J’adore la France! Buyers from around the world wooed by France’s romantic offering this Valentine’s Day

J’adore la France! Buyers from around the world wooed by France’s romantic offering this Valentine’s Day

  • French is world’s most romantic language (Google Translate)
  • France is world’s most visited country (UNTWO)
  • French property market offers something for everyone to fall in love with (FrenchEntrée)

With its alluring scenery, fine wines and plentiful summer sunshine, France has built up a reputation as one of the world’ most romantic countries. From swanky hotels on the banks of the River Seine in Paris to rustic country retreats with open fireplaces and miles of lavender fields around, France offers something to suit every couple’s taste when it comes to Valentine’s Day breaks. It’s also home to some incredibly romantic properties, perfect for those looking to buy a second home or fulltime residence to keep the love alive year-round.

 “Whether your idea of romance is a fairytale château with formal gardens, a period apartment just steps from the Seine or a cozy chalet in the mountains with an open fireplace, France has the perfect property. French is widely known as the language of love and the country’s properties certainly further its reputation as the home of romance.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée


French is not just rumoured to be the language of love – its position as such is backed up by data from Google. According to Google Translate, 34 in every 1,000 French phrases that are translated are of a romantic nature, putting French ahead of every other language in terms of its romantic credentials. Indeed, after “bonjour,” “je t’aime” is the most requested French translation.

It is also the most visited country in the world, attracting some 82.6 million visitors in 2016, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO). And for those who want more than a holiday from the home of romance, a French property is the perfect answer.

Perfect for those with romance in their soul, this beautiful château is just a short drive from Saint Valentin. Nestled in the heart of Champagne Berrichonne, the “village of lovers” hosts a spectacular Valentine’s Day celebration weekend each year with a festival, marriage ceremonies and renewal of vows services. For those wanting more than just a weekend of romance, the 19th century château offers ten bedrooms, eight bathrooms, an array of reception rooms and a wine cellar. Parquet flooring, decorative panelling, marble fireplaces and exposed beams create a wonderful sense of grandeur inside, while outdoors the meadows and woodland provide spectacular views over the Creuse valley. As well as a guest house and an apartment, the outbuildings also include a chapel – the ultimate romantic property feature!

Another superb property with its own chapel is this 19th century château in Carcassonne. The home has been restored beautifully, from the formal grounds – which would make an idyllic setting for a wedding – to the modern yet authentically charming interior. Marble floors with underfloor heating, high ornate ceilings and elegant fireplaces make this an unforgettable property.

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager at premium French property agents FrenchEntrée, shares what buyers are loving most about French property so far in 2018:

  • Brittany and Languedoc-Roussillon have so far been the two most popular regions for new enquiries, accounting for 13% and 12% of all enquiries respectively. Brittany remains steady even in the colder months, as buyers are accepting of the variable weather and cooler temperatures – so the region doesn’t see as much seasonal variation in sales as the warmer southern areas. The Languedoc region is popular thanks to low cost flights from the UK, which mean that buyers can take advantage of school holidays and long weekends to visit their second home.
  • As the pound stabilises and fluctuations in its value decrease, buyers have felt more comfortable in increasing their budgets. Compared to this period last year, we’ve seen an average 12% increase in budget. This reflects buyers’ increased confidence in the French market (which went from strength to strength last year), as well as what they can afford at current rates.
  • When it comes to the most popular areas of Paris, the fashionable 16th arrondissement, the historic Marais and the fabulously Parisian Saint-Germain-des-Prés all look set to attract buyers in their droves in 2018.

If France is the home of romance, then Paris is unquestionably the city of love. From rendezvous in impossibly chic pavement cafés to strolls along the river as evening falls, past incredible buildings oozing with history, it is a city that charms lovers of all ages and nationalities – and it seems that its property market does the same. According to Insee, 20% of Parisians are immigrants, reflecting the city’s vast international appeal.

FrenchEntrée have long understood the draw of the Parisian property market. From light-filled residences just a stone’s throw from some of Paris’ best restaurants to feature apartments in the city’s trendiest areas, the company has witnessed countless homes being snapped up by those who have fallen for France’s capital city.  

For further information, contact FrenchEntrée on +44 (0)1225 463752 or propertysales@frenchentree.com. You can also visit https://www.frenchentree.com/property-for-sale/.

What can you buy in France for the price of a house across the UK?

What can you buy in France for the price of a house across the UK?


Once again France remains the most popular place to visit in the world, with Jean Baptiste Lemoyne, French minister of state, expecting between 88 and 89 million foreign tourists in 2017, a record new high on the 85 million in 2015.

The British interest in France also remains high despite the Brexit vote with the latest data revealing that the number of British nationals acquiring French passports has risen fivefold since June 2016. 2017 saw 1,518 Britons become French citizens compared with 320 in 2015 and 439 in 2014.

“The appeals of visiting and indeed looking to live in France have remained clear for decades. Easy access to the UK, quality of life, climate, culture and gastronomy draw millions each year with the affordability of property, straightforward purchasing process and great mortgage deals also offer an additional incentive for those looking to make their visit to France more permanent.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée


So, if you are thinking of making the move to France this year, take a look at what you can buy for the price of a house across the UK:

North West

For the average price of a property in the North West, £159,066 according to the latest HM Land Registry data (Nov 2017), you could own this attractive stone house in perfect condition with a pretty garden in Charentes, SW France.

