Weak sterling can affect property purchases and sales in France

house-thru-archphoto © 2006 Sam Mooney | more info (via: Wylio)
Really I should say that a weak pound does affect property sales and purchases in France.  If someone is living in France on a UK fixed income they have less to live on when the pound is weak. How much less really depends on what the pound was like when they bought and how they planned their finances.

A lot of people bought 5 or 6 years ago when the pound was really strong against the euro.  If they moved to France to retire on a UK pension their buying power had dropped considerably.  It can make life difficult, if not unmanageable.

If someone from the UK is thinking about buying  a house in France the strength of the pound compared to the euro can make them lower their budget or decide not to buy.

I can always tell when the pound is weak compared to the euro by looking at the web statistics for Aude France Property. This year the number of people visiting the site from the UK had actually increased.  At the same time the number of actual enquiries has decreased.  People are still dreaming about that house in the south of France but they’re hesitating before actually looking at houses.

It’s one of those catch-22 situations.  It’s a buyers market in Languedoc, prices are really good; sellers are open to offers. The catch, Brits (the majority of expat buyers in Languedoc) are reluctant to buy.

I have no easy answers – or hard answers for that matter, but there’s an article in the Telegraph – “… sterling runs out of steam” – that’s worth reading. It’s not all doom and gloom and it does give some background to the current situation.

What about you?  Has the weaker pound affected your decision to buy a house in the south of France? Leave a comment.

About Sam

Sam started Aude France as a companion site to her real estate site Aude France Property so that she could have a place to write about life in the Aude. Now that she's in Canada she writes about things that can affect owners and buyers in the Aude - or anything that strikes her fancy. On Pinterest you can find her by searching for Sam Mooney or clicking this link
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4 Responses to Weak sterling can affect property purchases and sales in France

  1. Hi Sam

    You’re absolutely right – the currency fluctuations must be a big factor alright, and the general economic downturn. We Irish don’t have the currency factor because we’re in the euro zone (at the moment anyway!!!) but you have to weigh up other factors too, like the cost of living, the quality of life, and lots of other little things.

    To take a small example, our electricity bills in the south of France are far lower than in Ireland. Not just because electricity is cheaper, but also because (a) it’s warmer than Ireland so the central heating goes on much later in the year and (b) you can dry your clothes outside with less chance of a spot of rain. On top of that, maybe we’re imaginging it but there always seems to be a bit more of the “grand stretch in the evenings” as we come into spring and summer, so the lights go on later…

    • Sam says:

      Hi

      First – I love your blog.

      You’re right that there are other factors in play. If an expat wants all things things from home it’s going to cost. As a Canadian there were two things I missed; maple syrup and Kraft Dinner (it’s a Canadian thing) and I would ask people coming to visit to bring them. There are people who buy British products in France and pay dearly for them.

      In general I think I spent less on food in France than I do in Canada.

      It’s hard to put a price on quality of like but it’s worth sacrificing for. At least it would be for me.

      Sam

  2. Very well written and very informative. The conversion of your currency can make or break you moving and traveling plans. Looking at how much something will cost based on your currency should never be overlooked.

    • Sam says:

      Thanks Kirk

      Although I talked about sterling vs the euro in the article it doesn’t matter what the currencies are. When you’re dealing with more than one you really have to be aware of the downside as well as the upside.

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