What does the new President mean for you?

Well as we all know, most of us didn't vote as we can't :(

Will this change? What do you think? Should non-french nationals be allowed to vote? Will a change of government affect you?

We'll be talking about this on SFN radio and would love your comments. I'll just be using first names so Debbie from the Dordogne type of thing. You can post here or pm me your comments and we will use it as a phone in format (so soundbites rather than essays on fiscal policy please!!) although in these early stages we need to email in rather than phone in.....

Thanks! x

Carol, I fully agree about the cheap barn to do up - that's exactly what i said and the French do know that it isn't worth it that's why they leave them for foreigners to do up. I have family here who have, apart from the ones simply knocked down on the farm, old places with land that they want way too much money for but that they're waiting for a rich foreigner to buy...! As for Newbury to St Cyprian, not really comparing like with like there are we, try appartments in some of the seaside resorts in the UK, My brother paid well over 350,000 for a 2 bed place in Salcombe for example. Now when I was talking 200,000 for new, I wasn't talking about terraced places but detached with nice big garden etc. a nice 3 to 4 bedroom detached place in half an acre, random examples from the boncoin: http://www.leboncoin.fr/ventes_immobilieres/offres/midi_pyrenees/?f... but again I fully accept that it varies from area to area, I wouldn't get the same in Paris but then again that's the same with London. and just for the record, here's the same excercise in languedoc, and we're talking euros not pounds and there are plenty of detached houses there too. As for DIY - you obviously haven't ever been to Brico Dépot, Gedimat, Point P, etc.... Anyway, YES we agree for the barns and ruins - only the brits are mad enough or the French who get mates in to help. Very few do it to make any money but there again that depends on the area too, there are areas where people make money on them, 30% in 10months on one in the Hérault and 100% on another in the aveyron in a couple of years... I was back in the UK a couple of years ago and broused through the local property paper and rather than the detached farmhouse, barns and 18 acres http://www.frenchpropertycentre.com/property/mi-av-d8b9226/ now sold at under £200k, I was looking at 2 bed started homes (Oxfordshire) went back down to Devon and not a lot had changed there either but I guess every situation is different, every body's looking for something different too. I sincerely hope you find a buyer soon Carol, bon week-end de l'Assension

Actually...Andrew...just thought...we bought a UK flat Oct 2010...in Newbury...used to be called part of the Golden Triangle...55 minutes to London..Reading half an hour. We bought a gated flat...with a named parking space...we have 2 beds/2baths open plan living area...fitted kitchen...with all appliances...hob, oven, fitted fridge/freezer, washer/dryer...electric heating...triple glazing and the new build is so good we dont even need to use the heating during the day in the winter.....we are walking distance to town. We paid 185k pounds. Two years before we bought an apartment in St Cyp...same specs...exactly...except we have the use of a pool....for over £100k more...and huge service charges...nearly treble the uk costs...so I wouldnt say France is always the property bargain spot...

Andrew...I thought after your comment I would check on primelocation and rightmove what is available for 200k and under in the UK...new properties...2 and 3 beds...started with Somerset...then Devon..Cornwall....Hampshire, Wiltshire...came up with properties in all areas...I did this last year...my sister in law sold up her 3 bed flat in St Laurent, Languedoc for 250k...and had 250k to spend in the UK....she is now in Sherborne in a lovely 3 bed modern stone terraced house with garage plus named parking space, garden and conservatory....now all these locations are in the south....if you look north...its much cheaper....but that wasnt really the point of the discussion....we were talking about taking old properties and doing them up.... when people talk about the bargains to be had in France in terms of property...they are not talking about new places....but do ups...and they are cheap...to buy....but way more expensive to do up... and thats something a lot of non French are not aware of....nor the fact you cant walk into a DIY shop and buy a dozen door handles...because they only have 3 of everything...I know we have had this discussion before Andrew...but so many Brits come over thinking they can buy a barn and convert...and they are thinking about UK costs...to do up...and it is more expensive here for parts and labour.