Available for €171,200 (£151,834), this property offers a spacious open plan living room with wood burner, kitchen with stone fireplace, bedroom and shower room. Upstairs there is a mezzanine and a further two bedrooms with shower room.

The Midlands

For the average price of a home in the East Midlands, currently at £185,047, you could live the high life with this 4-bedroom charming house located in Sauvagnac, SW France complete with landscaped gardens and swimming pool.

Available for €206,700 (£183,319) this charming typical French 4-bedroom house has the modernity of tiled floors with under-floor heating, plus original features such as wooden beams. Located behind wrought iron gates, in a landscaped and wooded garden of 3800m2, lies a spacious and bright home. The fitted kitchen is roomy with plenty of units and space for a dining area. The split level, open plan lounge/diner is bright thanks to double aspect patio doors and boasts a feature stone fireplace. The Charente lakes and golf club La Preze is approximately 10 minutes away as well as easy access to Limoges airport and the TGV at Angouleme.


Those living in the East of England, where average house prices stand at £289,731, looking for a change of lifestyle should consider this spacious 4-bedroom character house in the Languedoc. Available for €315,000 (£280,014), the property boasts a beautiful garden, courtyard, terrace, 4/5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a nice kitchen, 2 lounges and a study.

Immediately habitable and located in a pretty village on the Canal with shops and restaurants, twice weekly market just 10 minutes from Narbonne and the beach, this is a quality winegrowers home with potential for two individual properties and income.


Notoriously expensive with the current house price an eye watering £481,915, more and more people are swapping life in the Big Smoke in the search of more affordable housing. This beautiful contemporary home near the coast of Brittany is available from €522,500 (£464,471) and offers a living room with a central fireplace, separate sitting area opening onto the garden with a French doors and a cathedral dining area, fully equipped kitchen and conservatory with Jacuzzi.

The first floor comprises an office, four bedrooms, one en suite and access to a fifth bedroom above. A basement with a large garage for two cars, dressing space, boiler room and shower completes the property all located in a quiet area just 1.5km from the coast.

South East

Geographically the closest to French shores, homeowners in the South East could trade in their pricey pads, averaging at £325,270, for this beautiful character house in Mayenne, north west France.  Available for €360,000 (£319,950) this beautiful manor-style house is set in a traditional wooded countryside.

Built in 1744 and enlarged at the beginning of the 19th century, the property comprises a small rural house and a former farmhouse now used as a home. On the ground floor, there is an oak staircase, dual-aspect living room with parquet flooring and a large marble fireplace, a dining room, exposed beams and terracotta floor. In the wing lies the kitchen, cellar, garage and boiler room. On the first floor the landing serves 4 bedrooms, two bathrooms with toilets.

South West

Lastly, for those in the South West, where the average price is a touch over the national average at £251,923 then this fully restored 3-bedroom stone-built country house and barn located in a quiet friendly hamlet near Varen, Tarn et Garonne could be for you.

On the market for €280,000 (£248,248) this property is set in beautiful landscaped gardens with the interior of the house fully restored with the original features and beams preserved. This is a stylish country residence, far from the madding crowd with a large barn dating back to 1874 primed for development of additional rooms.

“Whilst growth in the UK market is set to slow in 2018 with Nationwide forecasting a growth rate of just 1%, prices are up 3.9% y-o-y in France (L’INSEE, Q3 2017) and our partners at BNP Paribas are predicting 3-4% further growth in 2018.

“Here at FrenchEntrée, we have seen budgets of British buyers increasing anywhere from 10-20%, demonstrating increased confidence in a growth market and a desire to forge ahead instead of waiting for the resolution of Brexit.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée



+44 (0)1225 463752



French wealth tax changes on 1st Jan 2018 welcomed by British expats

French wealth tax changes on 1st Jan 2018 welcomed by British expats


Effective from 1st January 2018 the wealth tax, which previously implicated property buyers in France, is being amended.

Back in October 2017, President Macron’s reforms of this notorious wealth tax passed into law and will now come into effect as of 1st January 2018 much to the delight of many British expats.

The impôt de solidarité sur la fortune (ISF) was previously an annual levy (of up to 1.5%) on property and assets held worldwide by residents over €1.3 million.

Whilst Macron’s reforms result in no changes to the rates and thresholds themselves, the tax will now apply almost exclusively to the property and assets of French residents’ only.

“The implementation of these new tax changes on 1st January 2018 is certainly welcomed by expatriates with property and assets in France. It will bring a renewed surge of interest from buyers and investors alike into some of the prime real estate markets in France including Paris, the Alps and of course Provence-Cote d’Azur.

“This comes at a time when agents are particularly proactive at bringing new properties to market in the anticipation of gearing up for Spring interest from new buyers.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

One market set to benefit from these tax changes is the French capital, Paris.

