We’re just fanatical about France – ranked best place to live in Europe

It seems that us Brits are just fanatical about France with our closest European neighbour topping, for the third time in a row, the 2011 Quality of Life Index compiled by comparison website uSwitch.

Whilst the UK ranked in lowly ninth position, just ahead of Ireland, France was clearly the favourite destination in Europe followed by Spain, Denmark, Germany and Poland in fifth position. With the earliest retirement age, the highest proportion of GDP spent on healthcare and the longest life expectancy in Europe, it is no wonder that more and more Britons are looking for properties across the channel. 

Indeed earlier this week Savills International and HomeAway.co.uk published research further glorifying France’s prime position showing that the nation has replaced Spain as the top destination for UK buyers looking to buy overseas.

According to the UK Second Homes Abroad Spotlight, contributing key factors for the French dominance comes from the stability of the French market, a less dramatic decline in house values compared with other overseas locations and the close proximity to the UK.

The research also revealed that around 55% of surveyed respondents explained that letting their property to generate income was one of the main reasons for buying property in France with 13% indicating that rental income helped generate a comfortable profit and fight against current global economic situations.

Indeed, with this in mind, it is no surprise that buyers want to soak up the benefits of buying French property considering the World Travel Organisation in 2010 identified France as the most popular country for tourism, with 78.95 million visitors.

Furthermore, a new survey commissioned for Knight Frank´s annual Private View magazine has discovered some interesting trends in the market for luxury second homes with France accounting for nearly a quarter of the properties in the respondents´ portfolios.

Business Development Manager, Charlie Williams of Terresens, France’s leading eco-friendly property developer responsible for Les Balcons de la Chapelle in Meribel, comments,

“In France there are plenty of options for second-homes in a variety of living environments whether in rural surroundings or ski locations. Property in a ski resort is highly sought after with 13% of respondents desiring a ski property as part of their portfolios according to the Knight Frank findings.

“Of course, new ski property developments such as Les Balcons de la Chapelle have brought a fresh level of quality and luxury to French ski resorts with Meribel remaining one of the most popular destinations with British ski fans.  Meribel affords balmy summers and crisp winters, much needed peace and quiet teamed perfectly with an active social scene and abundance of activities. It is faultless as an all year round location so it makes sense to experience all this in the comfort and style of a gorgeous second home like Les Balcons de la Chapelle.”

The limited number of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom apartments and chalets of Les Balcons de la Chapelle occupy a prime location, just a short walk from the ski lifts, shops and restaurants and command incredible unobstructed views out over the mountains. Available fully furnished to your specification, these luxurious residences afford stunning views over the valley and la Chapelle Notre Dame costing from €560,000.

To find out more about Les Balcons de la Chapelle in Meribel, contact the developer Terresens on + 44 (0) 203 101 110 or visit www.terresensproperties.com.