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News: France holds its own against competition

Despite fierce competition from emerging markets such as Bulgaria and Croatia, Assetz report a  100% increase in French sales since January 2006.

The majority of Assetz's investors are interested in making personal use of their property, either as a holiday home or somewhere to retire to, and they are opting for the quality of France as a sophisticated destination, Assetz says.

When the Bulgarian market became fashionable in 2005, with ski apartments in resorts such as Bovorets and Bansko offering real competition to the French Alps, France could have suffered a reduction in investor interest.  However, Assetz report that French sales have remained strong and are now better than ever due to the country's unrivalled popularity as a holiday-home and retirement destination.

Stuart Law, Managing Director of Assetz says:

“Hard-nosed investors might want the higher returns of Bulgaria but they would not retire there. Quality destinations that offer an established infrastructure, culture and lifestyle, including excellent food and wine, continue to hold firm against their new competitors.

“Capital growth is slower in France compared to Bulgaria or Croatia, but the rental market is undeniably strong and reliable, underpinned by a tourist industry which sees 60 million people visit the country every year.”

New investment trends in the French market

Fewer holiday home buyers are chasing the idyllic notion of a rambling farmhouse in the Dordogne and are instead opting for new build houses and apartments that they can ‘lock up and leave’, report Assetz. Apartments in the south coastal areas in particular are becoming more popular with British buyers who don’t want to spend their long weekend visits mowing lawns and doing DIY.

Stuart Law continues:

“Relocating to France has never been easier with broadband connections and cheap flights making it as commutable as Cornwall or Wales. Property prices, though rising, still remain considerably lower than in the UK, so those retiring in France by releasing equity in their UK home can usually enjoy a great lifestyle.”

Capital gains in France stood at 10.3% over the last twelve months, according to the Assetz Property Investment Tracker. Typical deposit levels remain low at 15%, which, along with capital growth and 7% gross yields, results in an average 68% total return on cash invested.

The popular French Leaseback scheme

France also retains its lead as a favourite for British investors due to the ever-popular French leaseback scheme, which offers excellent opportunities for totally hassle-free investment in holiday rental properties and also corporate lets in cities such as Paris and Strasbourg.

Matthew Rayner, French Business Manager at Leisure Invest, comments:

"If you are looking to make an investment in bricks and mortar, you may be finding that there is a confusing array of options out there both at home and abroad.  Each deal will have its own attractions such as strong potential for capital growth, guaranteed rental returns or easy availability of high loan to value financing.  However, few opportunities offer all these benefits in one single package and this is the appeal of the French Leaseback scheme.

"Where else in the world can you buy new build property in a stable developed economy, be guaranteed a net and indexed-linked rental income for a minimum of 9 years and borrow in excess of 100% of the actual price paid for the property at interest rates of around 3.9%?  It's no wonder that close to 300,000 Britons now own property in France with leaseback investments representing a growing share of this figure."

For French property to buy, please visit http://france.themovechannel.com/property/

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