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French Property News

  • Cognac Country Poitou-Charentes


    Situated in the south-west of France, the area of Poitou-Charente is easily accessible via Poitou Airport and La Rochelle Airport. From Paris it is possible to take a direct TGV train from Charles-de-Gaulle Airport or from Montparnasse train station to Poitou. If you are looking to buy a townhouse, villa or farm house in Poitou-Charente, you will find plenty of choice at affordable prices.

    Poitou-Charente is divided into four departments, Charente, which was named after the Charente River, Charante-Maritime with its fine sandy beaches on France's Atlantic Coast, Deux-Sèvres and Vienne. To the south of the region is Bordeaux, France's famous wine-growing region.

    At the heart of the Poitou-Charente lies the ancient town of Angoulême, which was once the capital of the whole Cognac-producing region. It was once fortified with stout walls and protected by a castle. Only parts of this ancient structure survived, forming the basis for Angoulême's Town Hall now. Today the town sees a steady influx of tourists. The best months to visit the Poitou-Charente region are May, June and July.

    La Rochelle, a historic seaport on the Charente-Maritime's Bay of Biscay, is a busy tourist city thanks to its medieval towers and excellent restaurants and shopping. One of its attractions is the Musée de Marine, which displays the town's maritime history. La Rochelle was also the centre for French porcelain and faience production in the 18th century. Many fine examples are on display at the Orbigny-Bernon Museum in La Rochelle.

    Poitiers is simply brimming with palaces and Romanesque churches, while Jarnac, the site of the Battle of Jarnac in 1569, is an ideal place for walks and cycling along the Charente river.

    The town of Cognac in the Charente is at the heart of the country's famous fortified drink production. Cognac was once an important trading port; then wine producers discovered the double distillation process and the fortunes of this beautiful town changed forever. One of the most important visitor attractions is the Cognac Country Discovery centre. Both the Royal Castle of Cognac and Musée des Arts due Cognac are examples of the town's historic and contemporary importance for the Charente department. Smaller distilleries in the area also produce the Pineau aperitif.

    The Charente Valley is an often overlooked treasure trove of heritage towns of breath-taking beauty. For some 360 km the river cuts through rolling countryside filled with ancient water mills and sleepy villages.

    Property in the Poitou-Charente ranges from two-bed, already converted farm houses to large villas in need of restoration. With a budget of 88,000 euros it is possible to find a small holiday hideaway in a sleepy village. A budget of around 230,000 euros buys a substantial property for relocation purposes or retirement in rural areas.


    Article by Maria Thermann on behalf of Propertyshowrooms.com

  • Cognac Country Poitou-Charentes


    Situated in the south-west of France, the area of Poitou-Charente is easily accessible via Poitou Airport and La Rochelle Airport. From Paris it is possible to take a direct TGV train from Charles-de-Gaulle Airport or from Montparnasse train station to Poitou. If you are looking to buy a townhouse, villa or farm house in Poitou-Charente, you will find plenty of choice at affordable prices.

    Poitou-Charente is divided into four departments, Charente, which was named after the Charente River, Charante-Maritime with its fine sandy beaches on France's Atlantic Coast, Deux-Sèvres and Vienne. To the south of the region is Bordeaux, France's famous wine-growing region.

    At the heart of the Poitou-Charente lies the ancient town of Angoulême, which was once the capital of the whole Cognac-producing region. It was once fortified with stout walls and protected by a castle. Only parts of this ancient structure survived, forming the basis for Angoulême's Town Hall now. Today the town sees a steady influx of tourists. The best months to visit the Poitou-Charente region are May, June and July.

    La Rochelle, a historic seaport on the Charente-Maritime's Bay of Biscay, is a busy tourist city thanks to its medieval towers and excellent restaurants and shopping. One of its attractions is the Musée de Marine, which displays the town's maritime history. La Rochelle was also the centre for French porcelain and faience production in the 18th century. Many fine examples are on display at the Orbigny-Bernon Museum in La Rochelle.

    Poitiers is simply brimming with palaces and Romanesque churches, while Jarnac, the site of the Battle of Jarnac in 1569, is an ideal place for walks and cycling along the Charente river.

