French Property Investing: Town or Country?

When buying abroad – be it for investment, holiday home or retirement – location is the key and it’s usually not an easy choice.

Many people let their hearts rule their heads – they fall in love with a property without properly evaluating all the factors. When buying a property pure investment, it’s important to ensure that you buy a property that is going to get you the best capital growth possible along with reliable rental returns.

French City Property
Normally, a property in a town or city is best for foreign property investment – towns have a working population all year round so there is a year-round interesting property purchases and rentals. If there is a strong influx of people to the town, demand may outstrip supply therefore pushing prices up. Many French people also rent in town and have a home further out where they spend holidays and weekends. Towns containing Universities also tend to have investment by the Universities in accommodation therefore there will be a strong rental market.

Towns with large international companies in them (such as Montpelier, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Nice and Bordeaux) may have strong demands for housing, again pushing prices up. The government will also tend to invest more in the infrastructure around these towns, attracting more businesses to the area and therefore increasing housing demand. In these sorts of towns, leaseback properties are popular, and there may also be the opportunity to become part of a guaranteed rental scheme. Many of these towns have relatively cheap property for sale in comparison to Paris so there is excellent potential for good returns.

When choosing a property in a town, it is important to choose a property that caters to as many different types of people as possible to maximise your chances of having a reliable rental income – from tourists, to students, to professionals. If in doubt, talk to local rental agencies who may be able to give you some pointers to what the most popular types of rental properties there are in the area.

Rural French Property
However all is not lost if you want to buy a property in rural France. If you choose to buy a rural property, look for a location and property that will attract a long-term renter – perhaps because there is an international school nearby which would attract families, or there are good transport links nearby which may attract commuters. Properties in the countryside with a short drive to an international airport may attract holiday rentals, or those who want to commute weekly to the UK.

Rural properties vary hugely, and other things to look out for are how far it is to the nearest amenities, or how far away your surrounding neighbours live. If you are buying a property solely for rental income, it is advisable to buy a property which isn’t too far from the local shops and is not too isolated. As an added bonus, try and find a property which has tourist attractions nearby as the property will have extra appeal to tourists.

The more positive spin you can put on your property, the better – if you are buying in a warmer climate, a pool is a good thing to have. A property with a pool may be slightly more expensive to buy initially, but the extra rental income may see if pay for itself many times over in the future. Alternatively, properties near the coast or a lake are a good selling point. Nearby facilities such as golf, fishing, hiking routes, pretty nearby villages with restaurants will all also be in your favour when trying to attract holidaymaker rentals. If your primary market is holidaymakers, remember to factor in that there will probably be weeks where your property is empty. It may be worth increasing your rental rate during the peak season and around any popular events that are happening in the region, and then lowering them again in the off-peak season. Remember that even in the off-peak season, there still may be plenty of interest in your property as not everyone is looking for the sun and there may be plenty of rural activities available in the off-peak months.

France is a place where property investment can be made to work in both towns and cities, and rural locations. Location is important, but so are you personal preferences. The choice available throughout the country ensures that you should be able to find a property which you like, which is also very rentable.

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  1. Property Investment | Sep 13, 2007 | Reply

    I think in recent days investing property in French has become very popular and the Investors have been making excellent profits from buying properties.

  2. Angela | Sep 20, 2007 | Reply

    Well, this provides an information on French investing property. I think everyone has an opportunity to get rich by real estate investing in France and it is one of the best method.

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