Winter sun destinations at their best – is now the perfect time to buy property in Chamonix?

Winter sun destinations at their best – is now the perfect time to buy property in Chamonix?

France ,

 

  • Flurry of new homes at excellent prices on market in Chamonix (FrenchEntrée)
  • Prices up 2.3% in Chamonix over past year (Knight Frank)
  • €477 million, 40-year investment plan laying solid foundations for future price growth (FrenchEntrée)

Knight Frank’s new Ski Property Report 2018-19 has provided an encouraging snapshot of the French market’s performance in the year to June 2018. None of the French resorts that the company monitors recorded a decline in prices over the year, with Val d’Isère and Chamonix recording the healthiest rises, of 3.0% and 2.3% respectively.

The uptick in prices makes now the ideal time to buy in Chamonix, according to specialist French property agents FrenchEntrée.

“We’re seeing some lovely new Chamonix properties come onto the market at the moment, and our expectation is that prices in the area should continue rising over the next year or two at least. Chamonix has some excellent investments in the pipeline, which should serve to drive up property prices in the coming years and ensure it keeps its place as one of the most attractive regions of the Alps.”

Alistair Lockhart, Property Director, FrenchEntrée

Chamonix’s future plans include a new lift at Grand Montets and 10-seater gondola at Flegere and a renovated lift station at Le Tour. The upgrades are part of a €477 million, 40-year investment plan, which – according to Knight Frank – means the resort is well positioned in terms of potential property price rises.

“Knight Frank’s Ski Property Index has confirmed the link between a resort’s investment in its infrastructure (ski lifts, hotels, spas, non-ski activities etc) and its property market’s performance.” 

Ski Property Report 2018-19, Knight Frank

Those buying second homes in Chamonix not only have an idyllic ski resort on their doorstep, they also have excellent income potential as a result of their purchase. During the high season, a four-bedroom chalet in Chamonix can command a rental income of €4,600 per week, with occupancy averaging 90-100%. In low season, occupancy of 60% is realistic.

“As confirmed by the latest Knight Frank ski report, Northern Europeans – in particular those from Scandinavia and the Benelux countries – are showing growing interest in skiing in the Alps. This is against a background of an improving French economy, making now a particularly interesting time for buyers to look closely at Chamonix’s property market.”

Alistair Lockhart, Property Director, FrenchEntrée

In terms of properties available, Chamonix buyers have some superb options. Brand new on the market and priced at €8.95 million is Le Lustre, a duplex apartment in the historic the Pas de Chevre building in the very centre of Chamonix’s pedestrian area. Four years in the creation, the apartment offers four en-suite bedrooms, 360 degree views of the mountains and a sizeable roof terrace in an unsurpassed location.

Also new to the market is Chalet les Nants. Just a 10-minute walk from the centre of Chamonix, and at the extremely reasonable price of €1.8 million, the four-bedroom chalet is spread over three floors and offers a magnificent family home, including an open-fire, a large, south facing terrace with hot tub and views of Mont Blanc.

A 10-minute drive from Chamonix, at the lovely family resort of Les Houches, prices are even more reasonable. Chalet Lothier costs just €1.245 million. The large, light-filled chalet includes four bedrooms, living room with open fire place, pool room and cinema room. The decent-sized garden and balconies provide plenty of space for enjoying the spectacular mountain views.

Of course, Chamonix prices aren’t for everyone. Thankfully, there are other areas of the French Alps that have excellent potential, for more affordable prices.

“The area around Lake Geneva is home to some superb ski properties, with stunning views and easy access to a host of facilities. The presence of the lake, and its associated activities, means that those properties also have excellent dual-season appeal. The up and coming resort of Bourg St Maurice is also well worth investigating, as it has great potential both in terms of future property price increases and rental appeal.”

Alistair Lockhart, Property Director, FrenchEntrée

Homes by Lake Geneva can be picked up for well under €1 million. Just five minutes from the centre of Evian, this captivating, three-bedroom chalet boasts superb lake views and is on the market for just €795,000. Over in Bourg St Maurice, a beautiful, centrally located, four-bedroom apartment can be picked up for as little as €520,000.

 

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/.

 

Autumn buyer trends reveal France’s latest property hotspots

Autumn buyer trends reveal France’s latest property hotspots

France
  • Limousin, Poitou-Charentes and Provence top the table for buyer enquiries (FrenchEntrée)
  • Average budget falls 8% to €291,000
  • Buyers seeking wide range of homes, from rural areas to the coast to the Alps

New data from specialist French property agents FrenchEntrée has revealed the top three areas that are generating buyer enquiries in France right now. Traditional favourites such as Paris and the Côte d’Azur have been eclipsed by the three latest hotspots: Limousin, Poitou-Charentes and Provence.