    The town of Cognac in the Charente is at the heart of the country's famous fortified drink production. Cognac was once an important trading port; then wine producers discovered the double distillation process and the fortunes of this beautiful town changed forever. One of the most important visitor attractions is the Cognac Country Discovery centre. Both the Royal Castle of Cognac and Musée des Arts due Cognac are examples of the town's historic and contemporary importance for the Charente department. Smaller distilleries in the area also produce the Pineau aperitif.

    The Charente Valley is an often overlooked treasure trove of heritage towns of breath-taking beauty. For some 360 km the river cuts through rolling countryside filled with ancient water mills and sleepy villages.

    Property in the Poitou-Charente ranges from two-bed, already converted farm houses to large villas in need of restoration. With a budget of 88,000 euros it is possible to find a small holiday hideaway in a sleepy village. A budget of around 230,000 euros buys a substantial property for relocation purposes or retirement in rural areas.


    Article by Maria Thermann on behalf of Propertyshowrooms.com

  • Starting a Business in France


    Starting a new life in France needn't be complicated, as there are many things that can be done while you are still living in your own country. English-speaking estate agents are always willing to help with advice and information, helping you through the complex process of buying an affordable property in France. If you are hoping to start a business in France, the French government has already started to make the process faster and easier by putting information online. Starting a business in France takes between 5 and 7 days, so is not a drawn-out process, provided you get the basics right.

    Types of Business Registrations

    It is important to note that not all businesses have to follow the same process of registration. In France registration will depend on the nature of your business. For example, some types of business must be registered at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. These are mainly sole proprietorships that are not involved in crafts or creative arts.

    Artisans and companies that involve crafts must register at the Chamber of Trade, while commercial agents and professionals must register at the Registry of Commerce. This can now be done online at https://www.infogreffe.com (English-language site).

    What type of corporate entities are there in France?

    The most common types of business entities are:

    sole proprietorship (Entreprise Individuelle), usually chosen by artisans and sole traders, but this type of company foundation comes with full liability for any potential debts; sole proprietorship with limited responsibility for liabilities (EIRL or Enterprise Individuelle à Responsibilité Limitée); commercial partnership (Societé en Nom Collectif or SNC); limited liability company (Societé à Responsabilité Limitée or SARL); French joint stock company (Societé Anonyme or SA); simplified stock corporation ( Societé par Actions Simplifée or SAS).

    Sole traders or proprietors do not need to invest any capital to register their company.

    The SA set-up, or joint stock company, tends to be more burdened by administrative requirements. It requires 7 shareholders to set up the company. Shares can be traded on the stock exchange. The risk to investors is the amount initially paid in.

    The SARL set-up of a company is very similar to the LLC in the USA or forming a private company limited by shareholding in Britain. The requirement is for the SARL to be established by 2 to 50 shareholders and the company must have a nominated director, who often receives a salary.

    To set up a simplified stock corporation or SAS takes a minimum of two share holders. The company's shares cannot be publicly traded.

    Setting up a company such as a SARL for example requires several documents:

    Articles of Incorporation, which all concerned in the set-up of the business must sign in the month prior to registering your company Notice of company formation, published online in a legal gazette and Proof of address for your business

    These documents must be taken, together with the named director's proof of identity, to the local "Centre de Formalités des Entreprises", or CFE. However, some of this process has now been simplified by being put online: https://www.cfenet.cci.fr. The site is at the time of writing only available in French. Registration of your company may cost around 300.00 euros.

    If your application is accepted, you will receive a receipt. This allows you to open a bank account for your business, and you can make other preparations for your business. However, at this point you will not be allowed to trade.

    The CFE will pass on your application details to all relevant authorities. Once your registration process is complete, you will be sent a certificate. At this point you are free to trade.

    Company Registration Numbers

    Any newly registered business is given a company registration number, or SIRET. This number has 14 digits, which also contain the company's SIREN number. SIREN comprises of the first 9 digits of the SIRET number. Any business registering will also be given an APE code, a 5-digit number that identifies the business activity.

    In addition, companies may have to register for VAT, depending on their type of business activity and volume of trading. At the time of writing, the standard VAT rate in France is 20%.

    If you do not speak French and want to avoid paying a translator, you can simply hire a law firm to set up the company for you. This will cost more, but avoid pitfalls and speed up the process of your application.


