THE NUMBERSThe best investments are the ones you and your family can enjoy
There is now 1/16th ownership share (6.25%) available at €83,000, entitling the owner to 3 weeks exclusive usage per annum
|Investment||€166,000 (c£145,000) + reserve fund (€2,000) + renovation fund (€2,000)|
|Share||12.5% or 1/8th|
|Ownership Length||Saturday 5th January 2019 - Saturday 2nd January 2027|
|Usage||equiv. 6 wks per annum exclusive occupancy|
|Annual Costs||shared running costs (year 1: €5,000 per 1/8th owner) inc house manager, cleaning utilities, repairs etc|
VALUE OF YOUR INVESTMENT
The below is an attempt to put a realistic monetary value on the 6 weeks usage that you get as an Owner each year (assuming exclusive house usage).
Le Mas du Figuier would command €5000 per week rental in peak season, and approximately €3500 per week non-peak.
Let’s assume the following usage by each owner:
|1wk summer holiday (July or August)||€5,000|
|1wk other school holiday (e.g. Easter or Xmas)||€3,500|
|1wk non-school holiday (adults & babies only e.g. work offsite)||€3,500|
|Long weekend (e.g. birthday)||€1,500|
|Short weekend (e.g. anniversary)||€1,000|
|24-hour drop-in (e.g. May / June)||€500|
|Total||€15,000 per annum|
|Total||€120,000 over 8 years|
€166k capital outlay + €2k reserve fund + €2k renovation fund + c€40k running costs (€5k pa) = c€210k
So for your c€210k total investment, you get c€120k worth of time at Le Mas…From this perspective, your actual cost of purchase is then only €90k. So your investment would need to fall from €166k to be worth below €90k, or over 45% for you to actually lose money. Not something I foresee as likely…the numbers are attractive!
(original article by Iain Laverock)
House prices in France rose by +3.4% during the year to Q2 2018. This is the 9th consecutive quarter of year-on-year price increases. House prices increases in France now stand at its highest level since Q4 2011 (source: National Institute for Statistical and Economic Studies (INSEE)). With mortgage interest rates in France at historically low levels, it is of no coincidence that the 12 months up to May 2018 saw more housing sale transactions than at any time in the last decade, and the first signs of a sustained recovery in French house prices were also witnessed. In terms of French house prices, FNAIM, the professional body for real estate agents in France is forecasting house price increases of between 3 and 4% in France during 2018 and a similar trend for 2019. The price rises were backed by surging demand. In 2016, the total number of housing transactions in France rose by 6.4% to 848,000 units from a year earlier (source: European Central Bank (ECB)). This trend has continued during 2017 and 2018. House building in France is also on the way up. In the year to July 2018, new building permits increased by 6.7% (source: INSEE).
Since the worldwide crash of 2007, the French property market has faltered as a result of rising taxes, stagnant wages and low growth. However, it has not been as badly affected as other European countries. According to BNP Paribas “France has always enjoyed one of the most inflationary housing markets in the world and people considering a property investment in France in 2018 have reason to be optimistic”. So whilst it would be wrong to state that over the last decade the French housing market has been in a slump (there have been nothing like the dramatic falls in house prices in Spain and Portugal), it is certainly true to say that house prices in France have experienced a period of ‘readjustment’.
These improving figures must be viewed against the recent trend for nationwide house prices in France. During the boom period from 1997 to 2007, French house prices grew by an incredible 150%. In 2008 house prices in France started to weaken, but price reductions were still moderate. This is mainly the result of the structure of the French mortgage market. In France 84.4% of borrowers take out fixed rate mortgages, making the French housing market less prone to sharp upturns and downturns than housing markets in other countries.
So what you are left with here, is a clear impression that the French housing market is beginning an upturn. What makes 2018-19 so interesting from a property investment perspective is that you can categorise it as a post-speculation phase. Prices have clearly now bottomed out and are starting to slowly rise again. So it is not a case that investors are trying to speculate on when house prices will reach their lowest point. Secondly, the demand has now returned to the market. The phase we are entering in 2018 and for the next 18 months, is one in which property buyers in France can have much more confidence that their property will increase in value.
The French housing market is expected to strengthen further during the remainder of the 2018 and through into 2019. Strong demand for houses in France is buoyed by low interest rates. In June 2018, the average interest rate on outstanding housing loans in France fell to 2.29% from 2.77% a year earlier (souurce: ECB), coupled with improving economic conditions. In 2017, French GDP rose by 2.2% from a year earlier, France’s best performance since late 2011. France’s economy is expected to expand by 1.7% in 2018 (source: European Commission) – although growth has remained flat during the first half of 2018. There is other positive economic news as well. Inflation was 1.0% in 2017. France’s unemployment rate is now at its lowest level in 5 years.
From a long term investment perspective, the French property market is a fairly decent bet. The property market in France has proved over recent history that it is sufficiently robust and stable to withstand temporary periods of decline. French property is also one of the most well-regulated markets in the world. So overall, the outlook for property investors in France looks positive.
Also read: Paris boosts France’s prime property market
EXCHANGE RATE GAINS
As a currency trader for almost 20 years, maybe you should ignore my insights here! Personally, I think we will see the negative effects of Brexit start to hit the UK economy and also the currency in the next few years, with the UK’s position as the financial centre of the world also notably undermined. I think a weakening GBP will be a necessary and welcome effect of this. I foresee that EURGBP will make new highs, above the 2008 high of around 0.98: this is a 10% weakening of the GBP from current levels (Q3 2017), making your house valued in €, 10% more rewarding! Regardless, any diverse portfolio should have European assets therein, and what better way to combine investment diversity with family fun…?
Please note that house prices (and indeed exchange rates) can go down as well as up. This has happened frequently throughout history in almost every country for different reasons. This investment is not intended to be an easily traded asset: you may encounter notable liquidity issues if you want to sell your share before the end of the holding period, March 2026. Indeed, given the unique nature of this private estate, selling the house in 2026 may take longer than anticipated as well. I recommend that you do not invest if you anticipate needing the capital back quickly. I also recommend that you consult your own professionals to ensure you are wholly comfortable with the level and nature of this investment. Please also note that the shared running costs have to be paid each year and this will vary.