French Connections

How travel connections can affect the French property market

French connections

The first-time property buyer abroad is faced with a bewildering array of possibilities, not least of which is the choice of country! It is impossible to consider the relative merits of all the countries of the world here, of course, but wherever you are considering, if you haven't looked at France, then do so now. Why France - why pursue French connections? The sheer size and diversity of the country makes it an ideal location for a massive variety of people, meeting a huge variety of needs and fulfilling a vast amount of dreams. (Why buy property in France?)

France - a great choice

Whether you are planning a series of short breaks and long blissful holidays or implementing that life changing "No Going Back" move, France makes a great choice. From the sophistication of Paris (Paris Property Guide) to the rustic charm of a village in the Charente (Charente Property Guide); from the film star glamour and soaring temperatures of the Cote d'Azur (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Property Guide), to the soft green landscapes and splendid rural isolation of the Limousin (Limousin Property Guide); from the buzz and rose-tinted culture of Toulouse (Toulouse Property Guide) to the swish snow and surf lifestyle of the Alps (Rhône-Alpes Property Guide); or from the timbered charm of seaside Brittany (Brittany Property Guide) to the faded Belle Époque style of Biarritz (Biarritz Property Guide), La Belle France can provide.

Travel to France

If that hasn't yet sold you on starting up a French connection, consider this. How much time and money are you likely to spend travelling to and from your new property? France has the advantage of being closer to Britain than almost any other desirable location. Transport connections between France and the UK are excellent, and with new links being added all the time the trend seems set to continue. You can travel by air (and there are plenty of incredibly cheap budget airlines now operating services to France), or you can travel by train, thanks to the Tunnel and Eurostar. Or you can travel by boat, or boat and car, or even train and car! (David Walliams of "Little Britain" even swam from England to France... but that's a little extreme unless you are raising a lot of money for charity.)

Quality of French transport connections

The question of transport may seem a little prosaic when you are embarking upon a dream come true purchase, but it is a very important one. Almost everyone will be affected by the quality of transport connections to their French property, to some degree or other. And holiday home owners and people buying with a view to operating businesses such as gîtes and hotels will be most affected. (Owning Gîtes and Chambres D'Hotes (B&Bs) in France.)

French connections and the effect on property values

Another point to consider is the effect that the proximity of good and economical transport connections will have on the value of your property. There is no doubt that this is a highly significant factor in the property market, with sought after areas being largely those with good systems in place. Price rises are also being noted in areas scheduled for improved transport services, such as those towns listed for new TGV stations or those under consideration by budget airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair. Ryanair has, in fact, opened up so much of France to British and Irish property buyers that the ensuing property boom in these places has been dubbed the Ryanair Effect.

French location, location, location...

Yes, its a cliché... but consider the implications very carefully. Many people who buy in France are also hoping to maximise their investment by letting their property out when they are not using it, or by running gîtes or hotel businesses. If this is you, it is absolutely vital for the future health of your finances that you choose a property with good transport connections to the UK. You simply cannot overestimate the importance of location! Holiday makers want to get to their destinations with the minimum of fuss, and more often than not, with the minimum of expense too. Buying property within easy reach of an airport served by a budget airline, or a railway station with a TGV stop, is a sure fire way of maximising your chances of filling up your bookings diary.

French connection options

There are many ways of travelling to France, and the one that is best suited to your needs will depend on your budget, your timetable, your personal preferences, and, of course, the location of your property. Careful consideration of these options before property purchase is advisable. It is also worth keeping a weather eye on planned changes to transport systems, such as the opening of new airports, extensions to the existing TGV routes and stations, and new budget options by existing airlines.

New French connections planned

Watch out for new airports planned. The relatively new airport at Brive (Brive Vallée de la Dordogne Airport), will no doubt affect house prices in the Corrèze, Dordogne and Lot departments. Meanwhile the extension of the TGV network to Reims will also no doubt have an effect on property in the north-east of France. And dont forget that its not always new routes, airports and stations being added, some are taken away. Always consider your options and bear in mind what might happen should an airline withdraw its route. If there are alternative easy ways to get to your property, so much the better.

Which area of France will be your French connection?

To help you decide which area of France might be right for you to buy a French property in, it would be wise to have a look at the links below. These links take you to articles on different sections of France. For each section, you'll be able to see how easy it is to access those French regions, departments and towns in that area, and the travel options open to you. (All routes correct at time of writing. However, these can change at any time so it is advisable to contact the companies concerned in advance of travelling.)

French connections - Travel to North-West France
French connections - Travel to Paris and North-East France
French connections - Travel to Centre-West France
French connections - Travel to South-West France
French connections - Travel to Centre-South France
French connections - Travel to Provence and Côte d'Azur in south-east France
French connections - Travel to East France

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