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France most popular real estate investment for UK buyers

 According to an annual study produced by the international mortgage specialist, Conti, France remains the most popular destination for international property investment among British buyers.

“Buyers have increasingly been sticking to locations they know and trust, which is why France and Spain are out on their own.”- Clare Nessling, Conti Mortgages

France is top of the list for the fourth year running, accounting for 45% of mortgage enquiries received from UK buyers so far this year. This is the country’s biggest share achieved to date, and compares with 39% last year, and just 15% back in 2008. Spain, in second place with 33% of enquiries, is also up from 31% last year and from 14% in 2008 which the firm says is due to excellent buying conditions and signs that the market is starting to bottom out.

Portugal with 10% of enquiries is in third position for the second year running. Although its share is down by 2% on last year, interest has picked up again over the last three months as falling property prices entice buyers back. Interest in Turkey, on the other hand, has declined over the last year with the country now accounting for just 6% of enquiries, perhaps due to exchange rates working in favour of buyers in the euro zone.

“The euro zone crisis continues, but the growing strength of the pound against the euro is boosting the budgets of people in the UK who are looking to buy property in these locations. This together with some bargain property prices and low interest rates, are making it even more affordable. It also helps that these countries offer easy access from the UK, and rental opportunities are good too,” Nestling added.

Conti says that against the volatility of the British market, French property is seen as an increasingly solid investment option over the long term. Its also affordable, with rates currently starting from just 2.79% and mortgage availability is still generally very good. It also pointed out that while French property hasn’t been reduced to bargain basement prices, it generally remains well under UK averages, with plenty to choose from within a budget and the current strength of the pound allowing buyers to get more for their money. Also in France as loan-to-value ratios are still high it’s quite normal for clients to borrow up to 70% of the value of a property with an interest only mortgage and up to 85% with a repayment mortgage.

Read the full article at PropertyWire.


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