Monday, September 21, 2015

British living in France

Statistics about the numbers of British people fulltime residents in France are somewhat confusing, particularly when contrasted with the number of home owners - permanent and temporary.

According to a 2014 estimate by the French statistical office INSEE there are around 400 000 British resident in France - more than the 250 000 French living in the UK.

Other sources indicate that of France's 2.5 million second/holiday homes (10 per cent of the country's total housing stock) just 10% are bought by foreigners - of which British make up the largest single group (25%).

This percentage can be higher in some regions known for their attractions to incomers, including over 20% of homes are owned by foreigners. This figure can be distorted by even higher concentrations in some coastal (Mediterranean) resort areas, where second homes make up the bulk of the local property market, resulting in hundrds of apartments and villas which lie empty for ten months of the year, outside the July/August peak holiday season.

If you are searching for a permanent home and particularly if you are approaching retirement, you need to examine your chosen area carefully and if possible visit it both during and outside the season in order experience the practical effects of your lifestyle of their shifting population.