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Residential property views and reviews

By Marie-Cecile Boulle
14/06/2006




IT IS OFFICIAL…The FRENCH ARE HERE TO STAY… and (officially) growing in numbers by approximately 4% annually!! London is being referred to as the 4th French city! The Lycée Charles de Gaulle, renowned internationally for its scholastic prowess, cannot cope with the demand for places!  Last September reached a record high when it topped 750.
 
We have helped many settle down and adapt to local culture and customs!

Sales Sector

In spite of consistent eye catching and ear-ringing warnings about the bubble bursting…the house market crashing…and conflicting daily reports, I have not met anyone in recent years who regrets investing in property in London, Hong Kong, Cape Town, New York or Paris. Have you?

In fact, in most of the world’s hot spots the predicted BIG CRASH has not happened and the prevailing press is now conceding that it will not happen!

Let’s look at today’s London market – buoyant…rising…property shortage...gazumping is back in vogue!

Poles, Russians, French and more recently Germans who are settling here for the medium to long term are choosing to buy their own homes. Taking the plunge to purchase rather than rent a home is seen as sensible and logical and even new arrivals are exploring the acquisition route. Another factor influencing this trend is an increase in rental values due to the lack of good quality properties, especially in the family home market.
  
In my humble opinion, there is no reason for the market to crash now or in the near future!

Rental Sector

Activity in this sector has started earlier than previous years and we have enjoyed a very busy May. The unpredicted fly in the ointment for the summer is SHORTAGE OF QUALITY HOMES! Last year we experienced a serious lack of family homes under £1000 per week in all the strategically located ‘French suburbs’ - Ealing, Clapham, Fulham, Hammersmith, Chiswick and Kensington & Chelsea. This year and early in the season family homes right across all London are scarce. This is due in part to Landlords who have taken advantage of the good market and sold their properties or to tenants who are extending their stay.

It is evident that there is an opportunity for investors to develop a rental portfolio of family homes. With rents on the rise, the return on investment looks optimistic for the medium to long term.

Landlords are now in the driving seat and prospective tenants and their employers have to adapt to the upward trend in the market.


ONE LAST WORD OF ADVICE

Prior to departure, everyone considering settling in the UK for the medium or long term should consult an accountant with expert knowledge of UK/French tax laws and regulations. The correct financial planning, prior to your arrival and especially in the housing arena, is invaluable.

Till the next time!
  
Marie-Cecile Boulle
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