Living in France is a dream for many people. Whether you’re hoping for a relaxed retirement, seeking adventure as a young family or making an investment into your future – the French way of life holds something for everyone. From the delicious food to the vibrant culture, the bustling cities to the stunning countryside, is now the time to invest in your “joie de vivre”?
Why choose France?
There are countless reasons to shortlist France if you’re looking to invest in overseas property. Not only does it fulfil all those romantic visions of sun-drenched days, beautiful beaches and sophisticated cities, it also appeals for practical reasons such as a stable economy, a good rental yield and proper legal processes – just like you’re used to at home.
In case you’re still unsure, here are six other advantages of investing in France.
- As a foreign investor, you’ll want to find a property that offers you something completely different from what you have at home, and France’s diverse landscape does just that. From the snow-capped Alps to the glittering French Riviera, from sprawling Villas in Southern France to traditional city apartments in the capital. It’s a property buyer’s dream.
- France is the seventh largest economy in the world, so you know your investment is safe. As with any large country, the economy has been up and down over the last few years, but has still experienced growth in line with other countries.
- The housing market is largely stable and as there has been a slight decline in prices, it’s a good time to start looking.
- France is the most visited country in the world, with an estimated 90 million visitors in 2019 alone¹. So you would never be short of tourists looking for a place to stay if you were investing in a holiday rental.
- Getting in, out and around France is easy with approximately 169 airports² dotted around the country (the UK only has 50 in comparison). Add in a comprehensive transport system, and this is one of the easiest European countries to navigate as a foreigner.
- Overall, the French climate is generally mild when compared to some of its European neighbours but each region differs. There are actually five different climate types in France – with the South enjoying Mediterranean temperatures and sunshine, and the East feeling the breeze with a more oceanic climate. Whatever your weather preference, you’ll definitely find it somewhere within this modern European country.
The French property market
Before you invest overseas, it’s worth looking at the country’s property market to see whether you’ll get real value for money.
A quick overview of the French market shows that recovery from the pandemic has been slow, and France has experienced an ongoing dip in purchase prices, with these predicted to fall further over the coming year.
Mortgage rates have seen a rise, making borrowing more expensive, which has in turn put off many French nationals from buying at the current time. Despite the rise in interest rates, it’s worth noting that the cost of borrowing in France is still cheaper than neighbouring countries such as the UK.
So, what does this all mean for foreign investors? Whilst the decreasing prices and higher interest rates aren’t the best news for French nationals, for foreign investors it could be the right time to start your search. Lending criteria has been tightened up, but there are little to no restrictions for non-residents planning to buy French property and if you’re a cash buyer, the outlook is good.
It’s always best to consider all your options when buying abroad, and our team at iad Overseas are well informed when it comes to the housing market throughout France and are happy to advise you in your search.
The French rental market
The rental market in France remains strong – whether for long term rental properties or short term holiday lets. At the end of 2023 the average rental yield for France was approximately 4.56 per cent³. This number is in line with other countries in the Eurozone for the same year.
It’s important to remember that as with most overseas investments, rental yields will differ by region. For example, if you’re buying in cities such as Paris, Marseille or Lyon, you can expect to attract long term tenants. However you will be buying at a higher price than less populated regions. Holiday lets in Southern France or ski regions will also attract far higher short term rental values than more rural areas.
Check out the table below for average prices and rents in four of France’s major cities:
|Average Price Per m² for Apartments
|Average Price Per m² for Houses
|Average Rent Per m² for Houses
Information from Meilleurs Agents.⁴
The further inland you travel to regions such as Limoges (where the average house price per m² is €1,882) and Dijon, you’ll see house prices and rental sums drop significantly – as may demand from possible tenants.
iad Overseas can help you determine the demand for a rental property depending on the region where you choose to invest. They will also know about the type of tenants you can expect to attract to your property, whether short-term or long-term.
With France boasting the title of one of the most visited countries by international visitors in recent years, it’s no surprise that holiday rentals are a big business for residents and non-residents alike. In fact,, Paris was the most visited city in the world in 2023 according to most travel sites.
So whether it’s for a weekend break or a few weeks’ stay, here are some of the best places to invest in a holiday rental in France:
If money is no option then the glittering Côte d’Azur is one of the top places to invest in a holiday rental. With prices for stunning villas hitting well over the €1.3 million mark, you can enjoy year-round short term rentals from happy holidaymakers. The glamour of areas such as Cannes and Marseille, the beauty of the coastline, a huge community of expats and the gorgeous Mediterranean climate make the French Riviera a hefty, yet rewarding investment.
Is there anything more romantic than strolling hand in hand with your love, meandering through the cobbled streets of this historic Capital? Sharing delicious pastries, indulging in culinary treats and taking in the history of Paris is a must for most tourists. And short term rentals (which can be managed by specialist agents) can earn you anywhere from £50 to £250 per night. Unlike many cities, tourists visiting Paris aren’t put off by the weather, so you can enjoy a year-round income from your Parisian pied-à-terre.
Whether you love skiing or you’re savvy enough to know how much skiing enthusiasts will pay for a holiday chalet, then investing around the Alps is a safe bet. From famous destinations such as Chamonix or Courchevel to smaller family-friendly destinations like Morzine – investing here will ensure your second property earns an excellent ROI.
One of the best-loved rural regions, you can enjoy miles and miles of picturesque countryside, quaint villages, a thriving expat community and an abundance of holidaymakers in this beautiful part of France. Whether you want to buy in the heart of a town or on the outskirts, a well-managed holiday let can offer excellent returns for the discerning foreign investor.
Located in northern France, Normandy is a region bursting with history. From the Norman invasion of England to the D-Day landings, it’s a history-buff’s dream holiday destination and has a stunning coastline to keep tourists enthralled. With houses and apartments starting at around €2,106 per m² ⁴, coastal properties are a lucrative investment during peak tourist seasons.
A secure investment
If you’re looking for a stable and secure investment, then France is the right choice. Not only is it a diverse and beautiful part of Europe, but it truly caters to all. From the fashionistas enjoying the glamour of St Tropez, to the families exploring the hidden gems of the Dordogne, there is something for every type of investor.
Putting aside the beauty of the country, the elegance and sophistication of the cities, France also offers investors economic stability, rigorous legal and taxation procedures, as well as a positive return on investment. To find out more about the purchase process in France, read our guide here.
How iad Overseas can help
Whether you’re in the market for a rental investment, a second home or an overseas retirement property, the team at iad Overseas can assist.
Our consultants specialise in guiding foreign buyers from the country in which they are based. They will work with you side by side, through every step of your purchase journey. Not only are they fluent in French and can help interpret the different legal and tax hurdles you’ll face, they also speak English to help ease the entire process. Ready to invest? We’re here to help.