Whether Britain decides to stay in the EU or leave this year, British investors should not be put off investing in French property. The vote to stay in the European Union will take place in June. Some scaremongering critics suggest that if the UK leaves it could become very challenging to make such an investment work but agents in France are saying there’s nothing to worry about.
Indeed, not much will change suggest estate agents on the European mainland. In fact, data has recorded an upturn in inquiries, revealing the potential for a shortfall in sales is unlikely. Leggett Immobilier’s chairman Trevor Leggett said his agents across France had witnessed no slowdown in demand with UK purchaser activity 40% higher than last year. What makes that number even more significant is the fact that 2015 was a record year (an estimated 800,000 sales were made).
This lack of concern was echoed by Sextant French which said that if the UK voted out of the EU nothing would happen to the market in France very quickly. Expats may have to iron out details regarding healthcare, pensions and state benefits but second homeowners in France would see no significant change.
With buyers making the most of favourable current market conditions thanks to helpful exchange rates, low prices and affordable mortgage rates few will want to see the market hindered in any way. But since investors from as far afield as Australia and China happily buying property in France without any major obstacles, British investors shouldn’t be worried. The UK’s exit will impact tax arrangements, for example, or the possibility of obtaining a mortgage, but won’t put up immovable barriers.
With a potential EU exit on the horizon it is likely the UK will join the European Economic Area (EEC) which includes current members Iceland and Norway.