“With the start of autumn, we tend to see more serious property enquiries coming through, after the summer flurry of those often looking at homes on a whim after a lovely holiday. Our latest data has revealed that enquiries are focusing particularly on the Limousin, Poitou-Charentes and Provence regions.

Alistair Lockhart, Property Director, FrenchEntrée

Limousin is known for providing excellent value for money when it comes to property. Located in France’s hilly southwest, it has been part of the new Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes region since the start of 2016. Its three departments – Corrèze, Creuse and Haute-Vienne – are some of the most sparsely populated in the country, making this a great area for buyers who are looking to reconnect with nature.

Traditional, rural properties abound in Limousin. Stone houses with plenty of land can be picked up for well under €175,000. In fact, that budget would be sufficient for a traditional house with outbuildings, mature fruit trees and an above-ground pool. Tradition and history live on in Limousin, making it the perfect escape from the excesses of the Digital Age (though with modern facilities and connectivity on tap as needed), while the serenity of all that open pastoral land provides its own form of peace.

The area also has a notable cultural offering, from the galleries of Brive to the abundance of fine art, sculpture and paintings to be found in Guéret.

Neighbouring Poitou-Charentes, meanwhile, is known as the home of vines, sunflowers and friendly locals. It’s another excellent place to buy properties with a decent parcel of land for a great price. The larger towns (Angoulême, Cognac and Saintes) offer year-round entertainment options, while the smaller towns and villages provide a wonderfully peaceful setting outside of the summer season.

“The four departments of Poitou-Charentes – Charente, Charente-Maritime, Deux-Sèvres and Vienne – provide buyers with plenty of choice when it comes to buying property in this beautiful part of France. As well as rolling rural landscapes, the area also boasts a delightful coastline, ranging from attractive sandy beaches to more rugged and wild stretches. There are communities of all shapes and sizes, from tiny, pretty hamlets to vibrant medieval towns that are bursting with life, presenting buyers with an impressive range of property options at prices comfortably below those found in some other parts of France.

Alistair Lockhart, Property Director, FrenchEntrée

As well as its coastal areas, Poitou-Charentes is also home to a number of leisure lakes, offering swimming, walking and water sports. Properties near the lakes include some impressive rural residences. €300,000 is enough for a four-bedroom house with 11 acres of land and stream, with stables and fenced grazing land, just minutes from the lakes of Haute Charente.

Provence has, of course, been familiar to British property buyers since Peter Mayle’s famous 1989 tale of terrible weather, black market truffle dealers and the quirks of the French labour system. Mayle’s bumbling, entertaining attempts at integration inspired many British buyers to give Provence a try. Today, many of the area’s attractions remain largely the same as they did back then.

Next to the playground of the rich that is the Côte d’Azur, Provence offers a more laid-back alternative, though still with stunning surroundings. This extensive area encompasses everything from coastal settings to the Alps. Summer and winter sporting options mean that the area is popular with tourists year round, with many heading into the mountains in the summer months for lakeside frolics away from the more intense heat of the coast.

Provençal properties are considerably more expensive than those in Limousin and Poitou-Charentes. A characterful 19th century farmhouse with pool, set in 1.6 hectares of land, will set buyers back €590,000.

“What’s interesting about the top three French hotspots for autumn is the variety. We’re seeing evidence of caution in terms of budgets – which at an average of €291,000 are around 8% lower than a year ago – and with Brexit looming that is perfectly understandable. However, the fact that Provence is one of France’s three most popular areas this autumn indicates that many British buyers remain confident in their budgets – and in the French property market.”

Alistair Lockhart, Property Director, 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/.

 

A trip through history: Buyers delight in French properties that showcase the country’s past

A trip through history: Buyers delight in French properties that showcase the country’s past

France
  • 17th century chateaux offer glimpse of past luxury (FrenchEntrée)
  • Post-Revolution era houses feature stones from destroyed aristocracy homes
  • Paris is perfect post-war fashion property location
  • French Riviera is latest playground for ultra-wealthy property buyers

The French property market offers some absolute gems when it comes to homes with history. Indeed, specialist French property agents FrenchEntrée report that buyers are spoiled for choice when it comes to dwellings from key periods of the country’s history.