Typically, demand for property in Paris is greater than the supply but this will start to balance in the New Year with the buyers’ market becoming more competitive once again with the easing of the wealth tax.


On the market in Paris:

Incredible St-Germain Apartment with Wrap-Around Balcony



Located on the Rue Bonaparte steps from the Legendary Place Saint Germain des Prés, Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots this 173 m² apartment occupies the entire 3rd floor of this Haussmanien building, with a wrap-around balcony.

The apartment ‘s original features still intact with beautiful fireplace, parquet flooring and library. The marble floored entrance leads into a spacious salon with a fireplace and dining room. This, in turn, gives access to the Library with the television and the first suite. This suite has access to the balcony, as well as a dressing room and private bathroom. There is a classic hallway with the guest toilet and guest cloakroom. The second suite has an office area, dressing room, private bathroom and a hammam. The kitchen is fully equipped, with a dining area and a laundry room. Air conditioning, security, home automation system for sound and lighting. Elevator, 24H caretaker services and a cellar.


Gorgeous Historic Apartment in the Marais District



Beautiful apartment in the trendy North Marais, a short walk from the Carreau du Temple and Rue de Bretagne with best shopping and restaurants at your doorstep. Recently renovated to a very high standard preserving all the original period features.

On the 4th floor of a beautiful early 1800’s building, offering a living and dining area, the property includes original beamed ceilings, working fireplace 2 bedrooms and fully equipped kitchen.


Luxury Flat with Stunning Views over Boulevard Saint Germain



Located in the heart of Saint Germain des Prés, surrounded by renowned institutions such as Café le Flore, les Deux Margots, Brasserie Lipp, bookshops and luxury boutiques, this 186 m² apartment on the 4th floor, sits between the Rue des Saints Pères and the Boulevard Saint Germain in this world-famous Parisian neighbourhood.

The entrance hall leads to two large living rooms composed of one lounge area including an original fireplace and dining room, and a separate spacious television lounge area. The first bedroom suite boasts a dressing room and private bathroom. These rooms have a stunning view over the Boulevard Saint Germain. The second suite, which also has its own dressing and private bathroom, is south facing with a view over the garden. This property also includes a separate maid’s room, fully renovated and furnished.



+44 (0)1225 463752



French ski resorts that benefited from the Winter Olympics effect

French ski resorts that benefited from the Winter Olympics effect

France United Kingdom , , , , ,

South Korea’s hosting of the 2018 Winter Olympics in February will be an opportunity to promote winter sports to the world while demonstrating the diversity of today’s skiing destinations, said Skiingproperty.com in December, adding that it’s also an occasion to recognize how important the French Alps have been both in the history of the event and ski tourism as a whole.

“The Winter Olympics is always exciting and it will be no different in PyeongChang,” said Skiingproperty.com director Julian Walker. “This hugely popular quadrennial event was in fact born in the French Alps, specifically in Chamonix in 1924. It returned to France in 1968, to Grenoble, and then again in 1992, to Albertville. For those French resorts that were fortunate enough to participate, the Olympics helped put them on the map and have become an important part of their history.”

Skiingproperty.com highlights four resorts in the French Alps that have featured in Winter Olympics and in each reveals an exciting property for sale .

Les Arcs – Speed skiing
Part of the Paradiski ski area in the Savoie region, Les Arcs hosted the exhilarating speed skiing at the 1992 Winter Olympics. The event involves skiing as fast as possible down a straight downhill run, such that competitors often exceed 200 kilometres per hour. The resort’s Olympic speed run, known as the ‘Kilometre Lancé’ (Flying Kilometre), is in the Aiguille Rouge area of Les Arcs 2000, where the slopes are especially steep. Pro speed skiers still use it today while the public can use it under supervision. Skiingproperty.com has new-build apartments in Les Arcs, available from €200,000.

Méribel – Ice hockey and Alpine skiing
Picturesque Méribel, a favourite with British skiers, is located in the centre of the vast Trois Vallées ski area, making it ideally placed for hosting two events at the 1992 Olympics – the ice hockey and women’s Alpine skiing. A legacy of this is the resort’s impressive indoor ice rink, the Patinoire Olympique, built for the Olympics and which now includes a swimming pool and restaurant. Skiingproperty.com has luxury property for sale in Méribel, including new-build four-bedroom chalets from €2.9million.

Val d’Isère – Alpine skiing
Testament to the quality of the slopes around trendy Val d’Isère, the resort played a key part in the 1992 Olympics. Part of the Espace Killy ski area, which includes Tignes, the resort hosted all bar one of the men’s Alpine skiing events, including the downhill, super-G, giant slalom and combined. The resort’s famous Face de Bellevarde, a thrilling black run, was integral to these events and today remains a highlight of skiing at Val d’Isère. Skiingproperty.com has luxury off-plan apartments in Val d’Isère, available from €1.309million.

Courchevel – Ski jumping and Nordic combined
Internationally exclusive Courchevel played its part in the 1992 Olympics by hosting the jumping and Nordic combined at its Le Praz (1,300) village. The Courchevel Valley also benefited from the creation of accommodation for competitors in the village of La Tania. Skiingproperty.com has luxury new apartments in Courchevel, available from €825,000.

