Local French Squeezed Out of Property Market

By: Nick Dowlatshahi

It seems that wherever forigners are buying property in France on a large scale the prices of property in these places seem to increase very substantially. Take Morzine for instance that has seen prices increase by 88% over the last 4 years while on the Cote d'Azur prices have risen by 4 times over the last 10 years in some spots. It is often the English and Irish that form the bulk of these buyers but the Germans and Scandinavians also tend to all buy in the same areas. This has the benefit of making the French locals who own property wealthire but pushes 1st time buyers or those of lower incomes further into the countryside or another place altogether.

Cheap flights, low Euro interest rates and a better quality of life have been the main reasons for the interest in the French property market and expensive house prices in Britain have meant that many have sold up to get much better value for money across the channel.

A market that previously was only available to the affluent foreign purchaser is now, due to vastly improved transport links, ease of credit and generally higher wages, also available to those who previously would never have dreamed of the exuberance of owning a weekend getaway in Normandy, for instance. A plumber or electrician by trade 30 years ago could never have afforded to buy in France but now things are different and more and more Foreigners- British especially are taking the plunge and setting down their roots in one of many beautiful and tranquil corners of France.

All of this means that house owners in many regions, especially coastal, are seeing their properties soar in value. This is all well and good for current house owners but for local French buyers not as wealthy as the foreigners it is pushing them to buy in the more rural, cheaper areas, possibly further inland. Hence the trend of people moving from the countryside into towns is now being reversed as expensive property prices push them into more rural locations. So in the next few years it is likely that property prices will be increasing even in the areas which are relatively quiet right now where good value property can be bought.

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