    Article by Maria Thermann on behalf of Propertyshowrooms.com

  • Guide to retiring to France


    France still offers retirees some amazing property bargains, if you're prepared to spend a little time and money to do up an old farm house or historic town-house. From mountainous landscapes to rolling green hills, from the City of Light to the beaches of the French Riviera, France has a huge amount to offer, despite the country's reputation as a high tax jurisdiction that targets foreigners in particular. French President Macron's reforms to the tax legislation will eventually benefit everyone, including expats, provided his reforms make it past the protesters. With Brexit looming for British retirees and the City of London's financial sector workers especially, Paris has seen unprecedented demand for apartments and town houses of late, something that has been reflected in surging house prices for the French capital. However, elsewhere in rural France it is still possible to find a dream retirement home for under £300,000.

    Taxation

    France can be a tax-efficient place to live during one's retirement, providing you understand the tax implications of your situation and obtain tax advice from a specialist lawyer who understands both taxation and legislation of your home country as well as those of France.

    The French taxman will consider you a tax resident if your main home (called foyer) is in France if you spend 183 days and more in France during the French tax year (which corresponds to the calendar year), or if you spend more time in France than in any other country, or if your principal activity is based in France, or if France is home to your most substantial assets.

    Although many French taxes carry a similar name as the ones in Britain, they are calculated in a totally different way. Some do not even exist in the UK, such as wealth tax for example, or for some people, healthcare charges.

    Cost of living in France

    For Britons retiring to France, there will be exchange rate implications due to the weakness of the Pound against the Euro. Your UK pension will be paid in Sterling, and will thus be reduced or enhanced by whatever the exchange rate of the day is going to be. This means if Brexit affects the value of Sterling further in a negative way, your pension won't stretch as far as you might have hoped and buying a French home will be more expensive.

    Over the past ten years the cost of living in France has risen considerably. But this should be seen in relation to where you live. Buying a home in Paris has gone up by between 70% and 95%, compared to purchasing a home in the south of France, such as Marseille, Nice or Perpignan. Similarly, things like renting, food, public transport and going out are far more expensive in Paris than they are in other parts of the country.

    This is also true for utility costs, which are mostly cheaper than they are in the rest of the European Union, except for water, which is among the most expensive utilities in the world and can vary considerably from French region to region. However, food, beer and wine, public transport, entertainment and property tend to be cheaper than they are in the UK and some of the original EU countries.

    French Healthcare

    France's healthcare system is regarded as one of the best in the world. Good news for anyone hoping to retire to France: the country's public and private hospitals offer a similarly high standard of care and there are no significant waiting lists for operations and no struggle to find hospital beds for patients either.

    Until the UK leaves the European Union for good, British citizens and retirees in receipt of a state pension from another EU country are entitled to a contribution from the French government of 70% of the cost of treatment. You can get cheap and mandatory top-up insurance to cover the remainder.

    EU citizens retiring before qualifying for a state pension can receive French social security health cover for up to 30 months, providing they obtain an E106 form from their country’s social security department, before they leave for France.

    Some non-EU citizens qualify for receiving totally or at least partially free French state healthcare, depending on their country’s reciprocal social security agreements.

    Those not entitled to receive free healthcare in France will need private health insurance. If you live permanently in France, this will be a "voluntary insurance" policy (called assurance volontaire). The national health service does, however, cover the cost of all treatment for life-threatening illnesses and accidents.

    Buying Property in France

    The French property market also took a hit during the world-wide economic crisis of 2008, but in the always sought-after regions of the Alps, Paris and the Cote d’Azur, confidence among home buyers and investors is gradually returning. In many other parts of the country, especially in rural areas, prices continue to drop, so now is a good time to buy a retirement home in France, before buyers are priced out of Paris and other sought-after areas and driven back to rural areas.

    In some parts of the country home values have fallen by up to 40% since prices peaked in 2007. With Sterling performing badly against the euro, buying a home in France has become more expensive for British retirees since the Brexit referendum in June 2016.

