Friday, March 27, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Those of you who know me will be aware that last year I franchised my business to launch a network of property finders across the country http://www.frenchentree.com/french-property-finders/
Well, my partner called me to say that so far this year we've been fielding enquiries from the UK (of course) but also from Hawaii, Norway, Portugal, the USA, Dubai, Germany and New Zealand.
Who knows the reason - maybe in times of a true global recession people think that France is one of the last safe havens. Or maybe it's just the wine.
Anyway, long may it continue.....I don't care if I earn money in pounds, euros, dollars or yen and seeing some, albeit small, signs of recovery in the market are most welcome.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The lucky winner came up with the numbers 13, 17, 19, 25, 35, to share the €100m lottery price with an Austrian.
Someone somewhere in the Charente doesn’t have to worry about this or any other financial crisis again. A resident of the department last week won the Euro Millions lottery played in nine European countries. And although the local inhabitant had to share the €100m prize with an Austrian, that still leaves them a healthy €50million to spend as they want.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
In the section on France one of the agents says that prices have fallen by up to 25% in many areas and quotes a house in the Dordogne that has come down in price from €630,000 to €456,000.
Now, I've never seen the house in question but I'd put my shirt on the fact that actually it was well over valued in the beginning (by the owner perhaps?) .
It's a sad fact that many of the Brits looking to sell up and go home paid over the odds in the first place. This means that they put their houses back on the market at over the market rate and are astonished when they have to "slash the price".....leading to articles like this that just feed the flames.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
If you haven't been to La Ribaudiere then I'd heartily recommend it....you'll find that the village it is in (Bourg Charente close to Jarnac) is pretty special too.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
If you’re looking for a combination of sunshine, picturesque riverside villages, reasonable property prices and a slower pace of life then you should consider the Charente.
“The most beautiful stream in my kingdom” is how Francois 1’er described the river Charente and many experts agree with him.
Yet property still offers excellent value for money. Set out below are some of the latest figures published by the “Notaires de France” http://www.immoprix.com/ipStat.php?zgid=54016&tb=MAA
They have calculated that the average house price, across France is €195,400. The average house price in Charente is just €128,900 (although this rises to €166,200 if you include all four departments of Poitou Charentes).
Now I think that’s an amazing statistic when you look at what the Charente has to offer. The region is one third cheaper than the average yet:
1. It’s the second sunniest region of France with around 2,400 hours of sunshine every year.
2. It boasts terrific communication links including direct flights to the UK, proximity to the motorway network and TGV trains to Paris, Lille and the UK.
3. The river Charente is universally ageed to be one of the most beautiful in France and borders some stunning market towns (like Jarnac, home of Courvoisier).
4. The countryside is beautiful with rolling hills covered in vines & sunflowers.
5. The World famous town of Cognac is lively throughout the year with an abundance of festivals, bars, restaurants and leisure activities.
6. There is a variety of property available from townhouses to Maison de Maitres with walled gardens and towering views over the vines.
Last year I helped clients buy this beautiful, 18th century old school house. It was a private sale which went smoothly thanks to the local Mayoress who was keen to see it restored to it’s former position as the signature house in the village. The seven bed Maison de Maitre is nearing completion and my clients still have to pinch themselves that they paid only €280,000 for it.
But this story http://english-news.charentelibre.com/editionEn-2521-calls-for-referendum-on-merging-poitou-charentes-with-aquitaine.html?id_edition=247 about the possibility of Charente and Charente Maritime being swallowed up by Aquitaine gets my goat.
I've only been here five years but our friends call us "Charentanglais". And if I don't want to lose my identity having just laid down some roots what of my neighbours Yves & Jacqueline who were born and bred in this village. I struggle to understand them as they speak a mixture of Charentais patois and olde worlde French - they laugh at the idea of losing their department.
Friday, March 06, 2009
Now it sems that every news report leads off with a story about the recession and who is to blame. Surely it's now time to learn our lesson and act upon it.
I don't see how QE (printing more money) will help change our "spend, spend, spend" culture in any way except for the worse.
Similarly bailing out all the over stretched buy-to-let brigade by reducing interest rates to zero only punishes savers who have been prudent with their money.
Politicians and journalists talk about changing our credit card culture and then try to spend their way out of the crisis burdening the next generation with unsustainable debt levels.
The only reason that there isn't a huge furore about it is greed. With mortgage payments coming down and high street prices so low those who remain in employment can turn a blind eye and make hay while the sun is shining.
Let's stop talking about the need to discourage spending more than we earn and cursing the recession. Let's actually encourage people to tighten their belts, say no to that new car/plasma/i pod and live within their means. Sure the short term effect will be shocking but in the medium and long term our children will be grateful.