Brexit – state of play.
Curiously enough, Brexit is not a big subject of conversation in France. The average French Marcel sipping his pastis at the counter doesn’t really give a toss. He feels that the Brits have always been difficult to deal with and this is just another example. End of story. He’s much more interested in how the next Six-Nations will play out. Same story in the media: very little mention and very little interest.
Meanwhile, out in Dordogneshire the ex-pat chattering classes are all in a tizzy. Anecdotal evidence suggests that many are panicking and trying to sell up as they fear their UK pensions will take a hit. Others are standing firm: “Brits have been here before the Common Market was even invented”, they cry, “The French need us here”. A few moan that their pension payments from the UK have lost 10-15% since the referendum … but that life is still easier in France than in the UK. The mood swings according to what they read in the Daily Torygraph, the Mail or the Grauniad.
Here at GITES FOR SALE we have noticed a sharp decline in enquiries from the UK … but an upsurge in interest from Swiss and Belgian buyers. As the British represent less than 0.5% of property sales in France this is not a big problem. As rural property prices continue to fall we can expect canny Swiss, Belgian and, of course, French buyers to snap up the bargains.
Then, when Brexit collapses into a heap of fudge on 29th March 2019, we expect the Brits to creep back, older and wiser.