Be the king of your own castle in 2018 with these French châteaux

Be the king of your own castle in 2018 with these French châteaux

  • Huge range of châteaux in France can accommodate many budgets (FrenchEntrée)
  • South-west France can provide exceptional value for those looking for fairytale properties
  • Châteaux-based businesses available to those looking to profit from their dream home


As youngsters, many of us dream of living in a grand castle when we grow up. Most people’s ambitions change as they age, but for some, that fairytale never fades – and that’s where France’s plentiful châteaux come into play.

Of course, owning your own castle isn’t cheap, but the variety of styles, sizes and conditions on the market means that there are châteaux available to suit a surprising range of budgets.

“The region that a château is in can heavily influence the style. Pays de la Loire for example can be associated much more with ‘leisure’ châteaux, the historic playground of French aristocracy. Such châteaux were designed with elegance and aesthetics as the main concerns, whereas those in more contested areas, such as near to the Spanish border, were designed to be defendable.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

When looking at cost, buyers are sometimes drawn to renovation projects as a more accessible way to realise their grand ambitions, but for those unfamiliar with large-scale renovation projects or converting truly old buildings, the eventual overall cost is important to consider. This can vary based on region, but the average figure per square metre for renovation work is €700 and €1,500 (the latter if it’s a total rebuild). If the property is merely in need of internal modernisation and refurbishment (for example kitchens, bathrooms and heating) then you can generally reduce this figure by almost 50%.

As such, it can be an attractive proposition to acquire a château that is already in great condition and, for the business-oriented, generating revenue. In Dordogne, this château can seem like a considerable investment, but its sizeable revenue can help offset the cost. With over 18 hectares of land and architecture dating back to both the 12th and 15th century, an imposing estate awaits those looking to take over the reins of a successful hotel.

Châteaux often make fantastic settings for luxury accommodation, restaurants and wedding venues, while ample grounds open the possibility of running equestrian schools, hunting and fishing activities and plenty more. Working orchards, olive groves and vineyards can also provide business angles for those keen to work the land as part of their fairytale dream.

The inclusion of outbuildings with châteaux tends to provide plenty of flexibility for owners. Some rent them out as holiday properties, while others use them as accommodation for a caretaker or groundsman. Premium French property agents FrenchEntrée point out that the cost of employing such staff needs to be factored in from the outset.

“Running costs and upkeep are a major undertaking when you buy a property of this size. Heating, maintenance and tax alone mean a five figure spend on upkeep every year, which buyers need to take into account. For larger châteaux, a full time, salaried caretaker or groundsman is often essential. Providing an on-site cottage as accommodation can help to mitigate some of the cost of this, but minimum wage still exists in France – and at a higher rate than in the UK!”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

Prices vary enormously based not only on the style and age of the château, but also its location. Buyers on a budget can focus their search around the South-west, while those with an eye for the pricier end of the market will delight in the châteaux available in Pays de la Loire and closer to Paris. Buyers looking to renovate a château typically come to FrenchEntrée with budgets ranging from €500,000 – €800,000 (excluding renovation), whilst those looking to buy already established have budgets of double that and upwards.

Either way, owning a château can’t be considered cheap. However, those with sufficient imagination, plenty of dedication and a head for business can find themselves living the dream for less than one might imagine.


Châteaux on the market:

For a truly impressive estate, this Loire château, 900 square metres in size, comes with not only its own moat but also 4 separate holiday cottages and 40 acres of land. Each cottage is larger than a typical 5-bedroom house, the largest of which is 270 square metres, almost a petit château in its own right. The château, rebuilt in 1863, has plenty of space to entertain, with 26 bedrooms and beautiful traditional features. On the market for €1,190,000.

As mentioned before, this three-star, 33-room hotel and restaurant offers an existing château-based business in the Dordogne. The château was built in the 12th and 15th centuries, before being converted into its current arrangement in the 1990s. Stunning views and a pool of course come as standard. The business generates a turnover of €900,000 for eight months of activity per year, which will go some way towards covering the purchase price of €6.386 million.

Continuing the trend of châteaux belonging to multiple centuries, this storied châteaux situated in the Loire Valley will no doubt appeal. With parts of the building dating back to the 15th, 17th and 19th centuries respectively, France’s architectural history is well-presented. 10 bedrooms, 4 hectares of riverside gardens and stables – not bad at all for just €890,000.

For further information, contact FrenchEntrée on +44 (0)1225 463752 or propertysales@frenchentree.com. You can also visit https://www.frenchentree.com/property-for-sale/.

Ho ho homes near Christmas markets

Ho ho homes near Christmas markets

France United Kingdom
  • UK Christmas markets generate more than £250 million in visitor spending for the towns that host them (Nabma)
  • Christmas markets add to a city’s attractions and property market (Properties of the World)
  • Homes near Christmas markets attract keen interest at this time of year (Surrenden Invest)


As December arrives in all its festive glory, Christmas markets pop up all over the UK. Offering seasonal tastes and gifts to shoppers in the run up to the big day, these markets provide a delightful experience that contrasts to the usual high street madness that is Christmas shopping in the UK.