Yes, things not good on the whole, Carol keeps telling us that, but correctly priced and things are moving. I've managed to sell one in the Hérault and our main one in the Aveyron (but haven't signed the acte authéntique yet) both since Christmas (the first was under offer within a month, second after 5 months). I was invited to go back into estate agency by a local agent but turned them down - it's still a long way off a good enough market to earn a stable income, fine for your OH as a top up, which is what I nearly did too but left the it for others more courageous than myself...!

ps not a single enquiry from expats although I tried that market too, both places sold to French, both were bought from French people too.

Yes, true. Trouble with this 'sleeping dog' is that my OH took up part-time immoblier and at present there are far too many houses on the market with a too low demand so not a good time to try selling here. Best left in a deep coma perhaps!

yep - the same happened in the Lot when the Dordogne became too expensive the first time round, people found the same things there but are now leaving in droves and there's nothing, really nothing apart from Figeac and Cahors as far as economic centres are concerned and they are miniscule ones at that - a very difficult market when it's reliant on foreign and retirement buyers. the aveyron has suffered a bit of that as people move ever further east looking for "bargains" but at least there's an industrial and agricultural sector here that means that the vast majority of sales are between working French people, there has been a small amount of artificial market adjustment in exactly the renovation projects that brits, dutch and belgians seem to look for, but it's minimal. an over inflated market only becomes so when people stop buying, until that point things are being sold at their (supply and demand) market value. I used to get pissed off with people telling me I was responsable for increases in house prices when I was an agent - I was just following the market and getting the best price for my clients, I didn't ever force anyone to pay over the odds...! Oh we could go on for ages about housing markets and everyone else would join in too, perhaps we ought to just let sleeping dogs lie!

Andrew, agree entirely and the expression 'corrupted' fits very well. But even French buying from/selling to French here has taken a thrashing because too many people have worked out what an overinflated market it is and they only need to go to where you are at present, for example, and pay less plus the artisans to do the work are cheaper...

Will have a look later, as for the supply and demand - got that one and years in the housing market taught me alot - the cheap house in France was an example given to Carol's idea that they cost the same in both countries (Uk and france) but she was talking about her specific house/brits renovating - I was countering with the french take on it in their own country and the example is valid as is your point that one should be careful if the trip not going to be one way... parts of the dordogne and elsewhere are perfect examples of a of a corrupted supply and demand, I say corrupted perhaps artificial is better in that it relys heavily on expat buyers to boost prices to levels seen, once those buyers leave the market, the prices return to those of surrounding areas, when expat buyers return, the prices rise again, supply and demand as you say. I saw just the same micro-market in Devon and Cornwall which was so dependant on the South East that as soon as people stopped buying second homes or retiring to the south west, prices dropped enormously because the local economy just can't support such high prices, even with 110% mortgages (the 10% being to pay solicitors fees etc! yes I sold houses to such people years ago...) must go and pick kids up and take them over to nounou now ;-)

Andrew - unless you try so-called pure economics it is actually easy. The basis of supply and demand goes for the simplest society to the most sophisticated and shelter (houses as in what you are saying) is a basic commodity. I would recommend you look for an economic anthropology text for undergraduates online, thereafter the principles at all levels will make sense. It is the detail, nuts and bolts of dealing in fianance for instance, that is harder to learn. I have had to learn development economics, for instance, for work because of the nature of the places I worked in and so I have, of necessity rather than desire, had to learn a lot of economics. I therefore understand a lot, even if I cannot explain how the things work.

The French 30% repayment thing is 'sensible capitalism'. The likes of my friends who have been broken by having repayments that mounted to hundreds of percents so that they needed loans to repay debts in the UK are sheer and utter insanity. An idiot could see that the only way they could go was broke, but did that stop banks, etc lending more and more? No sir! Debt generates profits because interest 'creates' non-existent money into being real money that fills shareholders' and directors' of financing concerns pockets.

