Covid restrictions stopping Britons buying French property

More Britons are inquiring about property in France this year compared to last – but Covid-19 travel restrictions are stopping them travelling across to buy.

28 August 2020
A house in France overlooking a sea.Britons love homes with a sea view, says French Riviera Properties
By Connexion Journalist

That is what data since May shows at French Riviera Properties, part of Century 21 and a leading estate agency group for the Nice area. Its president, Benjamin Mondou, said: “The market has been really active, with a lot of buyers, but a lot fewer foreign people because with Covid it’s more difficult to come. Since May 11, we’ve had 80 sales, of which half were to foreign clients and around 22 deals were with British citizens. The sales to foreign buyers are down by a quarter compared to last year, but we’ve around 15% more inquiries than last year."

“A lot of British citizens want a place in Nice, but they need to come here, and it’s been disappointing. We’ve been doing a lot of videos and WhatsApp visits, but it’s only the first step. We hope people are able to travel in September.”

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Côte d'Azur, France
Côte d'Azur, France

Mr Mondou said the purchases are a mixture of buy-to-let properties, holiday homes and permanent residences. “A lot of Britons like a villa with a nice view or an apartment with a terrace that they can enjoy,” he said.

The proportion of sales for permanent residences is up, he said. “We’ve had around five or six deals with Britons who wanted to come to live here,” he said. It is unclear if some are moving due to the end of the transition period and to benefit from the Withdrawal Agreement deal, as they have not specified that this is the case.

“It’s also due to Covid: more British people want outside space and sun, and to enjoy themselves, and the Côte d’Azur is good for that.”

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