Tuesday, October 18, 2011

French becoming more 'anglo-saxon' in their approach to property buying?

After decades of traditional thinking that you buy a property as a place in which to house your familly and create a life, it seems that the French are finally starting to look at property buying also as a form of investment - an approach that has always been regarded as anglo-saxon rather than continental.

According to a report from the group Credit Foncier, some 70% of French people questioned said that when buying their next property, they would also be keeping a close eye on its re-sale potential. This compares with a figure of just 50% from surveys taken 30 years ago. Principal reasons for buying however still include the feeling of security and the wish to avoid paying rent on a property they do not own.

A spolesman for the finance company notes that the doubling of property prices in the last ten years has also encouraged the French to look at buying property as a form of investment, with many of today's buyers wishing they had purchased their property a decade ago.

However, due to the French banks' traditionally cautious approach to lending, first time buyers are still finding it difficult to finance a property purchase, at a time when monthly rental payments are rapidly approaching the level of repayments of a typical mortgage.

One of the many effects of this is the inability of (young) workers to move to where jobs are more readily available. This last situation is being partly addressed by some employers investing in 'low cost' housing for their employees, to encourage greater mobility. This policy has been attacked by the state organisations responsible for providing social housing (HLM) but employer/investors respond that as France's housing crisis is so severe - 1 million new homes are desperately needed - they are doing their bit to ease th housing shortage.

Source: Le Figaro 15 October 2011