“France has produced a range of beautiful and unique architectural styles over the centuries and many fine examples of these still exist today, from extravagant chateaux to chic, fashion-conscious post-war pads. Buyers looking for a second home in France are often after something that differs architecturally from their home country – and there’s certainly plenty that fits that bill.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

The 17th century saw the true beginning of the French Aristocracy flaunting their wealth, with chateaux up and down the country playing a prominent role in this. Subtlety was certainly not the order of the day, resulting in some beautifully extravagant and luxurious homes. Louis 14th and his Palais de Versailles were at the heart of it all, with wealthy countrymen across France racing to showcase their money and influence.

It was the French Revolution that finally put paid to this excessive display of wealth. In the turmoil and chaos that enveloped France, many chateaux were torn down in their entirety. While the grandiose properties themselves have been lost, however, their legacy lives on. The FrenchEntrée team points out that many of the stones from the aristocracy’s destroyed homes were used to create other, more humble dwellings.

Buyers keen to own a part of one of the most important eras of France’s history have some lovely homes to choose from. Houses and cottages dot the countryside around the sites of former castles, many of them built using stones from those destroyed dwellings. Buying such a home is a wonderful way to ensure your property has a unique character and history all of its own.

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

Fast-forward to the end of World War II and France – particularly Paris – has some superb examples of post-war properties. With Paris at the heart of the fashion industry, they city’s reputation for elegance spilled over into its property market, as the wealthy used their homes to show off their outstanding, cutting edge taste. Penthouse apartments with views of the city were essential for those looking to cement their social status, while iconic brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dior inspired the building and décor of apartments in minimalistic fashion.

The rise of celebrity culture in the 21st century reshaped France’s property market once more, drawing attention towards the playgrounds of the rich along the country’s south coast.

“The Festival du Film de Cannes had a strong influence on the French property market. As film stars and singers rose to prominence and created a new sense of fashion and culture on France’s southern coast, a host of properties sprang up, each more luxurious than the last. Today, Cannes and the surrounding area is home to some incredible properties, with eye-watering price tags that few can afford.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

From the average second home buyer’s perspective, a mansion in Cannes may be a little too much of a stretch. Thankfully, France has a wealth of properties available to suit a range of tastes and budgets, meaning that those seeking a piece of the country’s history should be able to find the perfect French residence.

 

A journey through history: Properties on the market today

This listed 17th century chateau exudes luxury. Less than an hour from Paris, it is a superb example of a symmetrical chateau, with the central front-body on three levels and two ground-floor wings flanking it, in arcades covered by roof terraces. The grounds include formal gardens, an orangery, greenhouse and kitchen garden. Asking price: €14.7 million.

For history buffs, this four-bedroom house in Fox Amphoux, just 6 km from Cotignac, is bound to appeal. Fox Amphoux was the home town of Barras, one of the figures of the French Revolution, and this hamlet house was built using the stones of the castle. Beautifully renovated and with delightful country views, it is available for €275,000.

In the heart of Paris, with views of the Arc de Triomphe, this incredible apartment is spread over an entire floor of a 19th century building on the elegant Avenue Marceau. The property marries historic architecture, with fireplaces, parquet and mouldings, and stunning contemporary design. On the market for: €7.3 million.

For the ultra-wealthy, this exquisite private estate on the French Riviera includes three five-bedroom villas, a two-bedroom villa and a staff residence of five studios and one apartment. The contemporary estate offers unparalleled luxury in complete seclusion, with a 4km outdoor fitness trail, tennis court, three heated swimming pools, spa, olive groves and even its own helipad. Price on application.

 

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/.

 

Perfect Paris – Latest buyer trends reveal penchant for premium properties and rental homes

Perfect Paris – Latest buyer trends reveal penchant for premium properties and rental homes

France
  • Wealthy foreign nationals scouring French market for premium properties (FrenchEntrée)
  • Paris’ residential real estate sector is most sought after in world for super-rich (Knight Frank)
  • Shortage of supply and strong rental returns pulling buy-to-let investors into Paris (FrenchEntrée)

Specialist French property agents FrenchEntrée have revealed that premium properties and rental homes are top of buyers’ shopping lists when it comes to Paris property right now. A core demographic of wealthy foreign nationals, primarily from the UK and the US, are scouring the market for properties costing from around €700,000 and upward.

“The Paris property market is alive and well, with foreign buyers seeking out well-located homes that really take advantage of all that the city has to offer. As well as properties for personal use, we’re seeing keen interest in buy-to-let homes right now. With fewer properties available than there is demand for, Paris is an excellent choice for buy-to-let ventures at the moment, with properties in desirable areas commanding healthy rental yields.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

Paris’ residential real estate sector is the most sought after in the world for the super-rich, according to a recent study by Knight Frank International. The city experienced record growth in the price of its residential properties during 2017, in the face of a shortage of housing stock, but the price rise has done little to deter premium property buyers.