Research by the Nabma ROI team has shown that Christmas markets bring significant benefits to the towns that host them – generating more than £250 million in visitor spending at the markets, as well as positively impacting spending in other stores within the town. They can also have a positive impact on the local property market.

 “There are many factors that make a town or city a desirable place to live and this includes the range of amenities. Once a location establishes itself as offering an enticing Christmas market each year, that becomes part of the overall attraction to the area – and the more attractive an area, the more success those investing in its property market can enjoy.”

Jean Liggett, CEO, Properties of the World


In light of the arrival of Christmas markets on the UK scene once more, we’ve included a round-up of the top properties near each market. We’ve even thrown in a couple of examples across the Channel, for property buyers looking for a French take on the festive season.


London offers a range of Christmas markets, from Winter Wonderland to the stalls of the South Bank. This year, Hampstead Village will host its first Christmas fair, transforming the entire high street into a magical Christmas experience.

Those looking to pick up property as well as presents should check out Four 5 Two from Bellis Homes: 13 superb, balconied apartments with park views in a prominent Hampstead location. Prices from £xxxx.


Already a mecca for shoppers, Birmingham ups its game each December with the largest German market located outside of Germany or Austria. Mulled wine, craft beers and Christmas crafts are the order of the day, as visitors soak up the festive atmosphere.

Property investors can enjoy the well-located B5 Southside development from Surrenden Invest: contemporary rental apartments just five minutes’ walk from New Street Station. Prices from £155,000.


With an extensive market in front of the town hall that attracts millions of visitors each year, and a large ice rink for seasonal frolics, Manchester certainly can’t be accused of not getting into the Christmas spirit.

When it comes to homes near Manchester’s Christmas markets, it has to be Danforth Apartments from Properties of the World, just minutes from the city centre: 113 stylish homes within the village-like environment of Fortis Quay. Prices from £124,995.


Liverpool’s Christmas market always brings festive magic to the heart of the city, as twinkling fairly lights light shoppers’ path around its winter huts. Food, jewellery, arts, crafts and clothes from four continents mean that shoppers looking for alternative Christmas gifts have plenty of inspiration.

Perfectly positioned for access to the city’s Christmas market is The North House from Surrenden Invest: high-end apartments designed with professional urban tenants firmly in mind. Prices from £120,000.


The recently renovated and re-opened Piece Hall in Halifax will this year host a spectacular Christmas extravaganza, including a carefully hand-picked festive market packed with local Yorkshire retailers and gourmet food providers.

Property investors need look no further than the nearby Martins Mill from Property Frontiers: a selection of one and two bedroom apartments in a stunning, six-storey converted mill. Prices from £64,950.


Paris, like London, offers a wealth of festive fun for Christmas shoppers. The crafts, gifts and hot spiced wine on offer around the Sacré-Coeur at Montmatre are one of the highlights of the season.

Those looking for a place to rest their head after a long day’s shopping will be delighted by this studio apartment from FrenchEntrée, just moments from the Sacré-Coeur. Priced at €165,000.

The Alps

Of course, for some, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a good helping of snow. The Christmas market at Courchevel offers a snowy winter wonderland for shoppers looking for beautiful decorations and seasonal delicacies.

Property buyers looking to pick up a home in Courchevel will enjoy these luxurious ski apartments available through SkiingProperty.com: 14 two-bedroom apartments with communal pool, just 10 minutes’ walk from the nearest shops and slopes. Prices from £660,591.


With many Christmas markets already in full swing, it’s time to wrap up warm and enjoy the best of the festive shopping season, whether you’re looking for presents or properties!

Homes by Christmas markets always attract keen interest at this time of year, whether they’re investment properties or those for sale to owner-occupiers. Christmas markets give these properties a little something that other homes don’t have and many buyers are keen to take that into account when making their purchase.”

Jonathan Stephens, CEO, Surrenden Invest


For more information, please contact:

Bellis Homes: 01279 424 733 or www.bellishomes.co.uk

Surrenden Invest: 0203 3726 499 or www.surrendeninvest.com

Properties of the World: +44 (0) 20 7624 5555 or www.propertiesoftheworld.co.uk

Property Frontiers: +44 1865 202 700 or www.propertyfrontiers.com

FrenchEntrée: +44 (0)1225 463752 or www.frenchentree.com

SkiingProperty.com: +44 20 8150 9502 or www.skiingproperty.com


Why just stock up on wine for Christmas, when you could own an entire vineyard?

Why just stock up on wine for Christmas, when you could own an entire vineyard?

  • British buyers continue to lead hunt for vineyards (FrenchEntrée)
  • Bordeaux region is most popular region in France to buy a vineyard
  • Vineyards are available for every budget, from €360,000 to €50,000,000

New figures from premium French property agents FrenchEntrée have revealed that UK buyers just can’t get enough when it comes to French vineyards.

Over the past six months British buyers have topped the table of those looking to snap up vineyards, accounting for 44% of all enquiries through FrenchEntrée. They were followed by enquiries from the US (18%), China (8%) and Russia (4%). (While FrenchEntrée specialises in Anglophone buyers, these latter two nationalities both play key roles in the overall vineyard market.)

