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http://www.lasemainedelallier.fr/article/22/10/2012/les-chacircteaux--l39or-du-bourbonnais--pres-de-80-chacircteaux-agrave-vendre-dans-l39allier/4757

La semaine de la Allier

A week in the Allier 22/10/12

Prés de 80 chateaux à vendre dans l'Allier.

Nearly 80 castles for sale in the Allier.

Quote

Theres nearly a thousand in the county with 80 that are for sale.Prices are situated between 500k and 2 million euros.

They are having a hard time trying to find buyers.

The chateaux market has tightened up due to the crisis.It was doing well up until 2008 since then there has been lots of ups and downs.

Six months before the elections were last held many future buyers decided to wait for the results.With the election of Hollande many have put the key under the door.

The rich would like to leave and foreigners are scared of what they call the 'socialist-communist rulers' says Pierre from Mercury property international.

Less Sales.

According to our information only ten castles a year are sold.or 50% less than before the crisis.The vendors are still waiting for the buyers who don't seem to be coming anymore.

The Local Petrol.

France hasn't got any oil but its got its castles and the Americans look at us with envy. These castles make up an exceptional patrimony and the Allier is spoilt.

The Parisiens more than the foreigners.

The profile of a buyer is a rich businessman who earns lots of money and wants to go 'green' .Theres still a few foreign buyers around the dutch and the Belgians and the Swiss but they are rare.

Since 2008 foreigners are facing the same crisis as we are this year has seen a 'brutal stop' in sales.

A Swiss client said to me "Why should i leave Switzerland just to come and pay taxes in France?".

We have a few contacts with Russians but the rich Chinese and Arabs don't come here to buy and the clients from the south of europe have since vanished.

There economic situation is even worse than ours.

In a Bad state

One of the problems in the Allier is that many owners don't have much 'family silver' there castles have been falling apart for years.Today they are in a sorry state with lots of renovation work that needs doing but with a high price.

Up for Sale

Today prices in the Allier are to high some castles have been up for sale for two,three...five years and even longer but for many the Allier is to far from Paris nearly all of the buyers are looking for castles with a maximum of 1hour 30 from Paris.

Prices are to High.

Today prices in the Allier are the same as those in the Loire the Bourgogne and Normandy.

Its a paradox we are in a region that is isolated from everywhere with castles that are in a bad state and the prices are the same as elsewhere.

Some have reached the summit a few above 1;5 million euros even one above 2.5 million euros.

In the Allier the Russians and the Chinese never come here besides they could buy a castle in Bordeaux for the same price its time to stop dreaming.

Very few find a buyer the heritiers don't live here but in Paris and the SOF and they don't seem to understand that a 15th century castle is not worth a million euros.

Due to the crisis some vendors have decided to take there castle off the market rather than drop there prices they are going to wait for better days.

IMHO You could say the same for houses looking at the massive amount of un-sold property there.

With rising unemployment rising crime and an age-ing population its an isolated rural county.

For years local MPs have been asking for a TGV line to go there.

The Paris to Montpellier line a straght line through France but nothing has ever been done and even if it was it would take 15 years to build it.

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Paris market is finally going down....who knows where it will end.( minus 3% ie minus 5% in real terms is my guess for 2013 )

Obviously bigger losses will occur in the rest of the country.

However there is talk of it ( paris property ) being an asset class of its own ( like gold ) in which case it is a speculation not an investment.

How long before Holland fixes rents and increases taxes on property again?

In so far as property is an easy target for taxes I suppose it doesn't really make much difference where in Europe you hold

property as it will get taxed wherever it is.

Merry Xmas to all in France and the UK.

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.

How long before Holland fixes rents and increases taxes on property again?

Merry Xmas to all in France and the UK.

The new tax rules will be decided at the end of this month after a vote in parliament and the Conseil constitutionnel have had there say.

One of the new measures will mean increases in cgt with what they are calling the "super tax" on holiday homes.

The 2% increase in cgt between 50k to a 100k then it goes up in slices of 3% to 4%.

