what you are looking for is not always the best way to proceed, simply because agents are duty bound to promote properties in the very best light. Our advice is as always to give your agent your criteria and let them source suitable properties. Remember, what you see on a website is not necessarily always what you might expect the property to actually be like. The market has changed a lot in the last year and many expensive properties are now much more affordable.Many have negotiable price tags but often only the agent can guide you on this. We at Allez know all our vendors and are aware what they are prepared to accept as their lowest price; some are prepared to accept much lower prices, but not all, so professional advice is vital.
If you are thinking of buying a property in France this year please give us a call or an email. We can certainly help to guide you in the right direction.
A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR to all the perusers of our website. May it be a year when you all realise your dream of owning a property in France.
So what is the current situation on the housing market? We have had a lot of enquiries from prospective buyers during the Christmas holidays and these are from all corners of the world! Properties up to 250,000 Euros are the ones that most buyers are interested in and in the last few months of 2009 at least half of the properties in this price range have now been sold.There are obviously a lot of people out there who are in a position to buy. Our advice to anyone looking to buy in the early part of 2010 is to come out to France to view properties and to have your finances in place because it really is going to be ‘the early bird catches the worm’. There are a number of properties being offered at much reduced prices or have very negotiable price tags but how long this situation will continue is anyone’s guess. The exchange rate of sterling to the Euro is beginning to make UK sellers very nervous because if it continues to rise they will not be so keen to lower their asking price. However French sellers will not always lower their prices and there are a number of buyers within the European community who are buying with Euros and are therefore not subject to fluctuating exchange rates. This of course means that putting in too low an offer for a property will not always secure it.
We also have a number of prospective buyers who are looking to re-locate permanently to France. The dream of owning a stone farmhouse which is ready to move into and with land, preferably on the edge of a village, is still what a lot of UK buyers are looking for. These properties are still widely available but they don’t come cheaply. However a property like this which two years ago would have cost at least 400,000 Euros, can now be bought for a lot less and they are selling quickly. It really makes sense to come out to France and view whilst these bargains are still available.
We at Allez south west France can help as we know that finding the time to view suitable properties is often difficult and a wasted and frustrating trip is the last thing most UK buyers want.
Contact us and tell us exactly what you are looking for and we will do our best to make sure that we come up with suitable properties that match your criteria. We are here to help.
Tel : 0033 (0) 563 250 956
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
As 2009 draws to a close a lot of people will be hoping that 2010 will be a much better one. The world wide recession has affected everyone in some way. Here in south west France we have seen property prices plummet and some lucky buyers have purchased idyllic properties at amazingly low prices. Properties with price tags of up to 250,000 euros have been selling the quickest and the number of enquiries we are getting within this price range are coming in thick and fast. The summer season here has been, surprisingly, one of the busiest for some years so anyone looking to buy a property to let out for the holiday season could find it to be a good investment. ‘Gites’ are as popular as ever, especially if they have a pool. Even with the current poor exchange rate they work out as relatively inexpensive family holidays.
We find that buyers are now very much more realistic about what they are looking for although they can be at times misled by a deceptively beguiling web photo. The best way to find that ‘dream’ property is to give your agent as accurate a description as possible of what you want and let them come up with properties which match your criteria; that is the way we at Allezsouthwestfrance work and we find that our clients are often surprised and delighted that we make that effort. It inevitably results in a sale as we have a varied and always up to date portfolio of properties to offer. Indeed we update our website on a daily basis. Email or phone us with your requirements and we will do our utmost to find the property you are after.
Next year we are expecting many more people wanting to buy in our area of south west France – the indications are already there!
May we at Allezsouthwestfrance take this opportunity to wish all our clients, past and present, a joyful Christmas and a happy and exceedingly prosperous New Year.
Our phone : 0033 5 63 25 09 56 email : email@example.com
Well the exchange rate of sterling against the euro has weakened again and no one appears to know whether the situation will worsen.
There is a feeling again of unease as the world’s economy wobbles but for all those who are thinking of buying a property in France our advice is, ‘Don’t panic’!
There are so many good buys available at the moment – many with hugely reduced prices that to put off buying now could be very unwise. It takes about 3 months to complete on a property in France so the rates prevailing at the time of the acceptance of the original offer may well be different to the rates at completion.
Let's do the maths:
Comparing the difference in prices at the rates of 1.10 euros to pound sterling and 1.15 for a property selling at 300,000 euros the difference is around £12000.
Comparing the difference in prices for a 200,000 euros property the difference is £8000.
Comparing the difference in prices for a 150,000 euros property the difference is just £6000.
With sellers reducing their prices here in France the difference in the exchange rates are somewhat academic as they can easily be compensated. If the seller is transferring their funds back to the UK they will be more inclined to reduce their price as they will of course end up gaining on the favourable exchange rate. However if and when the money markets swing in the other direction the price reductions will naturally slow down. Buying now, most definitely, makes a lot of sense.
August/September 2009 Newsletter
Well it's turning out to be quite a summer! The weather continues to be the hottest for some years and our holiday lettings side of the business has been extremely busy.
On the sales side properties are again selling well as buyers are now realising that there are lots of bargains available. Prices on some properties have dropped significantly whilst others are open to negotiation. It is definitely a good time to buy as recovery from the world recession looks to be on the horizon. Sterling against the euro is getting stronger and if it continues to rise then house prices in France will undoubtedly increase.
Our corner of south west France centred on Caylus and St Antonin Noble Val in the Tarn et Garonne is a popular one as it is not only very beautiful but also benefits from a Mediterranean climate and close proximity to Toulouse with its airport at Blagnac.
The months of september and october have always been good buying months and this year we are expecting that to be even more the case.
If you are thinking of buying but are unsure of the process or would just like help in finding that perfect home then contact us on 0033 (0) 563 250 956 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We are here to help.
For this coming autumn/ winter period 2009/2010, the flights Rodez-Stansted by RYANAIR are not stopping as they have done in the past. Rodez is only 1 hour from our office in Caylus. RYANAIR will be flying Mondays and Fridays (hours to be determined) but generally arrival 15.30 – Departure 16.00