Friday, September 04, 2009

French property - parallels with the UK market

Interesting article in the Daily Telegraph about the UK property market one year after Lehman Brothers collapse.

This bit really struck home:

The day recession dawned will linger in the minds of estate agents for years. “The effect of Lehman’s demise was immediate and immense,” says Ed Lewis, head of new homes in London for Savills. “It was as if the telephone sockets had been ripped from the walls and the lights turned out. Many of the younger agents had never seen anything like it. A year on and power has been restored, to a flicker of hope, anyway, and the telephones have just started to ring again.

It was the same here in Cognac. I'd been merrily sailing along for five years and new clients just seemed to appear out of thin air. France is an incredibly popular destination and overseas buyers will always need someone to find and then advise upon their investment.

Then, within the space of 24 hours, everything changed and the world just hunkered down.

Like the chap at Savills though my phone has been ringing for a few months now and the lights are flickering back on.

As it says at the end of the Telegraph article I'll be looking forward to the 15th September so I can say that "the year" is behind us. It's not quite a reason to crack open the Dom Perignon but the senior partner and I might risk a little of the local "methode traditionnelle".

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