Rents in Paris are rising hand in hand with property prices. Rent caps were scrapped by the French courts last year. Since then, the National Association for Consumer and User Protection (CLCV) has observed that more than half of all rents in the capital have increased in the past six months.

“This shortage of available homes, combined with rising rents, is fueling buy-to-let investment in Paris. Buyers are particularly seeking out Haussmanian buildings with classic proportions and features – light-filled homes with high ceilings. Properties of this nature usually command between €10,000 and €20,000 per square metre, and far more if it’s at a prestigious address or boasts a significant ‘wow factor,’ such as views of the Seine or a major landmark. The fact that demand is outstripping supply is also serving to provide the market with excellent stability, which is another reason that investors are so excited about Paris right now.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

Popular hotspots for foreign buyers’ opulent pied-à-terres and rental apartments are the 6th and 7th Saint Germain des Pres arrondissements, and the 3rd and 4th arrondissement, particularly the upmarket district of Le Marais. Budgets in these areas average between €1 million and €1.5 million, according to the FrenchEntrée team.

Once a quaint neighbourhood, Le Marais is regarded as ‘old Paris.’ The quartier was developed by the bourgeoisie starting in the 16th century and is now one of the city’s most vibrant areas. With its fine array of galleries, museums and boutiques, it’s popular with art enthusiasts and fashionistas alike.

The most interesting area for buyers considering Le Marais is the Haut-Marais, which is further away from the river and close to the République Métro stop. Current hotspots include north of the Rue Rambuteau, south-east of Republique, the Square du Temple and the Marché des Enfants Rouges, the city’s oldest food market, which is packed with rambling food stalls. The Haut-Marais is now a hip district that offers a great rental return to property investors. With a wealth of bars and restaurants, bustling nightlife and close proximity to République, it’s a sought after area for young professionals, meaning that investors have plenty of tenants queuing up to rent their apartments.

Le Marais is largely free of Haussmanian architecture and, with its maze of winding streets, is often described as having a ‘village’ feel. Buyers should budget around €12,500 per square metre as a base point, and possibly higher for well-renovated apartments with a lift in the more popular areas.

Studios are particularly popular and snapped up quickly. In terms of returns, a studio in good condition and rented furnished will fetch €1,500 per calendar month, including agency fees, while a nice but compact one-bed will bring in €2,000 pcm, and a two-bedroom €3,000 pcm.

“With Paris due to host the Olympic Games in 2024, and France remaining the world’s most visited country, it’s fair to say that the Paris property market has excellent long-term potential. Its many investment opportunities are backed by a world-class lifestyle, superb infrastructure and substantial international business community. This is a city that will remain firmly on the investment map for the duration!”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

 

Perfect Parisian properties on the market

Le Marais, Square du Temple: This romantic, decadent property is evocative of Madame de Pompadour’s boudoir. This unique property, in a 17th century building, overlooks the beautiful Square du Temple and is priced at €1,680,000.

Le Marais, Place des Vosges: Located just off the famous Place des Vosges, the jewel in the crown of the Marais, this beautiful three-bedroom apartment, priced at €1,680,000, is on the first floor of a classic Parisian building with high ceilings, period features and plenty of character.

Saint Germain des Pres, 6th arrondissement: Found in an exceptional location in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, this luxury apartment is tucked away on the third floor of a period building dating from 1850. Available for €1,575,000, the apartment includes a distinctive antique fireplace, a balcony and outstanding city views.

Latin Quarter, 5th arrondissement: This beautiful two-bedroom property, in an historic enclave just a few steps from the Seine and Notre Dame cathedral, blends exceptional features with contemporary comfort. It is on sale for €1,157,000.

 

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/.

 

‘Fore’ ultimate golf homes: French property market prepares for the Ryder Cup

‘Fore’ ultimate golf homes: French property market prepares for the Ryder Cup

France
  • Second ever Continental European Ryder Cup to take place in France, 25-30 September
  • Young golfers in France increase by 11% in 10 years (French Golf Federation)
  • French property market ready for “notable increase” in golf properties (FrenchEntrée)

At the end of September, the Ryder Cup will take place at France’s Le Golf National, some 20 miles south west of Paris. It will be only the second time in the event’s history that it has taken place in Continental Europe. Excitement is building as balls are polished and greens are manicured to perfection.

However, it’s not just the sporting world that is getting ready for the prestigious tournament – France’s property market is also preparing.