“Demand for vineyards has never dropped – quite the opposite. We’ve seen demand rise consistently over many years and there are several reasons for this. Tax-wise, France offers a number of advantages, particularly when you take into account inheritance tax. As many of those who purchase a vineyard are retirees looking for a better lifestyle, this can play an important role in their purchasing decisions.”

Annick Dauchy, Property Business Development Manager, FrenchEntrée


According to FrenchEntrée, vineyards are also popular with corporate buyers looking to add to their portfolio. A few million euros is apparently a small price to pay for the prestige of owning a vineyard in the South of France.

Of course, you don’t need millions to pick up a vineyard. The properties attracting enquiries through FrenchEntrée between May and October 2017 ranged in value from €360,000 to €50 million.

Bordeaux is the most popular area for those seeking their own slice of traditional French countryside, with 35% of enquirers looking to buy vineyards there. The region offers the highest supply of vineyards and can thus cater to a wider range of budgets and tastes than other areas.

Provence follows, with 25% of enquiries, then Nouvelle Aquitaine (20% – excluding Bordeaux) and Languedoc Roussillon (16%). While the absence of Burgundy from the figures may be surprising, this is due to the difficulties that buyers face obtaining vineyards in this region. Land and properties tend to be handed down through the generations, leaving the area all but closed to foreign buyers.

“Much of the time, the decision on which area to buy in is led by budget. You can still pick up a vineyard in the Bordeaux or Languedoc area for less than €2 million. The quantity of vineyards available in France means that buyers have plenty of choice – there’s a property to suit each buyer’s individual circumstances.”

 Annick Dauchy, Property Business Development Manager, FrenchEntrée


The majority of new vineyard owners tend to know little about caring for vines or making wine. Their experience usually starts at the point the cork comes out of the bottle. However, with many sellers happy to stay on and coach the new owners, this is rarely a problem. Employee teams tend to stay on as well, giving the newly installed owners instant access to knowledgeable workers who can assist them in their endeavour.

When it comes to buying, vineyards tend to be a cash market. 81% of prospective buyers coming to FrenchEntrée in the past six months planned to fund their purchase with cash. The fact that it’s almost impossible to get a mortgage for a vineyard is the main factor behind this. Banks are hesitant to lend on vineyards as they view them as a business investment. As such, buyers with no experience or proven track record of running vineyards soon find themselves out on a limb. Of course, it is possible to treat a vineyard as an investment, but the money is usually made by buying, running the estate well for several years as part of a strategic marketing plan, and then selling it on for a profit.


Vineyards on the market:

Those with plenty to spend might enjoy this €13 million 19th century vineyard with chateau in Montpellier, in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. The three-storey chateau comes with 165 hectares, vaulted reception rooms, its own swimming pool and a Roman chapel from the 9th/10th century.

For those with a more modest budget, €400,000 is sufficient to pick up a characterful, seven-bedroom home with surrounding vineyard and two on-site cottages, which together provide a further three bedrooms. With just three hectares of vines, this is a perfect ‘starter’ vineyard for those looking to get a taste of the lifestyle and understand what’s involved (most vineyards have at least 15 hectares of vines).

Buyers somewhere between those two price brackets have plenty of options. For €3.4 million, they can enjoy a magnificent 18th century vineyard with chateau set in the heart of the Rhône valley.

For further information, contact FrenchEntrée on +44 (0)1225 463752 or propertysales@frenchentree.com. You can also visit https://www.frenchentree.com/property-for-sale/.


As London falls, prime Paris pulls buyers across the Channel

As London falls, prime Paris pulls buyers across the Channel

  • London property transactions down 17% since 2015 (Hometrack)
  • Brexit and Macron combining to push buyers from London to Paris (FrenchEntrée)
  • France moved ahead of Germany for venture capital investment in 2016 (Atomico)

London and Paris used to vie for the attention of prime property buyers. However, it seems that a combination of factors is increasingly positioning Paris ahead of London as the place where wealthy buyers want to pick up a luxury home.

In the UK, London has struggled to market itself to would-be home buyers ever since the country decided to leave the EU and the ongoing saga of the Brexit process is doing nothing to reassure wealthy buyers.

According to Hometrack, property turnover in the British capital has dropped by 17% since 2015. Meanwhile, recent figures from Acadata and LSL Property Services show that London property prices fell by 2.7% in September – their sharpest pace of decline since 2009.

Over in France, Paris is enjoying quite the opposite effect. While the UK’s politics are in disarray, France is enjoying the benefits of the Macron effect. The dynamic new President’s confidence is serving to inspire a new era in French politics – and in Paris’ property market.

Apartment prices in the French capital rose by 5.5% in the year to Q1 2017, according to La Chambre des Notaires de Paris. They are expected to continue their steep rise in the wake of Macron’s election in May. Demand is also up, with a record 848,000 housing transactions in 2016, based on figures from the European Central Bank. In Paris, the spike in demand was reflected in a 23% rise in the number of apartments sold in the year to Q1 2017. In Ile-de-France, that figure rose to 32%, according to La Chambre des Notaires de Paris.