Is buying a house in France because they are cheaper as clever as it seems? Only if it is a one way trip to stay here or perhaps if there is an even cheaper destination after. But there is no real way back for UK buyers who put all into it. There are some dream places on sale in this area that are not moving at silly low prices. The French do not want to do the work when a new house would work out cheaper and the Brits all get estimates on the cost of renovation that must be done. Eventually the places, like the one opposite us, will fall down or be pulled down and the land go for a song. Economically it is rather a bad use of supply that is not measured against real demand. So Andrew, you too should look at the Story of Stuff...

Carol the bargains are here - where can you get a brand new three bed detached house with all mod cons in the UK for less than 200k...! The only people who have problems doing places up are the brits - ever asked yourself why the french don't bother. My brother in law simply knocked down a detached house on his farm that needed renovating because it was in the way, he then solf the stone. Father in law had done the same with another one years ago - sometimes it's the best thing to do, this is France not the UK...! ;-)

Nick, yes it's 30% of disposable income for repayments and it calms the market a treat, it's so much more stable here, too quiet for some perhaps but atleast there's so much less speculation and for the vast majority of French people a house is still just somewhere to live. plus with high fees at the notaire and estate agents, it's very difficult to make quick money on houses - and France wants to keep it that way, stability being the key.

and to all of you - yes economics is crazy stuff that I can't get my head round because there's just so much to it on a world scale now that changing interest rates and such "local" measures no longer seem to do the trick, it's such a bigger picture now :-O

Brill Ian, I do economics in the context of anthropology (my discipline/profession) which only really tells us that it is all totally nuts. Ultimately we are born and later die, it doesn't really matter how rich or powerful we are inbetween because we cannot buy out of death. The rest is all very complicated inter-tribal (to put it in simpler lay terms at least) competition such as the richies dominating the poories and occasionally the two having 'wars', some of which are merely ritual. The whole picture when compared to the 'Toh-wu-abu' in the 'Ugli-orindge rain forest' is just as silly whether it is the fictional simple society or sophisticated capitalist affluent one. The Story of Stuff goes right to those places, so love it!

I like it Ian - that looks as though it is right up my alley

Kind of off topic, or maybe way off topic, but I like the films at The Story of Stuff that explain how bonkers our world is.

Brian I couldn't agree more. Although we hear about what a rotten state France is in, it's actually not all that bad. I was at a conference in the UK in 2008 where the chairman of our company stood up and his opening line was "This time next year there will be 30% less of you here" - Great news!

Us, the French side of the business was the only one who since that period has managed to grow, expand and increase turnover.

We have asked ourselves why and the answer invariably comes down to the real stability of the French economy.

Although this can often be seen as a brake on investment, the French banks ' policy of generally not lending more than, I think, 30% of your earning capability, has helped manage household debt at a manageable level, as opposed to countries where (to steal a phrase): "Everyone is living in sin with their flexible friend"

Thanks Nick, exactly how economics works. The value of the individual item/unit/etc is merely the base but has little to do with any kind of economic proposition, which is a value covering many 'units' or even all of a particular item. So each individual transaction, as you say, has little to do with the real picture. No European country at all, including Germany and certainly not the UK, has an economic projection that inspires confidence but for all of that France is among the best here.

Builders, roofers, pool doctors they are all very busy boys round here.

This says something...OR somethings.

Absolutely, it’s not the same game when we Buy at an individual level. You point out the difference I was trying to make.

I think that is absolutely right...the property market is probably one of the very few areas where France is competitive...and maybe for a multinational...buying up old properties and refurbing...buying buildings for companies etc can be profitable...but at grass roots level..you may think you get a bargain property wise..till you start doing it up here...then you discover everything...equipment through to contractors cost more..so the end product still costs the same..

Sorry and to finish, for the business case, the attitude of the multis is that “We have to be present in France”. Major capital market in all it’s senses