Saturday, 22 May 2010

Bargain basement price - 91,800 €

Set in the heart of a quiet hamlet is this deceptively large 2 bedroom house.
Enter from the courtyard garden into a veranda then into the large and bright lounge (31m²) which has a tiled floor, exposed beams, original cupboard, fireplace with wood burner, 2 double glazed windows to the front and stairs up to the first floor. The kitchen (20m²) has a real farmhouse feel with its Charentaise fireplace, tiled floor, stone sink and windows to the front and side. To the rear of this is another room (15m²) which is currently being used as an office/laundry room. The family bathroom (5m²) is on the ground floor with bath having a shower over, sink and WC.
The stairs from the study lead to a master bedroom (25m²)with exposed beams and pine floor, en-suite shower room (8m²). Another staircase leads from the lounge to the second bedroom (31m²) with exposed beams.
Behind the house is a large barn (36m²).The front courtyard is plenty big enough to enjoy al fresco dining. Across the lane is a barn used for storage but would be ideal as a garage. Some 100m up the lane is a garden of some 965m² perfect for growing those vegetables.Sauze Vaussais is a short drive away, (as are Melle and Lezay), and there is a good choice of reginal airports. Very competitively priced at only 91,800 €

Sunday, 16 May 2010

5 years old

Normally, I am not a great lover of modern French properties, preferring the older style character houses. From time to time, something a bit different comes along and challenges your thoughts. Very recently, I visited a 5 year old bungalow, on the edge of Sauzé Vaussais. There is a bit of extra character in this bungalow, so often missing from other modern properties. Quality oak flooring and tasteful tiling has been used in many areas of the property. The living rooms are much larger than in the average pavillon. The oil tank is buried in the garden, and the property is also on mains drainage. The garden benefits from open views across open countryside, (last year sunflower fields). With the shops, bars and restaurants within walking distance, this property will appeal to a wide selection of people. Other facilities such as schools & a supermarket are available within the town. All in all, good value at 222,600 Euros. Peter Elias (Agent Commercial)

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Sterling on the up

With the UK election finally over and a decision made as to who will form the British Government finalised, the relief within the financial markets was very evident. Mervyn King delivered the Bank of England’s quarterly Inflation report and made it very clear that UK interest rates will stay low for a considerable time to come due to the troubled rimes ahead. His boost for the new government was that he is enthusiastic about plans to start reducing the budget deficit as soon as possible. The Bank of England is clearly concerned that a delay in action would risk the UK losing its Triple A credit rating and that would have cost repercussions for the Bank and the Treasury. Whilst Sterling slipped a bit, the Euro also remained weak and there are fears that this decline could increase in pace in line with market scepticism over the effectiveness of the €uro rescue plan funding. Some analysts are predicting a further fall of 5 or 6 % in the Euro’s value against the US Dollar, although the UK government will have to start proving itself if Sterling is to keep pace. The Sterling - Euro exchange rate is hitting the highest levels it has achieved since June 2009 and a break above 1.19 € would offer the best levels since the collapse that started with the fall of Lehman Brothers in October 2008. That is fantastic news for anyone moving to Europe, although it is not such great news for those with Euros to sell. However, those sellers have had 20 months of advantageous rates and it now looks like it is the turn of the buyers. Peter Elias (Agent Commercial)

Friday, 7 May 2010

Where now for currencies ?

So we head into the weekend not knowing who will be the next resident of 10 Downing Street, not knowing whether the €110 billion bailout for Greece will be enough, not knowing whether one of the other Mediterranean countries is preparing its bid for EU support and not knowing whether we will get rain or not, although that last one is apparently easier to predict.

What we do know is that the Pound is still offering some of the best levels for Sterling sellers in 9 Months, that the Euro is the cheapest it has been for US Dollar sellers since March 2009 and that the Australasian currencies may well weaken a tad in the days ahead if safe haven buying is all the rage and whilst the Canadian Dollar is still looking good now, it may well weaken as oil comes under pressure. Sadly for those with Sterling in their pockets, even if the Aussie and Kiwi Dollars lose strength, the £ is likely to lose strength faster because the UK economies is far more reliant on and tied to the European Union countries.

It’s a very cloudy view both weather-wise and economy-wise right now and risk management is the key to being currency-wise.

If you thought the recession was behind us, I am sorry to say, it may not be dead and gone just yet. The problem lies in the nature of the credit markets. Bank A may lend to Bank B who lends to Bank C but Bank C may also be lending to Bank A and Bank B may be heavily indebted to Bank D as well. This is also true for countries and the whole world wide web of debt hangs on the premise that each is capable of repaying everyone else. If one bank or country fails to keep its part of the bargain, the whole pack of cards is in danger of collapse.

Peter Elias Agent Commercial

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Uncertain markets

May Bank Holiday weekend – and what confusion on the markets. With the prospect of a “hung parliament” in the UK and the European crisis elsewhere, the currency markets don’t know which way to go. A hung parliament would bring with it uncertainty for the markets (equities & the £), so the week ahead will define the way forward. In Euroland the so-called PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece & Spain), are still in big trouble, especially the latter two. Riots on May Day In Greece in response to the austerity measures required as part of their rescue package, whilst in Spain, they have just announced unemployment at over 20%. If there is a decisive result in the UK elections, I would expect Sterling to surge ahead in the weeks ahead, perhaps towards 1.20 and even 1.25, which would be a great buying opportunity for UK buyers looking to acquire a property here in France. Peter Elias