The Macron effect is also spurring on residential construction in Paris, with the number of dwellings authorized up by 6.7% year on year in July 2017, according to L’INSEE.

“We’ve seen a notable uptick in appetite for French property in the past few months, particularly in and around Paris. Second home buyers are keen to take advantage of President Macron’s commitment to reduce taxes for property owners. At the same time, Paris offers a great deal of stability that London no longer can, which is extremely attractive to buyers from overseas.”

 Annick Dauchy, Property Business Development Manager, FrenchEntrée


Overseas buyers in Paris hail from around the world. Russian buyers can’t get enough of the French capital at the moment, while US buyers are also active in the £1 million plus market, according to premium French property agents FrenchEntrée.

Le Marais is the most sought after arrondissement by this group, who love its village-like vibe. The Haut-Marais area, close to Republique Metro and further away from the river is a hip and happening base for fashionistas and trend setters, with a vibrant atmosphere and bustling nightlife. An active local mayor ensures plenty of cultural and community events, creating a fabulously unique atmosphere. The area’s popularity has pushed prices up – buyers need to budget around €12,500 per square metre as a base point (compared to €8,450 for Paris as a whole). They also need to move quickly if they’re to have any hope of snapping up one of the area’s hugely sought after studio apartments.

Buyers from the Middle East, meanwhile, love the glitz and glamour of the 8th arrondissement. In addition, buyers from the UK and elsewhere in Europe have been looking at Paris with fresh interest since President Macron took the helm.

Macron’s commitment to reduce property taxes is not the only draw. His pro-business approach is working in conjunction with the new French Tech Visa and Station F (the largest start-up campus on the planet) to attract new wealth and energy to Paris.

France has already moved ahead of Germany in terms of the amount of venture capital it is attracting, with Atomico reporting that venture capitalists invested £2 billion in France last year, and just £1.6 billion in Germany. The UK is still ahead of France (with venture capital investment of £4.7 billion in 2016), but the phenomenal acceleration of investment in France means that it has a realistic chance of catching up very quickly.

With Paris positioned as one of the world’s leading cities for business, wealthy buyers are keen to pick up appropriately grand properties there – and Paris certainly doesn’t disappoint in this respect.

An elegant, four-bedroom apartment in the 9th arrondissement will set buyers back a cool €2.69 million, while a stunning loft apartment can be had for just €1.9 million. Buyers looking for a blank canvas to imprint their own style then this duplex apartment just steps from the Palais de l’Elysée is ideal at €570,000.

 “One of the countless charms of Paris is its ability to appeal to buyers of all tastes. It has something for everyone, from homes dripping with old world grandeur to ultra-modern conversions that are perfect for leading tech entrepreneurs. In addition, now looks like a great time to buy, with prices beginning to increase steadily in value thanks to the dual effect of Brexit and Macron.”

Annick Dauchy, Property Business Development Manager, FrenchEntrée

For further information, contact FrenchEntrée on +44 (0)1225 463752 or propertysales@frenchentree.com. You can also visit https://www.frenchentree.com/property-for-sale/.

Chamonix price rises continue to draw in property buyers from around the world

Chamonix price rises continue to draw in property buyers from around the world

  • Rising property values and rental incomes continuing to draw buyers to Chamonix (FrenchEntrée)
  • 38% of foreign investment in French property is focused on The Alps (BNP Paribas)
  • Chamonix, Les Praz and Les Moussoux at heart of recent price rises (FrenchEntrée)

Since it hosted the first ever Winter Olympic Games way back in 1924, the town of Chamonix has been synonymous with skiing during the winter months. However, the area’s growing year-round appeal and rising property values means that it’s no longer just powder-hounds who are taking an interest in this breathtakingly beautiful pocket of France.

“As Chamonix maintains its reputation as a year-round destination, we’ve seen a marked increase in buyers looking to part-fund their holiday home investment through its rental potential. Values in prime areas of the valley are rising swiftly and the promising underlying rental value is opening the area up to an array of new buyers.”

Annick Dauchy, Property Business Development Manager, FrenchEntrée

Premium French property agents FrenchEntrée cite chalets and luxurious apartments in Les Praz and Les Bois as the most sought-after properties at present. Buyers are looking to combine a second home investment with good rental potential in order to cover some of their costs through the income that can be made from the property.

Capital gains are also a consideration, with Chamonix, Les Praz and Les Moussoux all enjoying price rises at present, while values in Les Houches, Taconnaz and Les Bossons all retain their value.

Chamonix is about so much more than just winter sports. Aside from the obvious charms of the ski season, the town offers an attractive and well-visited destination, no matter the season. The stunning heights of Mont Blanc provide an incredible backdrop to the town, while abundant flowers both in and around Chamonix provide a beautiful contrast to the mountain’s pristine white slopes. Whether they’re exploring by foot, bike, skis or snowboard, Chamonix has the power to take visitors’ breath away with its staggering beauty.

The town enjoys good access from Geneva airport and offers a wide range of properties for sale. During the summer months, hiking and mountain biking are both popular, while the local culture, Savoyard fare and a range of festivals and events ensure there is always something on hand to enjoy.

