Sunday, February 25, 2024
International

Britons’ French house hunts soar six-fold

House prices

In the three weeks after the December 21 passing of the bill, there was a 582% rise in Britons enquiring about French properties on the site, according to data from Kyero

The number of Britons house-hunting in France has soared six-fold since a law granting second home owners from the UK an “automatic” right to remain in the country for six months was passed.

The law, passed in December as an amendment to an immigration bill, has not yet been enacted and faces a final, crucial barrier when it is reviewed by the country’s Constitutional Council on Thursday.

Nevertheless, according to data from the UK-based international property portal Kyero, in the three weeks after the December 21 passing of the bill, there was a 582% rise in Britons enquiring about French properties on the site.

Louise Dell, the portal’s co-founder, said: Significant pent-up demand has developed in the global market amongst British buyers whilst people have been awaiting news of potential changes to residency rules, and it appears that the floodgates are now opening.

The highest number of enquiries was for the Alpes-Maritimes area in southeastern France, accounting for 24% of searches, followed by Charente and Haute-Vienne.

With Spain also pushing for similar changes, we anticipate that 2024 could be a significant year for international property transactions, Dell added.

Joanna Leggett, of Leggett Immobilier, said organic traffic on their portal was 44% higher in the last month with enquiries from new British clients rising 16%.

Natalie Leggett, a sales support director, said: A lot of clients who had just been looking and enquiring but not doing anything else have now been activated. Leggett said she had also seen a bigger uptake in viewings.

Thousands of Britons had been campaigning for the amendment of current regulations that restrict them to 90 days in the Schengen area, including France, in every 180-day period.

Many contended the post-Brexit system was unfair because French citizens were permitted to stay in the UK for up to six months without a visa, whether they owned a property or not.

The only way second home owners can currently use their French property for over 90 days is to apply for a long-stay visa, a lengthy, complicated and expensive process that has to be undertaken anew each year.

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