Cheaper French mortgages could increase investor interest

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According to a recent article in the Financial Times investors looking to buy a second home or investment property in France can now benefit from mortgage rates that are cheaper than levels for 2011.

This is because lenders have slashed their interest rates for non-residents.

French mortgage lenders BNP Paribas, Crédit Foncier and BPI have all cut their interest rates for UK buyers.

March saw rates drop at all three lenders. A 20-year fixed-rate mortgage at Crédit Foncier was reduced from 4.45 per cent to 4.25 per cent while a variable rate mortgage deal at BNP changed from 3.55 per cent to 3.25 per cent.

Those who took advantage of low interest deals at the start of 2012 are set to reap the biggest rewards according to John Busby of French Private Finance, a French mortgage broker:

“Those who began their applications recently on the basis of higher mortgage rates can now enjoy rates as much as 0.75 percentage points lower than November, due to the falls in the three-month Euribor and some reductions in bank margins,” he says.

Property prices in the country increased by 4.3 per cent in 2011 and according to Richard Way from the Overseas Guides Company, the demand for French property from UK buyers is on the increase:

“Between June and September last year, we saw an increase of 192 per cent in requests for our guide to France.”

Transfer money to France

If you are looking to invest in France, think carefully about how you will be transferring money to France. Foreign currency exchange rates quoted by banks are almost always worse than the exchange rates available through specialist currency dealers.

So if you are looking to send money from the UK to France, to invest in property or for any other reason, be sure to compare the market before you buy your overseas currency.

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