    However, British buyers are still keen to buy French property in the capital, the Alps and along the Cote d’Azur, but they need bigger budgets these days to be successful. What is evident is that the desire to buy a dilapidated farmhouse to do it up is waning. Brits now buying are more likely to choose off-plan properties and somewhere that has good rental potential long-term. Many people are apparently choosing to buy their retirement home well in advance, and are thus looking to rent it out until they are ready to make their permanent move to France. This means buying a property near excellent amenities within walking distance, close to restaurants, the beach or within a ski resort and close to an airport - preferably one served by low-cost airlines.

    Settling into your French retirement home

    French people are more reserved, generally speaking, than their Italian or Spanish counterparts, so it takes more of an effort to get to know them. Learning French is essential, if you are planning to retire or relocate to France. Expat organisations such as InterNations.org or aaro.org, the Association of American Residents Overseas can provide valuable advice about day-to-day living in France, and also help with integration, as they list local expat groups where one can make new friends.

    InterNations is one of the world's leading networks for expats in 390 cities worldwide, while AARO has its headquarter in Paris and is an international, non-partisan association with members in 21 countries that researches issues that might significantly affect the lives of American citizens living overseas and keeps them abreast of such issues. Local embassies and Chambers of Commerce are also excellent sources of information. The US embassy provides its citizens with information on issues as diverse as childcare, American clubs in the overseas country, Veterans affairs, education and sports, for example.


    Article by Maria Thermann on behalf of Propertyshowrooms.com

  • Is this the Paris Property Market's Rebirth?


    By November 2017, Paris property prices had reached a new record high: house buyers now had to find a record-breaking 9,000 euros per square metre on average, if they wanted to become the owner of a Paris property. According to the LPI-Se Loger barometer for October 2017, properties in twelve of the French capital's arrondissements or districts cost 9,165 per square metre.

    Indeed, all of Paris' twenty arrondissements recorded significant price increases with an average annual rise of at least 8%.

    Brexit, so both Bloomberg and The Financial Times reported, was also helping "to push Paris property prices towards record levels". Britons desperate to gain a permanent foothold in an EU country applied in record numbers for French passports - and sought a home in Paris. A recent report by French notaries showed that British buyers were especially looking in some of the city's most exclusive districts.

    "The number of buyers is rising unstoppably," stated Paris notary Thierry Delesalle, adding that demand was outstripping supply, especially for the best properties in prime areas, "and perhaps because of Brexit."

    Britons accounted for 10% of all foreign buyers, making them the second most enthusiastic group of buyers after Italians (17%).

    According to industry experts, sales increased by 7% in just one year in Paris and with the French capital set to host the 2024 Olympics, there's no telling how high prices will go for the capital's residential real estate. Demand and sales activity will only increase.

    INSEE, the country's official body of notaries, said that the number of sales in France as a whole also reached a record high of 952,000 in the twelve months to end-September and there has been no let up since.


    Article by Maria Thermann on behalf of Propertyshowrooms.com

  • French House Prices continue to rise


    French House Prices continue to rise

    A combination of stagnant wages, lack of labour reform, rising taxes and low economic growth meant France's property market took quite a while to recover from the world-wide economic crisis and banking crash of 2007. However, now that recovery is here at long last, many regions are seeing house prices go up in leaps and bounds.

    In part this is being fuelled by greater optimism, now that a new political party and president are in charge. But its demand is also rising because of Brexit. Since the UK decided to leave the European Union in March 2019, worried Brits hoping to retire to France have been bringing their plans forward to buy a home. Even Brexiteers who campaigned loudly on behalf of the LEAVE vote in 2016 are now flocking to Paris to buy an apartment - just in case it all goes horribly, horribly wrong across the Channel.

    Report by Notaires de France shows House Price Gains in nearly all Parts of France for Q1 2017

    Almost all parts of France recorded significant house price gains in the first quarter of this year. A few, such as Toulouse and Montpellier in the south of the country, did see a slump with 4.6% and 7.3% respectively, bringing the average house price down to between 259,000 and 287,500 euros.

    But in Nantes house prices rose by 6.6%, now costing 260,000 euros on average. In Bordeaux, prices escalated, rising by 8.7% to 287,500 euros for the average property. Strasbourg, Nancy and Lille also saw price rises of between 5% and 10%. In Greater Paris house prices increased by 2.1% overall, now costing on average just under 300,000 euros, helped no doubt by those fleeing post-Brexit Britain well ahead of time.

