A property buyer’s strategy for 2021

The property market in South West France is currently experiencing huge pent-up demand from buyers combined with a lack of supply of houses for sale. This has mainly been caused by the restrictions and lifestyle changes since the Covid pandemic (leading to a change in criteria for many people looking for property) combined with the historically low mortgage interest rates. If you are looking to buy a French property in 2021, it is therefore important to have a strategy in place in order to get ahead of other buyers and be ready to move quickly to snap up the perfect property.

1. Do not wait in the hope that prices will fall; that is looking very unlikely despite the pandemic. Prices have increased slowly but continually in much of France since 1995 when prices per square metre were €1,056 compared to €2,807 per square metre in 2020 and this looks set to continue according to SeLoger, the French property experts. See the report here

2. Limited availability means that good properties are selling fast so keep a close eye on the market. There has been an increasing demand for rural properties since the start of the pandemic while many potential sellers have also decided to stay put thanks to the uncertainty of the times. Together this has led to a huge dearth of good properties for sale. Plus, once France re-opens its borders to foreign buyers, it is likely that quality, country properties will become even more in demand.

3. Find out the situation of the seller; if an owner is forced to sell for family or professional reasons, they are more likely to negotiate so do not hesitate to make an offer. I am not advocating taking advantage of someone’s situation but there could be a way of agreeing a deal that is right for both seller and buyer.

4. Always bear in mind the most important three criteria when it comes to French property: location-quality-condition

5. Before beginning your search, get your finance in place so you are ready to move quickly if you find the right property. This is particularly important for foreign buyers

And most importantly, be patient and you will find the right house for you. If you would like help with your search, please get in touch: nadia@foothillsoffrance.com

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