This is an example of a vendor who is selling his holiday home for 350k bought ten years ago for 200k and without having done any important renovation work.

Taxes CGT + social take-offs in

2010 14555 euros.

2011 (before the 30/9/11) 15767 euros.

2012 (before the 1/7/11) 31904 euros.

2013 (including the 20% reduction ??) 28870 euros.

2014 32712 euros.

Worth pointing out that the 20% reduction has not been voted also 68% of holiday homes in France CGT is less than 50k.

The Dordogne property hoilday home market has seen sales fall by 35% to 40% this year.

I last posted on this board on halloween the night on the dead and i am sad to say that there has been a death Marcel Amphoux is dead .

There is also a new site for regional and national french press property news there has been a 159 property articles that have been published in France in the last two weeks.

I just thought that i would mention it.

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His stress is more like a call for help.

For a start i haven't heard anything from my wife for a long-time.

Not forgetting the tragic accident of my best friend André who died in a tractor accident.

I no longer know what to do.

I am lost and my wife no longer bothers to contact me.

Today its a question of a divorce but in a legal sense i really don't know what to do or even where i stand.

I am scared of losing everything.

Rather than getting a divorce i am thinking of commiting suicide.

I will just kill myself and then everything will be finished.

Marcel and Sandrine are famous in France

http://www.laprovence.com/article/actualites/marcel-amphoux-a-ete-inhume-dans-ses-hautes-alpes

La Provence 4/12/12

Marcel Amphoux a ètè inhumé dans ses Hautes-Alpes.

Marcel Amphoux has been buried in his Hautes-Alpes.

Quote

Marcel age 68 years old died on the the 29/11/12 after a road accident.

He was buried yesterday in the small churchyard of Puy-Saint-Pierre that faces Briançon his coffin arrived in front of the church on an ice cold day.

His life had turned into a "reality show" an episode of the "Lady and the Tramp".

"Poor Marcel" as the locals called him with affection they had gathered in small groups behind the funeral procession that was led by his wife.

During the funeral his wife said a few words and she fell down onto her knees and burst into tears as his coffin was being slowly lowered

into the grave.

Although this did not convince the locals who were there.

Marcel has at last found peace but it is not finished it is said that the procureur de la Republique refused the widows right to cremate Marcel and the police are still investigating the accident.

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http://www.laprovence.com/article/actualites/marcel-amphoux-a-ete-inhume-dans-ses-hautes-alpes

La Provence 4/12/12

Marcel Amphoux a ètè inhumé dans ses Hautes-Alpes.

Marcel Amphoux has been buried in his Hautes-Alpes.

Quote

Marcel age 68 years old died on the the 29/11/12 after a road accident.

He was buried yesterday in the small churchyard of Puy-Saint-Pierre that faces Briançon his coffin arrived in front of the church on an ice cold day.

His life had turned into a "reality show" an episode of the "Lady and the Tramp".

"Poor Marcel" as the locals called him with affection they had gathered in small groups behind the funeral procession that was led by his wife.

During the funeral his wife said a few words and she fell down onto her knees and burst into tears as his coffin was being slowly lowered

into the grave.

Although this did not convince the locals who were there.

Marcel has at last found peace but it is not finished it is said that the procureur de la Republique refused the widows right to cremate Marcel and the police are still investigating the accident.

Trouble at mill.....

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Glad to see you back online Redwine. I was wondering where you were and hoped you were OK. I always read your posts as I am interested in buying in SW France. I think are bad in France at the moment, and might be about to getting even worse, so I am being cautious and watching what's going on for now. Not about to buy but still interested in buying one day.

The French estate agents I have met, (so far), try to put a brave face on, but things don't seem to be going too well and some admit prices are down/buyers market etc. Fewer sales and lower prices I am guessing.

France still seems to me like a good place to retire, for a while ... nicer weather being the main attraction for me. (And for many others too?) The attraction certainly can't be that the cost of living in France is low as it doesnt seem to be low any more. But French rural houses are still relatively cheap ... and rural's fine for the retired and those who can work from home or commute.