The most common properties available are apartments ranging in value from €350,000 to €650,000. Two- and three-bedroom chalets are also popular and can command asking prices of anything from €1.3m to €2m.

Those looking for a particularly impressive abode can pick up a six-bedroom, five-bathroom chalet with pool in a superb setting for a cool €6.3m. Meanwhile, a four-bedroom chalet can command anything up to €3,870 per week in rent over the peak of the winter season.

Of course, property investment in the Alps is nothing new. Sales in the area account for 38% of foreign investment in French property, according to BNP Paribas’ mid-2016 market update. However, the recent rise in rental potential is driving a new wave of interest in the Chamonix area in particular.

“Buyers are definitely waking up to the fact that their property can work for them when they’re not using it. With low interest rates added into the mix at the moment, Chamonix has become far more accessible to those looking to pick up the perfect second home.”

Annick Dauchy, Property Business Development Manager, FrenchEntrée

For further information, contact FrenchEntrée on +44 (0)1225 463752 or propertysales@frenchentree.com. You can also visit www.frenchentree.com.

Resorts with altitude and easy access remain most sought-after in 2017-18 season

Resorts with altitude and easy access remain most sought-after in 2017-18 season

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Access, length of ski season and altitude should be key considerations of international investors choosing a resort for their perfect ski home this season, said new-build ski specialist Skiingproperty.com in October.


“The Savoie region in the French Alps, in particular, is home to established high altitude resorts with excellent skiing and easy access from the UK and Europe,” said Skiingproperty.com director Julian Walker. “These resorts include Tignes, Val d’Isère, Courchevel and Méribel. We also recommend Alpe d’Huez a little further south.”


Tignes Part of the Savoie department’s Espace Killy ski area, with its 300 kilometres of slopes reaching from 1,550m to 3,456m, Tignes is made up of four villages, each at different altitudes. The highest is Val Claret (2,300m), followed by the main village at Le Lac (2,100m) and further down are Tignes Les Boisses (or Tignes 1800) and Tignes Les Brévières. The Grande Motte glacier, which offers summer skiing, is accessed via Val Claret. Transfers to the resort from Geneva and Lyon are around two-and-a-half hours, or two hours from Chambéry. Skiingproperty.com has luxury chalets in Tignes available off-plan from €2.28million.


Val d’Isère

The other half of the Espace Killy ski area, the lively resort of Val d’Isère lies at an altitude of 1,850 metres. The resort is about to benefit from a major €200million regeneration project, which follows the opening last year of a €16-million two-year redevelopment of the Solaise area directly above the resort, which includes a new mid-mountain station at 2,500 metres. Transfers to the resort from Geneva and Lyon are around two-and-a-half hours, or two hours from Chambéry. Skiingproperty.com has luxury three-bedroom apartments in Val d’Isère available off-plan from €923,000.


Méribel Located in Savoie and part of the Les Trois Vallées ski area, the largest in the world, the heart of picturesque Méribel lies at 1,450 metres but its chalet developments rise up the side of the valley to 1,700 metres. There is also a satellite resort, Méribel-Mottaret at 1,750 metres. A favourite with British homeowners, skiers there can be on slopes at well over 2,000 metres in no time, from which they can link into Les Trois Vallées’ 600kms of slopes. Transfers to the resort from Geneva, Grenoble and Lyon are around two hours, or 75 minutes from Chambéry. Skiingproperty.com has off-plan apartments in Méribel available from €1.09million.


Courchevel One of the Alps’ most upmarket resorts and also within Les Trois Vallées, Courchevel is a collection of linked villages at different altitudes. The main village and lift hub is Courchevel 1,850, named after its altitude. A little lower is Courchevel Moriond (1,650), then Courchevel Village (1,550) and then Courchevel Le Praz (1,300). Courchevel has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other resort in the French Alps and recently opened a £50-million water park. Transfers to the resort from Lyon and Geneva are around two hours, or 75 minutes from Chambéry. Skiingproperty.com has off-plan apartments in Courchevel available from €776,000.


Alpe d’Huez Located in the Isère department, the resort of Alpe d’Huez sits at an altitude of 1,860 metres. Its 250 kilometres of slopes, which comprise France’s fifth largest ski area and include the longest black run in the Alps, range from 1,100 metres up to 3,330 metres. A long ski season, typically from early December until late April, is guaranteed thanks to the glacier there. The nearest airport at Grenoble is just 90 minutes’ drive away. Skiingproperty.com has off-plan apartments in Alpe d’Huez available from €315,000.



For further information or to enquire about properties in the French Alps:

Julian Walker



Email: info@skiingproperty.com

Website: www.skiingproperty.com


 About Skiingproperty.com

Skiingproperty.com, which is owned and operated by international property specialist Spot Blue International Property, works with developers in the French and Swiss Alps to promote new and off-plan developments to the UK and wider international market. Since its foundation in 2003, Spot Blue International Property has established itself as a leading international property specialist and is a member of the AIPP and NAEA. The company’s high profile in the UK and worldwide means it is regularly quoted in the national press and invited to appear on panels at leading seminars and exhibitions.