“With any event of this stature, the spotlight falls firmly on the host country. France is in an enviable position, hosting the Ryder Cup for its second ever foray into Continental Europe. This means that the country’s golfing credentials will be showcased to viewers around the world. We expect a notable uptick in interest in golf properties as a result – and France has some real gems to offer in this respect.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

Golf in France is growing swiftly in terms of its popularity, with a number of initiatives aimed at growing the sport in recent years. The biennial Ryder Cup being held in France will serve as a further boost for the sport.

The French Golf Federation has 410,000 registered golfers and, according to independent studies over 800,000 golfers in total. In France, golf developed greatly in the 1990’s and 2000s and is now widely accessible, in particular in relation to young players whose numbers continue to grow. Statistics show that the number of under 18’s has grown from 27,000 in 2008 to over 30,000 in 2018; unlike other European countries who have seen their number of junior golfers decline.

Pascal Grizot, Vice President, French Golf Federation and President, France 2018

As well as its outstanding golf courses, premium French property agents FrenchEntrée point out that France has much to offer when it comes to properties for golfers. Whether buyers are seeking a home near a golf course or even golfing facilities on their own land, France has plenty of variety – with the added bonus that most golf properties in France come with their own outdoor pool.

In Gironde, for example, home to the Bordeaux wine region in south west France, golfers can pick up a beautiful country home, complete with five hectares of land and their own four holes. Stunning 360 degree views offer an ideal setting for driving and putting practice, while the large outdoor pool is perfect for cooling down in at the end of the day.

Of course, for serious golfers, four holes may well not be enough. Thankfully, France still makes the grade. Just an hour from Paris, this Templar farm comes complete with an 18-hole golf course designed by architects Patrick Fromanger and Mark Adam and spread over 53 acres of land. Dating back to the 12th century, the property has a dozen buildings in total, including a Club House restaurant and a pro shop.

Of course, not all golfers have the €5.5 million or so required to purchase their own golf course, other than perhaps a few of those taking part in the Ryder Cup this year. For those on a slightly lower budget, €598,000 is sufficient for a luxury, duplex apartment with beautiful views of the Esterel mountains and the sea. Several nearby golf courses mean players are spoiled for choice, while the various local beaches add to the variety of leisure pursuits on offer.

Meanwhile, down in the scenic Dordogne countryside, this outstanding house with large heated pool sits within the prestigious gated estate at Vigiers Golf Club. The property comes with a family golf club membership included in the sale price of €1.4 million.

“France has a wide range of golf properties available, which means that keen golfers can find the right property at the right price. With the Ryder Cup stirring up interest in French golf properties, it looks like a busy season ahead for the sport and for the property sector.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services 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/.

Oh I do like to be beside the RIVERside!

Oh I do like to be beside the RIVERside!

France
  • Riverside living offers ultimate peace and tranquillity (FrenchEntrée)
  • Superb selection of riverside homes available in France, from village properties and watermills to châteaux and converted monasteries
  • France expecting strong 2018 tourism figures (Atout France)

With the summer holiday season just beginning, many of those visiting France will be doing so with one eye on the local property market. With 38% of tourist offices and other tourism bodies in France anticipating an increase in visitor numbers over the season, and 37% projecting stable activity, according to Atout France, that’s a lot of potential buyers. Indeed, France welcomed some 87.3 million visitors in 2017, making it the world’s most visited country. If even a small fraction of those holidaymakers turn their break into a property purchae, France’s property market could be in for a bumper summer season.

In anticipation of this, premium French property agents FrenchEntrée have flagged up the popularity and benefits of riverside living, while showcasing the superb selection of riverside homes that buyers in France can access. From secluded riverside châteaux to high end apartments in a converted monastery, France is home to a wide range of unique riverside properties.

“Living by the water brings with it a whole host of benefits and buyers in France are spoiled for choice when it comes to finding the perfect riverside home. We’re increasingly unable to disconnect and be mindful in our busy modern lives and this is a key reason that many of our riverside property buyers cite for their choice of location – peaceful surroundings have taken on a new importance in recent years.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

Riverside living is the ideal way to escape the over-stimulation of modern life and a connection to water has been shown to benefit both physical and our psychological health. It promotes relaxation and reduces stress. Indeed, the restorative nature of sea air has long been used to help people convalesce, while the serenity of riverside life has inspired everything from poetry to paintings.

