French property websites enjoying Brexit boom

French property websites enjoying Brexit boom

French property websites enjoying Brexit boom

According to media reports, enquiries abut French properties have soared by thousands since the result of the Brexit referendum.

After some years in the doldrums, houses standing empty for years are now being snapped up by Brits desperate to escape the Brexit effect before it’s too late. Prior to the referendum, France was no longer the number one destination for retiring British citizens, leaving those attempting to sell their properties no option but to slash prices by up to 40 per cent or just lock the doors and walk away.

Some months ago, a trickle of buyers arrived from across the Channel, desperate to purchase real estate before catching the Eurostar back to the UK, and even a few French buyers were seen nosing around formerly rejected ancient farmhouses. The bulk of new buyers were British, with most wanting to move in as soon as is possible in order to get their residency cards before the end of next March, and the trickle has now turned into a mass exodus.

Subsequently, they believe, they’ll be in a better position to exchange their cartes de sejour for new ones in order to be ‘grandfathered’ into a new, post-Brexit system. What may happen if a hard Brexit becomes a reality and the ‘guarantees’ already given are withdrawn is anyone’s guess, and no-one seems to be factoring it in. Others are emigrating in disgust or protest at the entire Brexit issue and the divisions it’s created in the home country. Most, however, trust the EU negotiating team for more than its British equivalent or the UK government.

Whilst it’s good news that formerly abandoned properties are being bought up and will be lived in again, it’s certain that a good few of the new arrivals swelling France’s expat community are financial refugees - economic migrants living on the UK’s less than generous old age pension and hoping it’ll be cheaper to do so in France than in the UK’s post-Brexit inflationary chaos. Every centime will need to be carefully counted, although those with larger gardens can always grow their own veggies and keep a few chickens.

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