I remember you talking about Marcel in past posts. Was his death an accident? Or suicide? Or suspected murder? So sad (for him), of course, no matter what. Was he in some sort of French reality show? Did he have a cheating younger wife? It all sounds stranger than fiction.

Is there anyway to watch any French TV online, (for free), so I can get my language skills up to a better standard and maybe get a little cultural taster at the same time? (Like iplayer for the BBC?) Just wondering.

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Glad to see you back online Redwine. I was wondering where you were and hoped you were OK. I always read your posts as I am interested in buying in SW France. I think are bad in France at the moment, and might be about to getting even worse, so I am being cautious and watching what's going on for now. Not about to buy but still interested in buying one day.

The French estate agents I have met, (so far), try to put a brave face on, but things don't seem to be going too well and some admit prices are down/buyers market etc. Fewer sales and lower prices I am guessing.

France still seems to me like a good place to retire, for a while ... nicer weather being the main attraction for me. (And for many others too?) The attraction certainly can't be that the cost of living in France is low as it doesnt seem to be low any more. But French rural houses are still relatively cheap ... and rural's fine for the retired and those who can work from home or commute.

I remember you talking about Marcel in past posts. Was his death an accident? Or suicide? Or suspected murder? So sad (for him), of course, no matter what. Was he in some sort of French reality show? Did he have a cheating younger wife? It all sounds stranger than fiction.

Is there anyway to watch any French TV online, (for free), so I can get my language skills up to a better standard and maybe get a little cultural taster at the same time? (Like iplayer for the BBC?) Just wondering.

Google is your friend

A couple I found

http://wwitv.com/television/73.htm

http://watch.squidtv.net/europe/france.html

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http://poitou-charentes.france3.fr/2012/12/11/des-familles-anglaises-continuent-acheter-de-vieilles-batisses-dans-les-deux-sevres-162887.html

France3 Poitou Charentes 12/12/12

Des familles anglaises continuent à acheter des vielles bàtisses dans les Deux-Sevres.

English families continue to buy old buildings in the Deux-Sevres.

Quote

The fall of the pound and job losses in the city have affected the standard of living of a number of british citizens who are living under our skies.

Having arrived in France with a full wallet and being convinced of being able of leading a dream life in the countryside.

Many have since left frustrated and counting there cash.

Disloged by the crisis of farmhouses that they have restored in the villages that they had adopted.

Today many have no choice but to return back home.This seems to be the case for the retired who were spending a pleasent retirement living in our villages.

Life quickly became to expensive for a number of these foreigners even though others have since arrived to replace them.

The subjects of her gracious majesty have always found there place on the slighest plot of land in the french countryside.

Its the soft price of property that attracts them here when compared to the uk.

The sun that changes them.

The small amount of rain that makes there lawn so green.

Our region continues to fuel there fantasy.

There a video on this link showing three english families not one of them speaks a single word of french.

I liked the way in which one lady spoke english slowly so that the french reporter could understand.

The mayor likes them because they spend there cash on DIY and building materials but they also respect local house design something that the french don't.

A gite,a retired woman and a carp fishing lake not forgetting the chateau.

IMHO Good luck to them they are not doing any harm to anyone but beware those that want to sell they bought low and now want to sell at a golden price it says so on the video.

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remember you talking about Marcel in past posts. Was his death an accident? Or suicide? Or suspected murder? So sad (for him), of course, no matter what. Was he in some sort of French reality show? Did he have a cheating younger wife? It all sounds stranger than fiction.

Is there anyway to watch any French TV online, (for free), so I can get my language skills up to a better standard and maybe get a little cultural taster at the same time? (Like iplayer for the BBC?) Just wondering.

Just for the info i haven't been away i was just posting on the other boards.

DY answered your tv question as i didn't have a clue he also once helped me by explaining how i could watch the BBC from France.

When Marcel married Sanderine and the french press got wind of it .Thats when his life turned into a reality show .

She was 25 years younger than him also an estate agent.

The locals did not like her they thought that she was after his cash houses and land.

So was he really rich I don't know if he had millions in the bank but i don't think that this is likely its his 3 houses and land that made him rich.

