French Property Boost

French Property Boost

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French property prices are set to increase dramatically since the introduction of a new high-speed Eurostar link from St Pancras station in London. The high-speed rail line, launched on Wednesday, promises to cut most Eurostar journeys by 20 minutes, making Paris a less than two-and-a-half hour train ride away from London.

This makes the proposition of living in France while maintaining a job in the UK a very realistic one. The improved Eurostar service, has already fuelled increased interest in buying properties in France, reports HiFX. In its latest global property hotspots survey, the currency specialist reveals interest in France has increased and attributes this to the growing numbers of international commuters. Somewhere in the region of 20 percent of people moving to France plan to continue working in the UK. According to think-tank Future Forum, a total 1.5 million people will work in Britain while living in another country by 2020.

Property prices in France are around 30 percent lower than those in the UK, according to French property expert VEF. The Pas de Calais region in northern France, which is now even closer to London with Lille being just 80 minutes away on the new Eurostar link, are even less expensive. How long that remains the case with this latest influx of “Rosbifs,” remains to be seen.

France has traditionally been a more stable market and has had relatively little impact from the current credit crunch being experienced in Britain and the USA. Property prices are expected to rise in the order of 6 – 8% in 2008.

The other driving factor is the price of the commute. Britain has long had a reputation for poor quality, overpriced public transport and a the fact is, a trip from London to Manchester can cost over £200 and take three hours, whereas the new Eurostar from London to Paris takes two hours fifteen minutes and costs less than £90 return. Vive la France!