photo © 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.