Thinking of buying French property? The impact of Brexit


Daniel Webber
Daniel Webber
Founder & CEO
Daniel is Founder and CEO and has 20 years of experience in the international finance world focusing on cross-border payments, technology and the property sectors. Daniel is widely quoted as an expert… Read more

For many Brits, a home in France is the dream. Whether it’s a chateau close to the Cote D’Azur or simply a rustic cottage in Brittany, the proximity of France to Britain and the better weather are just two of the draws. But Brexit has cast doubt on that goal for lots of people. Uncertainty over how easy it will be to get through the Channel Tunnel or from airport to airport has risen, while the low value of the pound means that value for money is low when cross-border payments are made. This article will explore what your options are. 

The crashing pound

In recent times, the pound has been crashing through the floor when it comes to value. What this means is that when you exchange your house-buying cash from pounds into euros, it won’t go as far as it did before the crash occurred. And this is, in large part, down to Brexit and the uncertainty it has created. Ideally, you’ll have an income or savings which are already in euros: that way; you can make the transaction without the pesky conversion having to be involved. Few people have this luxury, though: if you’re able to ride out the storm and wait for the pound to rise in value again, that could be the next best option. But if for some reason you have to act quickly, you may well find that another option is to hunt for low fees.

Alternative options

While you can’t control the interest rate when you send money home or abroad, you can control the fees that you pay to a broker. This could be an excellent way to save cash: if you can find the most cost-effective exchange service with the most competitive fees, you may be able to claw back some of the money lost. For a transaction as big as a property one, even a small difference in commission rates could add up to several thousand pounds saved.

Not all doom and gloom

However, it’s worth remembering that it’s not all bad news for Brits snapping up property in France. Borrowing in France is cheap: the European Central Bank sets benchmark interest rates, and currently, they are very low – at 0%. This is even lower than the equivalent rates in Britain set by the Bank of England, which are at 0.75%. While this does not guarantee that you will automatically get a cheap mortgage, it does mean there is a buyer’s market in action in many areas of France – which may offer some hope to those looking for the advantages of investing in France right now.

Buying property in France could seem like a silly idea, given the ongoing woes around Brexit. But this isn’t necessarily the case – and many people are finding that France is an excellent spot for investment despite the low value of the pound. By following the tips outlined above, you too might be able to create the conditions for a good investment. 

Stay tuned on what’s happening in the payments world amid Brexit by bookmarking our news page.

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