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Ed Llewellyn, the British Ambassador to France posted a video on Twitter this afternoon. We have re-tweeted it, but for all clients who are not members of the Twtterati (the majority of us I suspect) you can catch up with him and his Twitter account here:
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Greenacres has started the busy spring season with a television marketing campaign. The company has invested heavily in updating and improving its web site over the last year and we now offer all of our subscribers a continuous advert on Greenacres and ImmoFrance as part of their advertising package with us. The company uses a network of websites targeting a wide range of nationalities and is becoming increasingly effective at attracting buyers from France, the UK and much further afield.
Advertise your property with French Properties Direct and we will include a Greenacres advert in your chosen subscription package.
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In a small, and very old, corner of South West France Advent, Christmas and the Epiphany are celebrated in a festival of the crèche – the manger and stable which provided the setting for the birth of Christ.
In and around the Girondine village of Castelmoron D’Albert many householders display creches in the windows of their houses and the village churches house further examples which are sourced from around the world. This year there are creches from assorted regions of France as well as from Russia, China, Peru, Greenland, Kenya, Cuba, Burkina Faso and many other countries.
A creche from Mexico
The tradition is now 17 years old and is organised by a committee of just 12 people. The creches are made using a huge variety of materials and are all sizes – the smallest is the size of a duck’s egg, while the biggest is life size. They are fashioned from clay, wood, stone, dried grass, plastic (there is a Playmobile crèche), eggs, corn-on-the-cob (yes, really), paper, fabric, knitting, soft toys……and they are displayed in windows, doorways, the corners of gardens and purpose build display cases throughout the village.
Six eggs in an egg box
The exhibition started on December 18th and runs until tomorrow - January 1st, with the churches also open to diplay the creches on Epiphany Sunday - January 8th.
A Basque country creche
We have a house for sale in the heart of the village - it is the one with the corn-on-the-cob creche in the front window and over the Christmas period it has been trending as our most viewed property on Rightmove. It is a beautifully restored, double fronted stone house with (and this is very rare) a walled courtyard garden with a swimming pool. The property has so much outside space because it was once the place where the village's wine barrels were made.
Our Christmas No. 1 on RIghtmove - conveniently in the beautiful 'village of creches' called Castelmoron D'Albret
Happy New Year to everyone and may your 2017 be filled with good health and happiness
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This autumn has seen a plunge in the pound as a result of the Brexit vote. If you are selling and you intend to relocate your funds to sterling, then it has been a window of opportunity through which to find a buyer for your French property.
Our existing clients are aware of the opportunity there has been this autumn as we drew their attention to it in our October vendor newsletter. We have, since then, seen a significant increase in buyer activity because of the downward movement of the pound. Buyers of all nationalities recognise the opportunity and are targeting British sellers in their search for property in France. For example – a sales price of 300000€ achieved at the beginning of October would have translated to approximately £270,000 if you took the proceeds back to the UK. If you had sold on the day we voted to leave the EU – when the pound was much stronger – you would only have achieved around £231,000. That was a difference of £39,000.
Talk to us if you are thinking abut putting your house on the market or if you think you should be considering a price reduction. Everyone living in France who draws upon an income in Sterling is suffering from the immediate effects of the Brexit decision - but when it comes to selling your house the low pound could, in fact, be a bonus.
This gorgeous restored priory in the Lot department has been reduced to 785000€ because the owners will be returning to the UK when they sell.
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By Robert Kent, of Kentingtons.
If like me, you are feeling shocked but not all that surprised by the final vote, you will eventually start thinking again about what this means for you practically.
We have seen the main concerns discussed over and over again in the weeks building up to the vote and I don’t intend to rake over those again, purely because much of what has been discussed is conjecture; we simply do not know what any deal with Europe might look like.
This means that concerns such as access to healthcare and the application of social charges to pensions etc. remain uncertain. What we are fairly sure of is that nothing much will change for the next two years. A UK national’s rights and obligations, under EU law, will remain unchanged until the UK officially leaves.
This is about “what now?”
99% of Kentingtons clients have all, or at least a significant percentage, of their capital in Euros. This has always been recommended by Kentingtons as it is clearly logical to maintain capital in the currency in which you spend. The outlook for Sterling is unsure, but volatility is a certainty and this makes planning a challenge.
During the last economic crisis we saw Sterling fall close to parity to the Euro. We advised our clients, who were not doing so, to draw income from their investments in Euros to defend themselves against the dramatic falls. This means that pensions were left building up in the UK in Sterling, (or being moved into a French compliant assurance vie though, remaining in Sterling) waiting for a better rate.
Clearly one needs to have sufficient capital to do this for a prolonged period as it is difficult to know how long the weakness may last. This worked out well, as we saw 1.05 in Feb 2009 and then 1.24 by April a year later and the very patient saw higher levels. So here we go again, not parity just yet, but let’s see.
Whether or not you should stop moving your pension, needs careful consideration and I would argue that we need to see significant falls before we do this. The point is that before panicking about the poor exchange rate, it is good to know that there are simple options to be considered.
Equity Market investing
If you are invested in the stock market, the value of your portfolio will be volatile, with the general short direction being downward. It is very important to understand that volatility and capital loss are not at all the same thing. The stock market is not rocket science; buy when prices are low and sell when they are high, but when it comes to private individuals, however, people panic and do just the reverse.
Almost all of our clients have at least half of their money invested outside of the stock market and this is so that they can calmly ride out significant market shocks, not ever needing to realise losses, safely drawing any income from a non volatile source.
For those who have a sufficient amount in secure capital, and are happy to accept some volatility, some buying is worth consideration. Markets and prices fall during periods of uncertainty and so good value is there to be found. Again, timing is the issue, so there needs to be sufficient capital remaining to be sure of avoiding realising any losses during the volatility.
In summary, there is no need to panic, but there is a need to make some carefully considered and well thought through decisions, based on logic and good common sense. There are options to guard yourself from Sterling weakness and even opportunity for those who have the capacity to buy in at potentially low prices.
KENTINGTONS SARL, Z.A. "LES ESPARRUS", 83690 VILLECROZE
Tel : 04.98.10.12.55 Fax : 04.94.84.37.65
RCS 500 163 282 DRAGUIGNAN,
Conseiller en investissements financiers, référencé sous le numéro F000116 par La compagnie des CGPI, association agréée par l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers
ORIAS 08038951 Garantie Financière et Assurance Responsabilité Civile Professionnelle Conformes Aux Articles L 512-6 et 512-7 du Code Des Assurances