What really made this alpine land and his run down houses worth so much was the fact that they were next to a ski station called Serre Chevalier.

Who are planning to expand and this is where Marcels land comes into the picture.

The houses if they were renovated would increase in value it is said up to 800k.

Then we had the problems with the renters who did not pay there rent and his wife took them to court looking for an eviction order.

This has since been stopped due to his death although the two men paid there rent 50euros a month no electricity and no running water.

Marcel did not cash in there checks.

This was followed by my last post about him wishing to kill himself and then radio silence but not for long.

Out of the blue a few months ago they are back in the news and this is when you start to ask the questions was he really so unhappy .

They did something that nobody expected and she was back on the tv chat shows although looking back its rather creepy and it gives you the shivers.

The accident he was not alone and just who were the two other occupants in the car they survived did it really go down a ravine?

Yesterday according to the french press nobody knows where she is her name has been taken off her letter box in Paris.

Is she really the black widow that the locals seem to think?

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Just for the info i haven't been away i was just posting on the other boards.

DY answered your tv question as i didn't have a clue he also once helped me by explaining how i could watch the BBC from France.

When Marcel married Sanderine and the french press got wind of it .Thats when his life turned into a reality show .

She was 25 years younger than him also an estate agent.

The locals did not like her they thought that she was after his cash houses and land.

So was he really rich I don't know if he had millions in the bank but i don't think that this is likely its his 3 houses and land that made him rich.

What really made this alpine land and his run down houses worth so much was the fact that they were next to a ski station called Serre Chevalier.

Who are planning to expand and this is where Marcels land comes into the picture.

The houses if they were renovated would increase in value it is said up to 800k.

Then we had the problems with the renters who did not pay there rent and his wife took them to court looking for an eviction order.

This has since been stopped due to his death although the two men paid there rent 50euros a month no electricity and no running water.

Marcel did not cash in there checks.

This was followed by my last post about him wishing to kill himself and then radio silence but not for long.

Out of the blue a few months ago they are back in the news and this is when you start to ask the questions was he really so unhappy .

They did something that nobody expected and she was back on the tv chat shows although looking back its rather creepy and it gives you the shivers.

The accident he was not alone and just who were the two other occupants in the car they survived did it really go down a ravine?

Yesterday according to the french press nobody knows where she is her name has been taken off her letter box in Paris.

Is she really the black widow that the locals seem to think?

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Wow! Thanks for the background info redwine. Rural France seems full of mystery and intrigues!

Thanks also to Democorrupcy - I just managed to get France24 (French).

Sorry (everyone) that I find posting quite hard! I can just about manage to post a reply, but I can't see how to edit an existing post of mine if I mess up! (The format changes completely when I am logged in so I usually don't bother, find it easier to browse as a guest and only login to view certain links or to post, which is rare.)

How does one get one of those emoticon faces on here?

( Confused smile )

<img style="border-style: none; vertical-align: text-bottom;" title="Confused smile" alt="Confused smile" src="http://gfx1.hotmail.com/mail/w4/pr04/ltr/emo/confused_smile.gif" height="19" width="19">

Did I do it (above)?

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Just a quick up date on the new "super tax" on holiday homes last night the french parliament voted "yes" and its gone through.

Also the cgt increases are from 2% to 6%.

What is confusing is the 20% reduction for 2013 it was first kicked out then changed to 15% refused again and now it seems to be back to 20%.

Wait and see.

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http://immobilier-revelateur-de-la-nature-humaine.over-blog.com/article-noel-dans-une-agence-immobiliere-rien-de-plus-festif-113738596.html

Ninon Ingrid and her sad life of an estate agent 23/12/12

Noel dans une agence immobiliere rien de plus festif !

Christmas in an estate agency theres nothing the more festive.

Christmas approaches,christmas is here.

Quote

Quits to pay for the petrol just to go and admire just like every year the mother in law strangle herself with a turkey on xmas- eve .

So why not make the most of these few days off to go and stroll around with an estate agent.

