French Presidency Has Little Impact on Housing

Real estate experts in France want to remind national and foreign property investors that the election of socialist President Francois Hollande will not impact the housing market since …

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Real estate experts in France want to remind national and foreign property investors that the election of socialist President Francois Hollande will not impact the housing market since his appointment is not tied to governmental lawmaking. What really has investors worried, however, is the fate of the euro and how that may change things for homebuyers and sellers. While some believe Hollande’s plans may create more opportunities at home, many United Kingdom (UK) industry players are excited about the prospect of more French expats spending expat dollars on UK real estate. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.

The election of socialist Francois Hollande as the new President in France is unlikely to have much of an impact on the country’s property market, according to experts.

‘It is important that overseas buyers remember that this election was simply a vote for the French Presidency not the government so there will be no particular implication on the real estate market. It is business as normal,’ said Danny Silver, managing director of The Villages Group.

‘Being married to a top French economist and having lived in France for the past 15 years, I have been exposed to the French elections as they happen. With French property being my speciality I can say that going on past experience, the effect on the property market will be minimal to zero now that Hollande has got in,’ he explained.

‘The new presidency will not impact on the buying process, and with France consistently ranking as one of the most popular countries in which to live and with property prices remaining stable there is no need for potential buyers to worry,’ he added.

Trevor Leggett, managing director of French estate agency Leggett Immobilier, pointed out that currency exchange is likely to have a much bigger impact. With concerns rising about Greece withdrawing from the euro and Hollande’s promise to increase spending, British buyers in particular are quids in as Sterling increases against the euro.

‘It’s impossible to accurately predict the impact that Hollande’s narrow victory will have on the French property market. His pre-election pledges were to increase the upper income tax to 45%, bring more people in to the annual wealth tax band, and introduce a 75% super tax band for anyone whose annual income exceeds £1million,’ said Leggett.

‘He has also pledged to end the austerity measures brought in by Sarkozy and spend his way out of trouble. These pledges seem to have some central London estate agents rubbing their hands with glee at the expected influx of the French,’ he explained.

He is confident that the change of President will create opportunities for international investors. ‘We are already seeing the Euro/Sterling rate hitting the 1.25 mark and with French mortgages already amongst the cheapest in Europe it looks like there will be plenty of people looking to both buy and sell over the course of the year,’ said Leggett.

‘This time last year you could get €1.10 to the Pound which means that for a client with £400,000 to spend they now have around €60,000 more in the kitty than they did 12 months ago. That would pay for a pool, tennis court and a season ticket for the plat de jour at your local brasserie,’ he added.

‘Whatever happens though you can be sure of one thing. France will continue to be one of the most visited countries on the planet and will, once again, head up just about every quality of life survey that the glossy magazines are so fond of publishing.’

This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.

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