    By category, over the twelve month period French apartment prices rose by 3.2%, and house values increased by 2.3%, compared to the same 12 month period in 2016.

    New builds and new housing developments head the trend, while older style apartments and houses are falling in price and demand - understandably, when demand for French property is partly driven by UK pensioners, who don't want to take on a renovation project. London-based insurers, banks and other financial service companies are also in the process of moving their European headquarters to Paris, Dublin and Frankfurt, and this has already had an impact on real estate prices in those cities. Their employees are making advance purchases of residential properties, wherever possible, while the financial service providers are taking on long-term leases or buying office blocks.

    According to the Global Property Guide, property prices in Paris rose for three consecutive quarters in 2016, which means they have now risen steadily for a full year. By the end of 2016, apartment prices in Paris stood at an average of 8,100 euros per square metre, according to La Chambre des Notaires de Paris, the Chamber of Notaries of Paris. Now may be a good time to buy, because post-Brexit prices for Greater Paris apartments and houses may well be significantly higher than they are now.


    Article by Maria Thermann on behalf of Propertyshowrooms.com

  • Investors Look beyond Paris for Bargains in France


    As property prices in Paris continue with their upward movement, restricting yield opportunities for international investors, many are now seeking value in regional cities such as Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes, Lille and Strasbourg.

    At a presentation at the Munich trade fair in October last year, David Green-Morgan, JLL's global capital markets research director said: " Over the past 2-3 years we have seen a change in behaviour. Now investors, particularly from Asia are seeing real estate, particularly in Europe as a safe haven – and the emphasis on wealth preservation especially from Asia has become more important ".

    Although many investors tend to focus on bigger cities such as Paris, a lot of capital is looking to generate more aggressive returns and therefore there is a rising interest in regional opportunities. This is a trend that is also happening outside London in the UK and outside the Big Six in the German market, (Munich, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne).

    Peter Rawls, investor relations director for the huge Euroméditerranée urban renewal project on the sea front in Marseille, said yields in prime offices in the city are between 5.76% and 6.1%, comparable to other regional cities in France . Availability of capital is not the problem and many large investors such as Germany's Union Investment Real Estate and US manager Pramerica are already allocated. " The main challenge is that those who are already invested don't want to sell, " he said.

    However, regional cities are attracting families through quality of life and industry is stepping up to provide employment. The Airbus group has it's headquarters in Toulouse with divisions in other French regions and its main helicopter arm is based near Marseille airport. Marseille also acts as a gateway to Africa which is attractive for commercial real estate investors, particularly from China.

    Jean-Philippe Blangy, managing director of UK-based fund manager Tristan Capital Partners said his firm hasn't yet developed a strategy for French regions but is beginning to look at more opportunities in France. All the major regional cities are attractive for potential office investment, while retail value can be found throughout France, even in smaller locations. " We have €5bn of assets under investment and most of that so far in Germany, UK and Spain – but there is no specific focus on the regions, " he said. " In France our investments are 100% in Paris and zero in the regions ".

    According to Blangy, the yield spread between Paris and Marseille is much wider than that between Berlin and London, and even regional cities in Germany are closer to less attractive capital market yields.

    " But in France the yields are still more attractive and the good thing in France is that you can still get decent financing, " he said, adding that foreign investors have an inaccurate perception of value in French residential property where he believes rent restrictions are no more hindrance than in Germany.

    Green-Morgan indicated there is a reversal of the global trend out of the regions and into the major cities. In France, the efficient rail infrastructure is helping this trend. A lot of Asian capital is coming to Europe and holding long term, he said.

    " Most of the Asian capital is focusing in general on locations where it can close deals more easily. But what we are seeing particularly from the Chinese capital is that it is much more inclined to go into regional markets now, and particularly on the development side ".


    Article by +Roxanne James on behalf of Propertyshowrooms.com

  • British Buyers to Extend Foray into French Real Estate in 2016


    A new trend emerged from British property investors last year which is set to continue well into 2016. In response to the harsh economic climate in the UK and spiralling house prices, more buyers than ever are hopping across the Channel to go house-hunting and getting much more for their money in France.