What could be better for the christmas atmosphere than a short visit with the future owner of a 1980s bungalow who has no intention of buying it in the first place.

Now,thats really festive.....for those who have already made visits on the 24th of December you have at least an advantage over your competitors.

Also you can escape from the family during the afternoon you don't have to empty the capon as well.

Its also a thousand times better to make an agent work for free on christmas eve rather than being at home with there family preparing the xmas table.

Visiting a house will also get the little brats outside they run around the house from room to room or in the garden during the visit whilst the unhappy agent is trying to earn a living hoping for a sale.

The telephone that has been silent starts to ring again when christmas approaches.

"I am in the region from Sunday the 23rd and i will be there until the 27th of December and i would like to make a few visits before i go back".

12 months a go day for day they also telephoned it seems that they only want to make visits during the xmas holidays as for the other 365 days of the year you never hear anything from them.

They are christmas holiday clients.

This time you have taken things under control and you have decided to close the agency during the christmas holidays.

Oh its with real pleasure that you reply!

"Ah but Madame our agency will be closed from tonight until..... you have left to go back home."

"But thats not possible how are we going to make a visit ?"

"Well why not telephone the vendor there a for sale sign with there number on it outside of there house.I am sure that they will be delighted to have you visiting during christmas-eve maybe they will let you to stay for a meal."

"So you no longer want to sell that's because you have earned so much cash during your life and over several years that today you no longer need money but don't forget the wind of change has arrived"

"Yes so thats it the wind has changed direction but for everybody".

Let it snow,let it snow,let it snow.

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http://www.rue89.com/2012/12/17/une-maison-de-115-m2-transformee-en-taudis-ruines-par-un-escroc-237186

Rue89 une maison de 115m2 transformee en taudis ruinés par un escroc

Rue 89 A 115m2 house transformed into a slum ruined by a conman.

17/12/2012

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At the start of 2007 they decided to look for a house to renovate far from the town where prices are to high.

It was the only way to get onto the property ladder and to make a profit by later selling it and then buying another house.

Says Caroline with a tired smile they bought an old presbytery with a garden at Courpalay in the heart of the countryside.

Uninhabited for the last ten years the building needed to be entirely renovated.

The cost of the building work 71k and the price of the house 149k.

Marc and Caroline signed up for a 30 year mortage the house was theres in april.

The work was given to the father of a friend of a friend who was a bricklayer.Work started in june and we would move in in november says Marc.

However the renovation work slowed down and it was the end of our rental contract the couple had no choice but to move into there new home without any electricity and running water.

Marc unfolded a tent on the first floor and Caroline moved back to her parents home

The contractor threated them saying that he would only finish the work if they paid the entire sum in advance.

Assured by (false) documents the couple gave in and handed over the remaining sum.

The contractor quickly cashed in there check even though he had already declared his business as being bankcrupt.

They never saw him or there cash again!

The furniture and electrical goods did not resist the cold and dampness so they threw everything out.

In the spring of 2008 they bought a caravan on e-bay for 1500 euros it was so old that they had to cover it with a canvas sheet to keep the water out.

Marc slept there alone and Caroline stayed with him during the weekend.

In the autum of 2011 Marc had a heart attack but was saved just in time today he has to take medecine for the rest of his life.

The "human body has its weak points" says Caroline on her blog.

"I nearly lost Marc last year and now i want to make him happy with the pleasure of being a father".

At the end of spring she is pregnant."My son is going to be born in febuary and i don't know where he will live "says Marc with anger in his voice.

In may 2010 they had already informed the local newspaper of there problems and the Parisien did an article on them as well as the tv channel TF1.

Today there only hope is with a tv reality show called "All Together" but the makers of the show have refused to film there plight.

The couple pay a credit of 1700 euros a month for the next 25 years for a house that they can't live in.

The merciless world of french property.

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This weeks unemployment figures for the month of September.

Class A +46,900 or a total of 3,057,600.

Other classes B C etc.

Making a total of 4,797,200 out of work in France.

The 17th consecutive month.

Not forgetting the "invisible unemployed " that are not counted in the figures such as those who recieve the RSA 1,285,900.

