Monday, May 14, 2012
Are the French "super rich" really going to up sticks?
There's a feeding frenzy amongst the UK media at the moment to see who can run the biggest headline about wealthy French bankers upping sticks and moving to London.
The Daily Telegraph seem to regurgitate the same story daily, this is today's effort entitled "High earners say au revoir to France".
Francois Hollande has come into power on the back of pledges to tax the wealthy and put an end to the austerity drive implemented by President Sarkozy. It will be interesting to see how many of these pledges he will be able to keep.
For sure those French residents with earnings over €1m pa are worried.
However, whether there is really a "huge exodus" is not yet clear. London agents looking for a bit of free PR are, of course, going to stoke the fire and make all kinds of claims.
There are already around 400,000 French people living in London so it's hardly a new phenomenon and I remember ten years ago the Chesterton agents in South Kensington and Sloane Square talking about the high amount of interest from French buyers.
And why not? London is a fabulous city with a huge variety of parks, restaurants, museums and some excellent schooling (if you can afford it). If you want to earn big money there's no better place.
Time will tell of course but with the pound at around €1.25 now (and getting stronger) even the super rich had better make their mind up quick.
Having lived and worked in London for 20 years before moving out to France I do have one piece of advice for anyone looking to move the other way though:
Don't forget to pack your umbrella :-)