    Getting on the property ladder in the UK has become increasingly difficult and first time buyers are finding that they are able to buy quality real estate in France that satisfies their desire for an investment in bricks and mortar, while providing them with fantastic rental potential.

    The fact is, you can buy a sprawling countryside retreat in France for the same price as a bedsit in Central London which has proved extremely tempting to British buyers. France is brimming with beautiful properties from class French chateaux, traditional mansion houses and rustic gites in the countryside.

    The other bonus for investors in second homes in France is the country's proximity to Britain and the fact that you can easily visit your property at the drop of a hat at the weekends. With the strength of the pound against the euro at the current time, property in France has not been as cheap for British buyers for years, making now the right time to strike if you want to take advantage of this perennially popular property investment destination.

    The French Riviera is one of the most prestigious parts of France, famous around the world as a millionaires' playground and glorious beaches. However, not many people know that you can buy properties in the area from as little as €250,000 – currently around £184,000 which is £20,000 less than the national average house price in the UK.

    Another factor that will encourage more property buyers to explore the market in France is the introduction of a further 3% stamp duty in the UK for individuals buying British property for investment. This will place a huge financial constraint on those looking to enter the buy to let market and in order to avoid the possible impact of the tax on yields more investors will look overseas for property bargains.

    There's something for everyone in France and with excellent transport links to the UK, it's a destination that you can visit quickly and cheaply. Not only is France a great destination to buy a holiday home as one of the most visited countries in the world, it is also a great country for permanent living. With property as cheap as it is right now and with the pound riding high against the euro, it's a case of having to strike while the iron's hot if you want to bag a bargain in one of 2016s most popular property market.

    Don't lose money on taxes in London, as we head in to 2016 experts are predicting changes to the UK property market resulting in many buyers taking advantage of the amazing opportunities available in France. With many luxury properties for sale My-French-House offers you an alternative to your London lifestyle, imagine summer vacations, long weekends and winter breaks in some of the most exclusive areas and prestigious homes in France.


    Article by +Roxanne James on behalf of Propertyshowrooms.com

  • Weak Euro Boosts Investment in Luxury Alpine Resorts


    According to Savills's Spotlight on the Alpine Property Market Report, the recovery in the Alpine real estate market, led by the ultra-prime resorts, has spread to the rest of the region with infrastructure investment spurring new development. British buyers are returning as a weak euro poses buying opportunities in France , Austria and Italy.

    Courchevel 1850 tops the Savills Ultra-Prime Ski Resorts Index with typical prices of €31,340/m² for the best properties. The French resort is followed by the premier Swiss destinations of Gstaad, St Moritz, Zermatt and Verbier at between €26,450 and €31,220 per sqm. In spite of limited price growth, a strong Swiss franc has pushed these markets up the rankings in currency terms.

    In North America, only Vail is on par with the top European competition at €25,200/m2.

    Courchevel 1850 and Gstaad continue to lead the Ultra Prime Ski Resort Index, with 92% of buyers purchasing for both personal use and investment. A strong Swiss franc has made Swiss property expensive to foreign buyers, however a weaker euro poses buying opportunities in France, Austria and Italy.

    Paul Tostevin, associate director, Savills World Research, said, " A home in a top-tier Alpine resort is a key component of global property portfolios for the world's wealthy. A property in Courchevel 1850, Gstaad or St Moritz complements a city residence in London, Paris or Moscow ".

    Jeremy Rollason, managing director, Alpine Homes, in association with Savills, said, " 2015 has been a tale of two currencies for UK buyers in the Alps. The de-peg of the Swiss franc caught markets off guard, but sterling has since recovered and now trades within a 5% range of the pre-January 2015 exchange rate. The weakening euro has helped buyers in euro denominated countries. Currency swings have the effect of either suppressing or stimulating markets through affordability, but the net effect has little influence on property values per se ".

    Buying activity in the Swiss resorts cooled in 2015 with foreign buyers, particularly important to the top end of the market, impacted by the strong Swiss Franc. However, despite limited supply of second homes, investment in infrastructure continues and the cache of Swiss resorts remains.

    Villars, a year round Swiss resort with high quality international schools, has seen high levels of new supply in recent years and has suffered from poor snowfall. This has had some impact on pricing and, for those who shop around; there are deals to be done. Prime apartments here trade at between €9,000 and €11,000 per sqm.