“With riverside properties, owners tend to enjoy lush greenery as well as access to the water itself, meaning that they get the best of both worlds. One of the benefits of buying a riverside home in France is that the climate serves to encourage lush natural beauty, as well as lending itself perfectly to lazy days on the river.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

The cost of buying a riverside home in France can also be an advantage. In the popular, sunny Dordogne region, buyers can pick up a fully restored riverside property on a large plot of land for just €182,000 – well below the average UK property price.

 

Gorgeous riverside homes currently on the market

This restored riverside chateau between Sarlat and Souillac is set in verdant parkland. Close to the Dordogne valley, it boasts some exceptional original and characterful features from the 15th century building. The chateau is on the market for €609,000.

Those looking for a smaller but still exceptional property will be delighted by this two-bedroom apartment in a converted monastery. The apartment is finished to a high standard, with on-site facilities including a large, heated swimming pool, pretty gardens and river access. Priced at €199,000.

This highly desirable Dordogne riverside home has been fully resorted, including a new roof, gas central heating, electrics and plumbing. With its own frontage onto the Dordogne river, the property benefits from an unusually large plot, as well as being just 15 minutes from Bergerac airport. It is available for €182,000.

 

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/.

 

 

 

 

Sweet gîtes for every budget – FrenchEntrée heralds the start of the annual gîte-hunting season

Sweet gîtes for every budget – FrenchEntrée heralds the start of the annual gîte-hunting season

France
  • July and August are the time for would-be buyers to undertake research (FrenchEntrée)
  • Most popular areas include Brittany, Normandy, Poitou-Charentes, Limousin, the Dordogne and Languedoc-Roussillon
  • Gîte hunters looking for the ideal blend of affordability and rental potential

Premium French property agents FrenchEntrée are gearing up for the annual ‘gîte-hunting season’ in France. Every July and August, British holidaymakers head across the channel in search of sunshine, relaxation and the perfect property, with gîtes offering the ideal blend of affordability and rental potential.

“At this time of year, we tend to see holidaymakers combining their downtime with research into France’s gîte market. Typically, visitors are exploring areas where they are considering making a purchase to find out about local amenities, transport connections, social considerations and so forth. Many of these holidaymakers use the summer months to really get to know their preferred region, prior to purchase a second home there further down the line.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

Brittany, Normandy, Poitou-Charentes, Limousin, the Dordogne and Languedoc-Roussillon are all popular with British buyers. Each area offers its own unique charms. Brittany is all about coastal walks, wide sandy beaches, open skies and green hills. Normandy also boasts beautiful beaches, backed by rich farmland and overflowing with orchards. The inland Dordogne region, meanwhile, offers gently undulating hills, historic towns and magnificent river vistas. Of course, this being France, each area also offers its own unique, gourmet cuisine, focusing on fresh, local ingredients that change with the seasons.

Every region also offers its own style of gîte. In technical terms, a gîte is a property that has an owner living nearby, to welcome guests and provide assistance. This means that many gîtes are former farmworkers’ cottages or outbuildings that have been converted into living accommodation. As such, they can vary in size – and price – quite considerably. This is excellent news for British buyers, as it means that there is a gîte to suit every budget.

“The depth of variety in the gîte market means that buyers are often spoiled for choice. That’s why the summer months are so key to potential purchasers – they want to explore in detail what France has to offer before homing in on a particular location and property. Of course, many are also buying with rental potential firmly in mind, so are researching local holiday rental markets as well during their visit.

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

Gîtes are incredibly popular with tourists and are in abundant supply. Estimates suggest that there are five gîtes available for every person who wants to book one. Even with France topping the list of the world’s most visited countries, making a living from a gîte is unlikely in such a saturated marketplace. However, many would-be purchasers have a realistic view of this and are happy to factor only a few weeks’ rental income per year into their plans, according to FrenchEntrée. As such, let the gîte-hunting season begin!

 

Gorgeous gites currently on the market

In the Uzel area of central Brittany, this delightful, renovated farm complex comes with three habitations, two of which are in use as gîtes. The property also benefits from a heated swimming pool, terraces, children’s play area and orchard.

Set in almost 40 acres of land in the Charente-Maritime, Poitou-Charentes region, this stunning property is new to the market. The beautifully renovated stone house comes with two gîtes, spa with sauna and treatment rooms, saltwater pool and summer kitchen area and fabulous grounds, including an orchard and a meditation meadow.

Buyers looking for more of a project will love this small chateau in Limousin, which is packed with potential for someone looking to create a fantastic gîte complex. Bordering a cascading river, the property has around 24 rooms, which could be separated into six or more dwellings. Packed with character, this property enjoys a scenic, peaceful setting that is perfect for promoting relaxation.

 

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/.

