In France we have a saying, 'Joie de vivre,' which actually doesn't exist in the English language. It means looking at your life as something that is to be taken with great pleasure and enjoy it. - Mireille Guiliano
France, the most visited country in the world, remains one of our top two favourite places to head to when we are buying a second home or relocating, running a business or renovating.
Purchasing a home in France is rarely been just about the money, but rather that beguiling Gallic lifestyle, however it's a great time to buy a French property in 2016. Assuming you are British and are looking to spend sterling, then the exchange rate is still good - and prices are still static in many regions.
In the third quarter of 2015, INSEE Notaires of France reported a rise of 0.5 per cent - a tiny increase that marks the end of a downward trend lasting four years. Mortgage rates are also much better than a year ago - and we said they were good back then.
Where to buy, though? In France you are spoiled for choice, whether you are seeking sun, mountain, rolling hills or chic cities, and with several distinct climates, from Maritime in the west and north-west, to Mediterranean in the south-east, while the mountain ranges have their very own microclimates.
It's also the most accessible place for us Brits to reach: on top of flying there are year-round ferry sailings or the ever expanding TGV and Eurostar routes. It takes 2hrs 15 to reach Paris by Eurostar service from London St Pancras where you link into France's excellent TGV rail system and this spring you can even go all the way to the Cote d'Azur.
Despite the accessibility of the north, the south of France remains the most popular with UK buyers, whether Aquitaine, the Languedoc, Provence of the Alps - the current top four locations according to one leading portal. But there really is something for everyone, amongst France's 22 regions.
Popular places in France on aplaceinthesun.com
- La Chapelle-Pouilloux