Monday, 28 September 2009

New challenges

One of the great attractions of France is that it is so diverse. You can have rolling countryside, coastal regions and mountains, all within a relatively short area of the country. Each regions has it's own distinctive features and character, but whatever you like, you are sure to be able to find it in France. Our mission is to be able to facilitate the purchase of your French dream home, and until now we have always been limited to the area inland from La Rochelle, the popular Poitou Charentes, straying also into the Vendée and Haute Vienne. During recent weeks we have been working to extend the areas in which we are able to offer property for sale. Naturally, we will be focusing on those areas most popular with the British and International clientele. To start with, we have hand selected a small number of business partnerships, where we know that the Allez-Français ethos will be carried through and service levels be of the highest standard. Our business partners will be both experienced & established in their fields, being in a position to offer our clients an exceptional range of properties. Next year, we are looking to develop this plan further, with a regional network of Allez-Francais representatives. In the coming months we will be speaking to potential candidates to work with us on this exciting project. We will be looking for self-motivated people, (couples or individuals), with a good command of the French language, who wish to be self-employed, working on a commission remunerated basis, independently, but with the support of a team behind them.We have already identified the 8 most suitable areas of France for this project, but we will only roll-out the business when we have identified suitable candidates and they have proven to us that they are right for the challenge ahead.
Peter Elias (Agent Commecial)

Sunday, 20 September 2009

The pound at a 4 month low against the Euro

The pound has fallen to a 4 month low against the Euro because of fresh concerns about the extent of the UK's public sector debt levels.
One €uro rose to as high as 0.9057 pence in Friday trading, the single currency's highest trading position since May. The pound's falls came as official figures showed UK's public sector net borrowing totalled £16.1bn last month. The Government's overall debt now stands at £804.8bn, or 57.5% of GDP, which is an increase of £172bn in the past year.
Analysts advise that the £ was also weakened by speculation that the FSA has set Lloyds Banking Group the task of raising more than £20bn to strengthen it’s balance sheet if it wants to leave the Government Asset Protection Scheme (GAPS). Such news has hurt the £ as it suggests that it will take longer for the UK banking sector to return to normal.
So, having seen expectations of the £ trading at 1.20 or even 1.25 against the Euro for the year end, the picture has now been totally revised and experts are waiting to see how the currencies move during the final quarter of the year. We have seen highs of 1.2917 back in Oct 08 and lows of 1.0249 in Dec 08, highlighting the importance of using a specialist currency dealer when you move money between currencies. For a 250,000 € house, for a UK buyer, the price could have fluctuated between £243,925 and £193,545, a staggering thought.
Monthly average rates for 2009 highlight the progress made until June since when improvement has halted and fallen back towards levels experienced in April.
Monthly average rates 2009 January 1.08962 EUR (21 days average) February 1.12765 EUR (20 days average) March 1.08771 EUR (22 days average) April 1.11409 EUR (21 days average) May 1.13034 EUR (21 days average) June 1.1674 EUR (22 days average) July 1.16157 EUR (23 days average) August 1.15938 EUR (21 days average) September 1.13592 EUR (14 days average) Peter Elias (Agent Commercial), La Moinerie, 79500 Paizay le Tort, Deux-Sèvres, FRANCE
Tel: 00 33 (0)5 49 27 01 22 or Tel: 00 33 (0)8 77 07 58 99 Mob: 00 33 (0)6 62 28 02 25
Tel: 0871 717 4176 (UK) Website

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Property exhibition time

This week, taking a break from work in rural Devon, I have taken the opportunity to visit the French Property News exhibition at Olympia, which is where we launched the Allez-Français company in January 2002. How times have changed ! The vast halls of Olympia were packed with exhibitors over 2 floors back in 2002, and space was at a premium. During the course of that weekend 40,000 visitors charged through the doors and ensured that you never had a moment to relax. Yesterday, by contrast, there was plenty of space for exhibitors, over a single floor, and visitors strolled through the doors at a trickle rather than a surge. There seemed to be as many Currency exchange dealers as Estate Agents, surely a sign that the immobilier world has taken a big hit and found times very hard during the past 12 months. There has been a change in marketing, away from costly shows, and expensive magazine advertising, towards more cost effective property website portals. That is certainly the way Allez-Français has moved during the last 12-18 months. Being here in the UK does give you a serious reality check, however. PC madness still rules ! The newspapers yesterday reported how it is now not acceptable to refer to a famous pudding as “spotted dick”, and there was an article revealing that prison officers had been told that they could not refer to inmates by simply their surnames such as “Fletcher”, and that “Mr Fletcher” was the order of the day. What would Ronnie Barker say ! No wonder there is no shortage of Brits still trying to escape the island for France. The recent increase in activity is being maintained, and once again our company has been dealing with the signing of a “compromise de vente” on a Saturday afternoon. Well done Nigel, our new Agent Commercial, on notching up your 1st sale. Many more to follow …. Peter Elias (Agent Commercial) Website or e-mail

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Currency watch

Pound Euro rates faced a torrid week last week, falling on Friday for the 7th straight trading session, a first for 2009. Rates dropped after a raft of poor UK data showing the economy is still in decline, coupled with the fact that forecast interest rate differentials caused the Euro to strengthen. The rate picked up slightly in trading on Tuesday morning, however poor PMI data compounded the problem with interest rate differentials, and so the pound is still performing poorly.
What does this mean?
Interest rate differential is simply the difference between our interest rate set by the Bank of England, and the Eurozone base rate set by the European Central Bank. If rates are higher in the Eurozone, then investors get a better return. This causes increased demand for the currency, and so as more investors purchase it becomes stronger and the net effect is lower rates. So, higher interest rates usually strengthen a currency, and vice versa.
Rates in the UK sit at 0.5%, while EU rates are at 1%. It had been the case that analysts thought the BoE would aggressively hike rates in the latter part of 2009. It’s now thought that EU rates will rise much faster than UK rates, which is what caused the Euro to strengthen. This coupled with poor UK data caused last week’s dismal performance by Sterling.
The pound recovered on Tuesday after taking a beating last week, when dismal UK business investment figures helped to further convince the market that UK interest rates would remain at a record low 0.5 percent for some time to aid the economy. However poor PMI figures which were worse than expected, caused the recovery to be short lived, and the downturn in Sterling exchange rates continued.
This week we see the ECB announce their interest rate decision, a hold at 1% is expected, but don’t rule out a rise to combat deflation. Markets are extremely volatile at the moment, as the big movements in exchange rates last week demonstrated. This week we have various data releases from across the globe, which will no doubt cause further changes in exchange rates.
Uncertainty is never good for business, but it does of course throw up opportunities for the bold.
Peter Elias (Agent Commercial), La Moinerie, 79500 Paizay le Tort, Deux-Sèvres