Estate agents brace for Tour de France effect

Estate agents brace for Tour de France effect

France
  • World’s largest cycling road race is France’s “best advertising campaign” (FrenchEntrée)
  • Surge in interest in French property likely to run along the route
  • Fontenay le Comte, Fougères and Trie sur Baïse flagged as areas of particular interest

All eyes will be on France’s Noirmoutier-en-l’Île on 7 July, as the world’s biggest road cycling race kicks off once more. The Tour de France is possibly the most famous cycle race on the planet. Each year, it generates millions in revenue for the towns and cities that host the various stages. However, there are additional ‘unseen’ benefits to the race as well, according to premium French property agents FrenchEntrée.

“You couldn’t devise a better advertising campaign for France than the Tour de France! From the stunning urban architecture to the misty mountains to the rolling countryside, the race shows France at its very best – often including its glorious weather as well. It’s no wonder that it generates a surge of interest in French property each year!”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

Anywhere and everywhere along the Tour de France route can attract interest from overseas property buyers. Millions of fans line the route every year, many of them travelling from elsewhere in Europe (and beyond) in order to be part of cycling’s greatest event. In addition, tens of millions of global viewers enjoy the experience on television.

This year, FrenchEntrée predict keen interest in properties in Fontenay le Comte, Fougères and Trie sur Baïse.

At the finish of stage 1, Fontenay-le-Comte is in France’s Pays de la Loire region. The pretty Vendée River flows through the town, which is home to a number of beautiful churches and other historic buildings.

Fougères, meanwhile, which hosts the start of stage 7 of the 2018 Tour de France, has one of the finest castles in Europe. The Brittany town is home to a lively Saturday market, along with some fabulous examples of medieval architecture.

Surrounded by beautiful countryside and quaint villages, Trie-sur-Baïse, the start of stage 18, is a historic market town that exemplifies traditional French life. The weekly market is the ideal place to shop and socialize, while a market specialising in goose and duck produce is held weekly over the winter months.

“France has something to offer every individual taste and budget, which is one of the things that makes it such a perennially popular destination with overseas property buyers. We’re expecting a busy summer season – as ever – with interest along the length of the Tour de France route, as it showcases this beautiful country to the world.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

 

Tour de France properties currently on the market

Fontenay-le-Comte: This large, impressive house enjoys magnificent views over the wooded countryside. The six-bedroom property comes complete with playroom, video room (home cinema) fully equipped and soundproof, hammam with rest room, leisure room, three garages, a greenhouse and around 5,450sqm of mature parkland planted with oak trees, cedars, rhododendrons and a superb weeping beech tree.

Fougères: This enormous 16th and 19th century dwelling offers peace and seclusion, and is packed with traditional charm. With a square courtyard, outbuildings, chapel and two beautiful round towers with pointed roof tiles, this is a property to truly capture the imagination. The property covers 24.76 acres, with meadows, woods, a pond and a park with a swimming pool.

Trie-sur-Baïse: This recently restored, nine-bedroom home comes with its own pool and gîte. The property is packed with character and luxury touches, from its multiple marble fireplaces to its sweeping views over the rolling countryside with the Pyrenees as a backdrop.

 

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/.

 

Now you Cannes, Cannes, Cannes as beach-widening project adds to the Cote d’Azur’s charms

Now you Cannes, Cannes, Cannes as beach-widening project adds to the Cote d’Azur’s charms

France
  • 80,000 cubic metres of sand extend Cannes’ beach to up to 40m wide in places
  • Engraissement work will provide holidaymakers with more beach for their buck
  • Property scene in Cannes serves up eclectic, high-end homes to suit every taste (FrenchEntrée)

With its Mediterranean climate, stunning waterfront, haute cuisine restaurants and high-end stores, Cannes has plenty to offer holidaymakers from around the world. Now, the jewel of the Cote d’Azur has even more to offer, with the beach made bigger and better for the summer season.

The 1.4-kilometre-long beach has been widened from its former 25-30 metre width, to an impressive 40 metres in places, providing more space for everyone from sunbathers to families building sand castles. It is the first major widening operation to take place since the 1960s, with some 80,000 cubic metres of sand brought in to bolster the shoreline.

Cannes is one of the most exciting destinations on the Cote d’Azur. In the world’s most visited country, it does an excellent job of vying for the attention of France’s 89 million annual visitors. The engraissement work completed over the winter months has enhanced that offering, ensuring that the beach is even bigger and better for this summer’s visitors.

The famous palm tree-lined waterfront walkway, the Promenade de la Croisette, has also been revamped ready for the summer, with improved surfaces and a new bikeway.

