Lifestyle properties in France: Why the market has ground to a halt
People ring me every day from every part of France imploring me to help them sell their property. After less than a minute it usually transpires that 1. they are British, 2. they are trying to sell a ‘lifestyle property’, and 3. they have been trying to sell for over two years.
What’s the problem? With the Euro falling against most other currencies one would have thought that lifestyle-changers would be flocking to the sunny south to snap up these des res. And they are. Flocking that is, but they are not buying.
The buyers aren’t buying and the vendors aren’t selling because there is a mis-match in the market. Vendors bought their lifestyle properties at a time when French property was cheaper than today but they still managed to pay over the odds. The locals saw them coming with their fistfuls of quids and dollars and upped the prices accordingly. Our new owners then brought in teams of fellows in white vans to upgrade their properties to Dulwich standards. Result: lots of money poured into out-of-the-way and not-very-desirable properties.
Vendors now desperately want their money back but buyers – as any buyer in a buyers’ market would be – are wary of over-priced property that is likely to continue losing value until the next election/devaluation/economic upturn.
This log-jam is slowly easing however. For a start vendors are tiring of holding out for unobtainable prices. Those grand-children in the UK are sending them tearful e-mails, tugging the heartstrings. And buyers are waking up to the fact that they can – and should – offer what they can afford – even if it is 20 – 25% less than the asking price.
It’s called the market in action. Come and be a player!