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France continues to outshine Spain as destination of choice for the British

France continues to outshine Spain as destination of choice for the British

France has again beaten Spain to the top European spot and destination of choice for Britons leaving the UK to live permanently abroad. Some 18,000 Britons are estimated to have moved to France during 2010, nearly a third more than moved to Spain, according to data released this month by the UK National Statistics office.

At the same time, average house prices have continued to rise in value during the twelve months to the end of June, with values increasing by an average of 7.8% across the country. Prices in the capital rose by 22.5% in some parts, whilst in other areas popular with British expatriates such as Nice and Cote D’Azur, the rise was a healthy 8.4% over the same period, according to independent data produced by the Notaires de France,

Commenting on the new figures, Tim Harvey managing director of French mortgage specialists said, “The French lifestyle has always appealed to the British and now those who want to move to France but who may have been putting off the decision due to the adverse publicity surrounding the Euro area can see that property market has been a good investment for many Britons too.”

Unlike in the UK market, French mortgages are widely available with interest rates varying from 3.40% to 3.80% for basic variable rate repayment products. Homebuyers should budget on having at least a 15% deposit whilst for those with more, interest rates costs are likely to be lower. In this respect, the French market compares favourably with the UK market where overseas property buyers currently need to find a 30% deposit in many cases.

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