“Cannes has a history of attracting the rich and famous, from the aristocracy in the 19th century to some of the most recognised names in the global film and music industry today. Over time, we’ve seen a trend for the wealthy flocking to Cannes to build an array of outstanding properties. The result is an eclectic, exclusive mix of architectural styles, which serve to create an exciting local property scene for those looking to buy second homes on the Cote d’Azur.” 

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

 

Cannes is one of the most popular property markets in the world. It is no coincidence that it is the location of the MIPIM property event, which attracts attendees from across the globe every year. The city’s eye-watering price tags certainly reflect its popularity, but with so many fine homes on offer, the market is nonetheless competitive, though very much high end.

“Cannes is home to an elite raft of properties that were built to reflect the status of their original owners. As such, the city offers an outstanding level of choice when it comes to luxury features and architectural flair.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

 

Whether they’re in town to pick up a multi-million-pound property, or simply to enjoy the stunning surroundings and balmy climate, the widening of Cannes beach will benefit all of those who visit the city this summer. It ensures Cannes’ continued position as the highlight of the French Riviera.

 

Stunning Cannes homes currently on the market

Just a short stroll from the city centre, swanky marina and stunning Bay of Cannes, this contemporary seven-bedroom home should satisfy even the most demanding buyer. Set across four floors with lift, the property boasts numerous vast reception rooms, indoor/outdoor swimming pool, wellness areas, cinema, study and much more. The impressive home is on the market for €29.65 million.

Set in a charming 19th century mansion, and within walking distance of the centre of Cannes, this contemporary, stylish, three-bedroom/two-bathroom apartment boasts two balconies, sea views and a shared pool. It is on the market for €760,000.

Those looking for a more grandiose home – and with €1.29 million to spend – will be delighted by this magnificent Bourgeois-style apartment with impressive sea views. As well as a large living area and two bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, the home includes a private terrace, cellar and garage, in a secure residence with a dedicated caretaker.

 

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/.

 

 

 

 

New figures reveal France is top choice for Brits relocating with children

New figures reveal France is top choice for Brits relocating with children

France
  • 34% of all British children living in the EU are in France (ONS)
  • Property values, family lifestyle and weather are all key relocation drivers (FrenchEntrée)
  • France was second most popular EU country for British emigrants in 2017 (ONS)

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed France to be British emigrants’ top choice of EU country when it comes to moving overseas with children.

There were 20,100 British children living in France during 2017, accounting for 34% of all British children living in EU countries.

“France has excellent credentials when it comes to family living, so it’s a natural choice for those looking to relocate with children. French family homes offer excellent value for money and the education system is very thorough, challenging children to achieve their full potential. Add to that some stunning rural and coastal scenery, and a choice of vibrant cities, and it’s easy to see why France is home to more British children than any other EU country.”

Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

 

In total, 19% of Brits living in the EU called France their home in 2017, making it the second most popular country (after Spain). Retirees (assumed to be those aged 65 and over) accounted for just 19% of British citizens living in France, while 68% were aged 15-64 and 13% were under 15.

The figures do much to challenge the perception that Brits are looking to France purely as a place to find better weather in their golden years. Instead, ONS data shows that 52% of those aged 15-64 are employed, with just 5% unemployed (the remaining 43% were neither employed nor looking for work, such as students or those looking after children).

France has much to offer those looking for a high quality family life. As well as excellent schools and medical care, the country offers a wide selection of family homes, from ancient country piles to contemporary urban townhouses. Then there’s its internationally renowned cuisine, as well as the promise of more sunshine than the UK can reasonably expect over the winter months. Overall, it’s a compelling package.

“France is so much more than just a retirement destination. Sprawling farmhouses, split-level city apartments, coastal cottages… all these serve to attract British buyers looking to get more out of family life by moving to France, as the latest ONS figures demonstrate.”

 Fleur Buckley, Property Services Manager, FrenchEntrée

Smart family homes currently on the market

This impressive stone farmhouse comes with 9.5 acres of rolling Normandy countryside. Perfect for a family looking to enjoy the beauty of rural France, it is on the market for €230,000.

Built just six years ago, this stunning detached home delivers a contemporary interior while retaining the charm and character of a traditional exterior. The outside seating areas will particularly appeal to families looking to make the most of the French sunshine. This property is priced at €265,000.

Working families looking for a property that also delivers an income will be delighted by this fully renovated, characterful gite in Beziers. On the market for €795,000, the home includes a total of eight bedrooms and three kitchens, along with a pool, gym and summer kitchen.

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/.