This weeks unemployment figures for the month of November.

Class A + 29,300 or a total of 3,132,600.

Other classes B+C

Making a total of 4,904,900 out of work in France.

The 19th consecutive month.

Unemployment isn't the only thing that is increasing as of the 1/1/2013.

Electricty goes up by 2.5% and gas by 2.4% and the tv license is going up.

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2013 the year that finally caches up with France, my predictions are,

house price falls of 15% and house sales to continue to fall

unemployment to rise, even with government manipulation of figures to over 3.4 million

France to stagnate throughout 2013

Civil disturbances and rioting throughout France

Further significant tax rises

The EU as general to be in recession

Greece to move closer to leaving the EU and significant risk of civil war in Greece

The UK will become even more EU sceptic and as such put those Brits who live in France in further peril

Frau Merkel will be re-elected in Germany

Europe will continue to decline and Asia will become significantly more powerful

the risk of war will continue in the gulf, but will not materialise (I pray for this)

The £ will fall against the € to a rate of 1 = 1.15

And finally

the dollar will no longer be the reserve currency of the world, with the yen and gold becoming the the new reserve currency

Happy New Year to all

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http://www.rue89.com/2012/12/31/une-belle-maison-mais-au-mauvais-endroit-invendable-237110

Rue 89 31/12/12

Une belle maison,mais au mauvais endroit:invendable.

A pretty house but in a bad place :unsaleable.

Quote

Jean-Claude and Marie-Jo have bought a house to renovate but far away from anywhere.Weary of pubic transport and hardly any activities the family want to move....but without any success.

The far away suburbs a swarm of townships where newly built houses mix with old houses.

In a little street appears the big white 19th century house of Marie-Jo and Jean-Claude.Whilst Jean-Claude a retired teacher shows us around his home.

Marie-Jo also retired (EDF) is making the coffee.They bought there house in 1995 after having sold there previous house in Survilliers in the Val d'oise.

A big house to bring up there three children aged 17,13 and 10 at the time.

Finally there property was sold faster than they had thought so they bought a pretty house to renovate but far away from anywhere.

A town that we have never liked!

We bought in July and moved in October.The roof of the house was about to collapse the walls were covered in rotten old wallpaper.

A contractor was far to expensive for us so Jean-Claude decided to renovate the property himself.

The attic,bedrooms,roof, bathroom and sitting-room.The evenings and weekends spent painting ,plastering ,decorating...... I only finished it last year!

Nothing to do!

Looking back we miss our social and family life in Survilliers.

"The population was much younger the town was lively and the children were unhappy to come and live here"

Our son was always saying "Theres not even a libary here".

Far away from anywhere they discover the down-side of living in the faraway suburbs.

Poor public transport no social life and they learnt that the town has the highest amount of Front National voters in the Val d' Oise.

The couple finish by admitting that they have been trying to sell there house for the last five years but theres not a buyer in sight.

Yet they are not going to "give it away" they want to leave to go and live in Brittany or the Dordogne its my dream says Jean-Claude.

Bought for 175,316 euros

Renovation work 80,000 euros

For sale at 540,000 euros

IMHO they are not at all giving it away and with a 284,684 euros net profit if they ever sell.

These two greedy OAPs can take there 540k and buy a barn in Dordogne for 20k a sad story.

God bless them.

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Well basically it states that there are two likely scenarios, taking into account the factual information/historical data provided, these are, either a fall of 35-40% in house values over a period of 5-8 years or secondly, a constant and slow decline in prices over a period of 15-20 years. However the report goes on to add that the rapid/dramatic fall in prices is more likely.

This should be considered in light of the housing minister saying that she wanted to see prices realigned and that she never wants to see another house price bubble again. All the information coming out of the French government offices and the very latest housing policies are designed to stunt house prices and make them more affordable.

We have been looking to buy a second home in France since September 2011, so we have watched the market very closely indeed. Prices have fallen significantly and house sales have fallen to a trickle. Basically exactly what this report states will happen.