    The Austrian Alpine resort market has remained strong on the back of a vibrant local economy, which has generated house price growth nationally of 41% since 2008. The country continues to offer excellent value for money compared to the more established French and Swiss resorts. Committed investment in resort infrastructure and investor appetite means there is still room for upward price movement.

    Over in France, sales volumes in the ski regions of Haute-Savoie and Savoie have held up better than the rest of the country whilst a weaker euro has opened up investment opportunities for dollar and sterling denominated buyers.

    Val d'Isere has seen premium restaurants and boutiques open. Popular with the UK market, there is strong rental potential with yields of circa 3.5% gross achievable for top chalets. The Chamonix Valley continues to see demand led recovery and prices are now at or around the pre-crisis peak of €10,000/m².

    " We anticipate a continued globalisation of Europe's top ski resorts as the customer base broadens and attracts a more diverse and market savvy investor, " concludes Rollason

    The report identified five emerging destinations and resorts opening up to an international market. The Balkans, on the edge of the large European market, and already attract British and Russian skiers. Pyeongchang, South Korea, is the 2018 host for the Winter Olympics. International investors have been attracted by special visa investor programmes.

     


    Article by +Roxanne James on behalf of Propertyshowrooms.com

  • French Regional Cities in Focus as Investors Look Beyond Paris


    As property prices in Paris continue with their upward movement, restricting yield opportunities for international investors, many are now seeking value in regional cities such as Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes, Lille and Strasbourg.

    According to JLL, France is one of the only European markets having a worse 2015 than 2014 although it is largely due to lack of product. At a presentation at the recent Munich trade fair, David Green-Morgan, JLL's global capital markets research director said: " Over the past 2-3 years we have seen a change in behaviour. Now investors, particularly from Asia are seeing real estate, particularly in Europe as a safe haven – and the emphasis on wealth preservation especially from Asia has become more important ".

    Although many investors tend to focus on bigger cities such as Paris, a lot of capital is looking to generate more aggressive returns and therefore there is a rising interest in regional opportunities. This is a trend that is also happening outside London in the UK and outside the Big Six in the German market, (Munich, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne).

    Peter Rawls, investor relations director for the huge Euroméditerranée urban renewal project on the sea front in Marseille, said yields in prime offices in the city are between 5.76% and 6.1%, comparable to other regional cities in France. Availability of capital is not the problem and many large investors such as Germany's Union Investment Real Estate and US manager Pramerica are already allocated. " The main challenge is that those who are already invested don't want to sell ", he said.

    However, regional cities are attracting families through quality of life and industry is stepping up to provide employment. The Airbus group has it's headquarters in Toulouse with divisions in other French regions and its main helicopter arm is based near Marseille airport. Marseille also acts as a gateway to Africa which is attractive for commercial real estate investors, particularly from China.

    Jean-Philippe Blangy, managing director of UK-based fund manager Tristan Capital Partners said his firm hasn't yet developed a strategy for French regions but is beginning to look at more opportunities in France. All the major regional cities are attractive for potential office investment, while retail value can be found throughout France, even in smaller locations. " We have €5bn of assets under investment and most of that so far in Germany, UK and Spain – but there is no specific focus on the regions ", he said. " In France our investments are 100% in Paris and zero in the regions ".

    According to Blangy, the yield spread between Paris and Marseille is much wider than that between Berlin and London, and even regional cities in Germany are closer to less attractive capital market yields.

    " But in France the yields are still more attractive and the good thing in France is that you can still get decent financing ", he said, adding that foreign investors have an inaccurate perception of value in French residential property where he believes rent restrictions are no more hindrance than in Germany.

    Green-Morgan indicated there is a reversal of the global trend out of the regions and into the major cities. In France, the efficient rail infrastructure is helping this trend. A lot of Asian capital is coming to Europe and holding long term, he said.

    " Most of the Asian capital is focusing in general on locations where it can close deals more easily. But what we are seeing particularly from the Chinese capital is that it is much more inclined to go into regional markets now, and particularly on the development side ".

     


    Article by +Roxanne James on behalf of Propertyshowrooms.com