Baby boomer buyers back in force - attracted by low rates in France

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Baby boomer buyers back in force - attracted by low rates in France

A new report carried out by HSBC suggests that the number of British baby boomers considering buying an overseas property is at its highest level since the financial crisis began over six years ago.

The report suggests that one in ten have a definite plan to buy a home abroad, while 38 per cent would consider doing so - up from 30 per cent before the financial crisis.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, France is one of the countries proving to be most popular with those considering entering the overseas property market.

A total of 15.5 per cent of respondents to the HSBC survey who revealed they would be looking into buying a property abroad, said they would ideally like to purchase an abode across the Channel.

There is much to attract British overseas property seekers to France right now, says foreign exchange broker Halo Financial.

Earlier this year, mortgage costs in the country fell to record levels, and British borrowers are currently able to access rates which are even better than what they can get in the UK.

The country's low interest rates have been sparked by fierce competition between French lenders to try and attract domestic buyers back into the market.

According to the French national federation of estate agents (FNAIM), the total number of property transactions carried out in France last year was around 18.6 per cent down on properties sold in 2011.

This has caused banks and other independent lenders to drive mortgage rates down, and some experts suggest that mortgage rates are around 0.25 points lower than the level seen at the end of World War II.

What's more, non-residents are able to take advantage of these low rates with a 20-year fixed rate mortgage available at 3.35 per cent and 20-year tracker mortgages from just 2 per cent.

Not only are mortgage rates low, but house prices are too. FNAIM figures show that house prices nationwide grew by just 0.8 per cent in 2012, compared to by nearer 1.5 per cent in 2011. This year the federation expects prices to decrease nationally by close to 2 per cent.

And with amended Capital Gain Tax rules set to provide a welcome relief for second home owners in the country, and a recently announced special temporary property tax reduction of 25 per cent set to be available from September for a year, more and more British buyers may find the idea of a Francophile home becoming more and more appealing.

Search here for properties for sale in France.

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A Place In The Sun