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French property market buoyed by global appeal

14th February 2010 Print
Chateau de Sully, Burgundy

Some of the holiday home markets currently taking the biggest tumbles have one thing in common - they’ve been dominated by a single nationality of expat buyer. Just look what happened when the Brits ended their love affair with Spain. France on the other hand has remained reassuringly cosmopolitan and developer Arena Park France, specialist in Burgundy, is continuing to attract sales from across the globe.

Su Bishop from Arena Park France explains, “We’re well aware that the UK is a vast buying wasteland at the moment fuelled by a poor pound-to-euro exchange rate and an enduring recession. Apart from a cash-rich few hunting down a bargain, a category that our high-quality conversion projects do not fall into, enquiries from the UK are well down. However, that isn’t to say that business has not been brisk.”

Su continues, “Over recent months we’ve secured three sales from Australian nationals, a country which is bucking the trend and posting strong annual house price increases, alongside a handful of EU nationals spending in euros, as well as a Swiss resident dealing in one of the world’s most stable currencies - the Swiss Franc. Arena Park France is fortunate that Burgundy has such international appeal and has never been dominated by one particular nation. In 2008 Brits formed a massive 58% of the European expat buyers in Spain. Now they’ve exited, the Spanish housing market is in real trouble. Without such reliance we don’t have to face deep boom and bust cycles.”

Officially emerging from recession in the second quarter of 2009 and studiously avoiding the global property meltdown limelight, French house prices have remained resilient. October 2009 figures from the FNAIM (Association of French Estate Agents) reported only a 0.3% year-on-year fall in price per square metre for the Burgundy region and it’s widely expected that France in general will post an average house price gain in 2010. Recovery is underway.

The nation’s lending strategy has also kept the property market moving with 100% mortgages still available – even to foreigners - providing the client can afford it. French banks do not allow borrowers to spend more than one third of their gross monthly income on finance payments which means that they have severely limited their exposure to risk. And, of course, a 100% mortgage has great appeal to a solvent Britain who doesn’t want to be punished by the dismal pound-euro situation.

On the market with Arena Park France:

Detached Home in Puligny Montrachet
Impressive three bedroom stone house now being completely restored to include a new roof, insulation, re-jointing of the stonework and treatment of the original oak frame. On a quiet road, some 300m from Puligny Montrachet’s centre with its cafés and restaurants and just 12km from the town of Beaune, this home also enjoys some incredible views across the surrounding countryside. Set around a private south-facing courtyard, the living accommodation is bright and spacious with all bedrooms en-suite – the master with a Juliette balcony. Ample storage and a vaulted wine cellar complete this perfect lock-and-leave. Clients can participate in selecting final finishings including flooring, tiling and the kitchen.
Price 495,000 euros (excl. kitchen)

For more information, visit

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Chateau de Sully, Burgundy