Monday, 27 March 2017

Brexit starts this week...sterling in for more volatility

Those of you that have been following the currency markets will be well aware of the affect that last year’s EU referendum has had on the value of the pound. On the eve of the vote, sterling was trading at 1.30 against the euro and 1.50 against the dollar, but now sits around 12% lower against the single currency and is over 20% down on the US dollar.

The prospect of a hard Brexit has been weighing heavily on the pound. In the build-up to the election, Brexiteers had been proposing a Norway-style trade deal with the EU, in which the UK retained access to the single market in return for a fee. However, over the last few months it has become clear that the UK government would not be pursuing this option, favouring immigration controls over access to the single market, and the pound has weakened significantly as a result.

The financial services sector relies heavily on this access and the financial markets don’t like the prospect of a hard Brexit. This sector accounts for around 15% of UK GDP and giving up tariff-free access to this market is likely to have a hugely detrimental effect on UK economic output.

EU sceptics are often quick to highlight the economic fragility of the currency bloc, citing Greek debt issues and Spanish unemployment. However, the reality is somewhat different. Inflation in the bloc is now rising, unemployment is falling, and the ecostats are now starting to paint a much rosier picture. In fact, the Spanish economy is actually growing at a faster pace than the UK economy.

It’s surely only a matter of time before the European Central Bank begin a normalisation of monetary policy, raising interest rates as inflation continues to rise. The Bank’s aggressive quantitative easing programme finally seems to be working and I wouldn’t be surprised to see further euro strength once it becomes clear that Marine le Pen stands no chance of winning the French elections.

Article courtesy of Foremost Currency

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Changes for gîte activities

The Finance Act for 2017 was adopted by the French Parliament on 20 December 2016 and was published in the French Official Journal on 30 December, 2016.

But what many will not have noticed is that the legislation included a provision for social contributions to be paid on furnished lettings – i.e. gîte activity. Previously, social contributions were only payable where furnished rentals were operated as & “professional” activity.

From January 2017, if your annual turnover exceeds 23,000 € you will be liable to the new contributions. This will require owners to register with either RSI or CPAM.

The legislation was changed at the 11th hour, after much lobbying by French hoteliers, principally because of internet platforms such as Airbnb, and therefore exact requirements are still not clear.

But be prepared, the cotisations are coming, and will be due once your income exceeds 23,000 €. It may be worth exploring changing your classification to “meublé de tourisme”, but that cannot be done part way through the fiscal year.

Best advice is to talk to your accountant if this concerns you. If you want to do some homework beforehand visit (in French).

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Golf properties in the Dordogne

We have just started to advertise a small number of quality properties on a superb golf domain in the ever popular Dordogne. Set within 360 hectares of beautiful French countryside, these tastefully restored houses are for sale fully furnished, with the benefit of a 9-hole golf course and many other services are available throughout the year.

Priced from 255,000 - 390,000 Euros. If you can’t find the exact property of your dreams, there is also the opportunity to purchase a plot of land and have your own property built (subject to approval).

Inspected by Nigel Cowles & myself recently, the domain received their seal of approval, especially for the quality of the environment and the concept of the project.

For further information of a viewing trip (highly recommended) contact

Friday, 3 March 2017

A New Life in the Sun

Allez-Français have been approached by the Producers of Channel 4s “A New Life in the Sun” TV programme to send details of clients thinking about making the move from the UK to France.

In particular, they are looking to feature people who are just entering their first season in the new business, searching for businesses or who may have been set up for some time but about to enter a new challenge, as well as people who are just at the very beginning of their journey and are looking to buy a property and start their new life in the sun.

They are particularly interested in upmarket and aspirational businesses/property – and we have plenty of those.

Contact either Peter Elias to advise of your interest – or