Bursting your property bubble
- Tim Clark
If you haven’t noticed, the euro has been taking a bit of a kicking from a number of currencies, not least the sterling and US dollar. This has led to an incredible increase in demand from potential buyers from the UK and the States, not to mention other non-eurozone countries. A fact backed up by official statistics released in June 2015.
Our own experience shows an increase in sales in the first six months of 2015 of 40%; this coming off the back of a record year in 2014.
BNP Paribas statistics show overall sales to nonresident buyers last year of 13,823 across France, a 1.5% increase year on year. A staggering one-third of these sales were to buyers from the British Isles, a 33% year on year increase.
This is even more important to vendors in the region as the largest number of sales to nonresidents anywhere in France is on the Côte d’Azur.
This continuing increase is being brought on by a once-in-a-decade confluence of lower prices, a weak euro, with the added bonus of cheap financing thrown in.
While British buyers are leading the way, we’ve also seen an increase in buyers from the US, Asia and Australia, all taking advantage of the current currency rates.
I would like to put on record that our agents at Leggett Immobilier are always aware that we are privileged to be offered the listings we have for sale and that without the goodwill of our vendors we have no business or stock to sell from; however, I refer back to the point made in the last paragraph regarding pricing.
Anyone selling their house today needs to bring their property to market at a price which reflects the known falls over the last three years in values. Our experience tells us that those who market at the correct price will sell while those that insist on living on past glories of Cote d’Azur prestige values may struggle to find a buyer. If you have been on the market for over six months without an offer or even a visit, I implore you to consider your price. I can assure you that a good agent isn’t sitting around hoping for the best; they are actively trying to find buyers for you, but equally the buyers are educated to current market conditions and will not pay a perceived over-inflated value, however lovely the property is.
While it could be argued, with a potential increase in buyers, that market values will begin to pick up, and historically they do, but they will pick up from today’s lower values, not from a price stated two years ago.
I am optimistic, though, for across the board improvements and the love affair of foreigners to invest in this wonderful region of France is still well and truly alive.
I leave you with the following words of wisdom:
A man walked into a bar with his alligator and asked the bartender, “Do you serve estate agents here?”
“Sure do,” replied the bartender.
“Good,” said the man. “Give me a beer, and I’ll have an estate agent for my ’gator.”