Half of all British buyers who purchase homes in France do so with the intention of moving there permanently, according to French property specialist My-French-House.com
The UK-based web company says people are increasingly looking for a change in lifestyle rather than just a second home for holidays, a trend that is also being reflected in the types of properties being sought.
Patrick Joseph, of My-French-House.com, said he had seen an upsurge in demand for rural properties that included land, with many buyers expressing an interest in embarking on a self-sufficient lifestyle.
“There seems to be no shortage of people who want to exchange the nine-to-five commuter lifestyle for a more laid back existence in the Languedoc, Poitou Charente, Gers, Tarn and Garonne or Dordogne, where prices are currently very affordable,” he said.
Luxury property purchases were also proving popular, inspiring the company to launch LuxuryHomeinFrance.com last year.
“Enquiries for our most expensive houses doubled in 2011 with high levels of interest in luxury Cotes d'Azur properties close to prestigious resorts such as Cannes, Antibes, Nice and Beaulieu sur Mer, as well as more traditional character properties such as large country homes, mansions and castles, most of which have come down in value over the last year or so,” he said.
“Houses in France are more realistically priced than the UK and people who want to retain a luxury lifestyle are realising that they can get more for their money on the French Riviera than in some of England's upmarket towns and villages.”