Monday, 11 February 2019

February - the month of romance

February – the month of romance, with Valentine’s Day falling on Thursday 14th. Is this going to be the month that we can help you fall in love with one of our French properties for sale?

We certainly have a great selection, currently over 175 properties on the site, of which 58 are on Exclusive mandats with our agency. Explore the website to see what has changed since you last browsed.

This month is also a great time to view, with the temperatures and the light quality at its worst. No doubt about it, if you like a property in February, you will love it when bathed in sunshine in the summer months.

Constantly in our focus, at the moment, is the Brexit scenario. Obviously it impacts significantly for UK buyers, and the £ enjoyed a mini revival until 29th January and the MPs votes on the various amendment proposals in Parliament. But also, Europe is massively involved, although the consequences for the EU nations of Britain crashing out are not as harsh as they would be for the UK.

On the subject of a referendum, there is talk in France of the Loire Atlantique region to rejoin Brittany. The Government has been asked to consent to a public vote. I hope they know what they are letting themselves in for ....

The PUMA was designed to replace the Couverture Maladie Universelle (CMU) but it goes further in that it is compulsory for any French tax resident who is not affiliated to mainstream French social security or that of another territory for health purposes. The contribution applies to all investment income (revenus du patrimoine) at a rate of 8% after an annual allowance of €9,933 (2018) per person.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Why now is the time to spring clean your agents !

Spring – is known as the season of rebirth, revitalisation and regeneration. It’s a time of the year where clean-ups and clear-outs are popular. It’s called a spring clean for a reason, after all.

Whilst we are still in January, Spring is appearing on the horizon, and you should start forward planning. Why?

The property market tends to be better in the Spring, and hopefully we will soon have Brexit and its associated problems behind us.

As we march onwards deeper into 2019 many of you should be asking if you are getting the best from your estate agents?

Being with several agents may appear to be the sensible option, and "widening" your chances of a sale. But the statistics actually suggest the opposite. Working with an agent on a sole agency (or Exclusive mandat) generally ensures a faster sale and achieves a higher price.

Our agency is consistently selling more properties that we have in exclusivity in comparison to "simple" mandats where there are a number of competing agencies.

Your property is unique - so why devalue the property by offering the property to a number of agents, who then advertise the property at varying prices (because of their different fee structures), and use a mixed bag of images, (some bad and some truly awful).

Far better to entrust your sale to one top notch agency who will present your property professionally, invest via their marketing budget, to achieve a sale as quickly as possible for the best possible price.

We await your call, or e-mail us at for more details.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Vote on Brexit deal must wait until 2019

With little chance of UK agreement on Brexit before year-end, time is running out to secure an orderly departure from the EU and guarantee the planned transition period.

After a tumultuous week for the UK government – in which Prime Minister Theresa May postponed a Parliament vote on Brexit and saw off a leadership challenge – Downing Street has confirmed there will be no progress on the Brexit deal before Christmas. The “meaningful vote” required to get the Brexit withdrawal agreement through British Parliament is now delayed until after Parliament’s Christmas recess (between Friday 21 December and 7 January). Mrs May has pledged that the vote will take place in the week beginning 14 January – just 11 weeks before the Brexit deadline.

What happened to the original Parliament vote?

The vote was due to take place on 11 December following five days of debate. But talks were interrupted after only three days – and the vote postponed – as it became evident that the deal would face a significant defeat. Having survived a no-confidence leadership challenge (in part by promising to step down before the next general election), Mrs May now needs to find a way to appease Parliament on a Brexit deal that the EU insists cannot be renegotiated.

The key obstacle here is the Northern Ireland “backstop”. In order to avoid a hard customs border between the Republic of Ireland and the UK territory, the backstop plan is an “insurance policy” that sees Northern Ireland retaining certain EU obligations (allowing freedom of movement for goods) until an alternative solution is agreed. While the mutual aim is to agree future trade arrangements before the planned transition period ends in December 2020, the backstop could potentially apply beyond this – and for an indefinite period.

For ‘hardline Brexiteers’ – including Northern Ireland’s DUP – who want to sever the UK’s existing ties with the EU customs union, this is unacceptable. They demand formal reassurance that, if a backstop was triggered, it would be temporary and the UK would be able to end it without EU permission (under the current deal, securing EU agreement would delay termination by at least six months).

Can the deal be saved?

While European Council president Donald Tusk reiterated that the withdrawal agreement – the result of 18 months of negotiations – was "not open for renegotiation", he confirmed that they were open to “clarifications… but no real changes”. He stated that the EU had "firm determination" to agree an alternative solution to the backstop before the end of the transition period. According to Mrs May, "There is a majority in my Parliament who want to leave with a deal, so with the right assurances this deal can be passed. Indeed, it is the only deal capable of getting through my Parliament". Following two days of discussions with EU leaders, she admitted “there is work to be done” but emphasised, “it is in the interests of the EU as well as the UK to get this over the line. A disorderly Brexit would be good for no-one.”

Can Brexit be stopped?

Former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is one of many high profile figures calling for another referendum “if none of the other options work". Mrs May has rejected this approach: “let us not break faith with the British people,” she responded, warning that “another vote would likely leave us no further forward than the last”.

For a second EU referendum to take place, it is likely that an extension to Article 50 would be necessary – something that would require the agreement of all 27 EU member states.

However, on 10 December, the European Court of Justice ruled that the UK did not need consent from the EU27 to revoke Article 50. This means the UK could legally withdraw its formal notification of leaving the EU at any time before the Brexit deadline of 29 March 2019. New Brexit Secretary, Steve Barclay, stated the government had "absolutely no intention" of cancelling Brexit – "the government's firm and long held policy is that we will not revoke the Article 50 notice," he said.

Article courtesy of Blevins Franks

Monday, 19 November 2018

Brexit and the exchange rate

4 potential scenarios as we see them

Just over one week ago, the GBP to EUR exchange rate had hit the best price in over a year with hopes that a new Brexit deal was ready to be done- these hopes were quickly dashed after the cabinet had actually approved the deal followed by several high profile resignations in Govt.

Since then there have also been calls for a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister with some letters actually going into the 1922 committee - today, it not known whether there are enough letters to trigger this challenge or not.

Over the weekend, the PM has been actively promoting her deal around to gain support- and it seems that many members of Government are willing to back the PM, but perhaps only after some changes to the current deal.

At this point, it is pretty unclear which direction things will move - the 4 potential scenarios we see are :
  • The UK & EU conclude the deal, and it is approved by House of Commons (leading to Sterling strength)
  • The UK & EU make their deal, and it is voted down by the House of Commons- potentially triggering a vote of no confidence in Theresa May (Undoubtedly this would lead to Sterling weakness)
  • An immediate vote of no confidence (Again creating Sterling weakness)
  • Changes to the deal being made, and then being presented to the EU (One assumes resulting Sterling strength)

Economic news and figures are irrelevant while this all of this is happening- as the £ will only really move on political news.Therefore if you have an upcoming transaction please speak to us and our currency partners about methods to hedge yourself against the volatility in the market.

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