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Thanks whalebone. That's very interesting. I am not surprised that the French housing market is still in such trouble, but I am a litte shocked at how bearish the report is!

Good to know what the future may hold, but this is quite depressing news for me, (and my OH), as we (like you) are looking to buy in France, and we really would like to buy something in the next year or two. (So we can enjoy a little adventure before we get too old/frail!)

We are looking for a retirement house and think we might live there for 5-15yrs (depending on how much we like it) then move back to UK. Obviously, if we love it we can stay there forever, if we can manage, but realistically I guess there will be a time when we want to go 'home' to the UK.

We were already aware that house prices were quite static in (rural) France and probably continuing to fall (from highs about 5 yrs ago?) and that cheeky (low) offers might now be considered. (And as asking prices still seem relatively high.) We have already accepted that we are probably going to lose (some of our retirement) money just to go & live in France a while, as we will not be able to sell for more than we bought at, and as 10% of teh purchase price is immediately lost due to buying/selling costs. (Both are around 5% I think, so that makes 10% spent in total when we sell up.) Assuming we do not spend much on meaintenance/improvements and that prices stay the same/do not fall, we will lose at least 10% then & I can live with a 10% loss over say 10yrs, but I would be more worried if we risk a much larger loss. And I am especially worried about getting stuck with an unsellable asset. Even a nice rural house might well become unsellable if it is priced above the means of the employed locals while all the wealthy expats/retirees have decided they are no longer looking for a holiday/retirement home in France. (And that could happen ... cos President Hollande is doing a good job at putting them off?!)

Btw, we are not interested in doing a house up to make money, (cos we are not into DIY or grand design style projects) and we don't want to do a gites business either. We just want to retire and live as modestly/simply as we can, within our pension income. Even if we WERE interested in gites, most properties in our price range (<€500k) which had them (or did chambres d'hotes) were too low in quality of accommodation IMO, so I couldn't see them getting any repeat business ... & maybe not even 2 nights in a row! (Or I am being too fussy?) I would have thought one would need to be in a really good location and/or be either top notch (very comfortable) or else very good value just to survive. (But I havent stayed in a gite or done chambres d'hotes so maybe I am wrong?)

Back to the forecast of house price falls in France, if we buy a house soon, I think I could cope mentally a bit better with the prospect of a 15-20 yr period of slow decline, but this would mean we would probably be selling up at the lowest price point, having lost the max possible on our capital 'investment'? So maybe the 5-8 yr sudden drop would be better for us in the long run? (Get the worst over faster and then we could maybe see some small rises after that? )

What is your buying strategy? I see you want a holiday home,(not a permanent home like us), so I guess you are looking for a smallish place which is easy to get to, & easy to lock up?

We want a 4-5 bedroom house with a pool/large garden, in good condition/winter-proof, near to some shops & <1.5 hrs drive to a decent airport (eg TLS or PAR) so that our adult children might decide to drop in for a holiday from time to time. We don't know many people in France at the moment, so assume it might be quite hard to integrate & that we will be very glad to have some visitors to break the long periods of solitude!

I would give up on the idea of France and stay in the UK (as it would be cheaper & I love the UK) but I like the sun too much & assume/hope there would be a bit more of it if we were in the SW of France somewhere. Also I would like to challenge my (aging) brain by having to adapt and speak French and not spend too much time shopping and watching TV.

There are some other quite complicated factors in favour of us settling in France for a period, (which I won't go into here), so I think we will have to do it (no matter what) and therefore I really will have to make sure we don't over-pay, as we are going to get screwed anyway. (So we will need to prepare for damage limitation by driving a very hard bargain?) It won't be nice, (being mean on the price) but I think we can't afford to be soft as prices will fall. (Might mean more owners will hang on and on, and refuse to sell to us tho?)

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The only logical decision because of the scenarios mentioned, is rental.

Having owned and subsequently sold a French second home after 10 years, reinforces my recommendation to you both.

Keep your UK property, if you have one, and rent it out if necessary.

I could go on at length, but I feel there is enough wisdom embodied in the short comments above.

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  • 439 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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