As we inch into summer in the UK, a number of factors are now encouraging us to look abroad, and not just for a quick fix of sun.
Stability has returned to Westminster, mortgage lenders are lending and rates remain exceptionally low. But the last two years have also seen the rising and consistent strength of the pound against the euro. Today, armed with sterling, you have 15% more buying power in the Eurozone than you did two years ago.
The net effect of course is that European property is looking compelling, and when you add to this local market dynamics, the picture can become even more inviting.
If you’ve ever dreamed of a second home in the South of France, for example, Riviera prices are reacting to a virtual exodus by Russian investors. This followed the dramatic depreciation of the rouble, which plummeted 72% against the euro between April and December last year.
As a buyer in France, you can also forget about François Hollande’s 15.5% ‘social charge’ on rental income and capital gains tax for non-resident owners. The European Court of Justice recently threw it out. France has also fixed its capital gains tax rate at 19% for all property owners – a reduction on the previous 33.3 per cent for non-residents.
Of course, many factors influence a good purchase abroad. But all in all, it could be a good time to be looking at Europe’s possibilities with fresh eyes, starting with a number of new instructions we have just received here