French Mortgage Watch: Banks lower rates to attract HNW buyers as the Alpine property market heats up

The French mortgage market is experiencing high levels of interest from wealthy international investors attracted by the heady mix of ultra-low interest rates, an extremely favourable tax regime for foreign investors and soft property prices.  According to the biggest lenders the vast majority of sales to international investors during the last quarter have been for Alpine purchases at the prime end of the scale, which require tailored finance packages to mitigate the French wealth tax.

The cut of these investor’s cloth is a rallying call to French banks who have stayed out of the mortgage market and have been waiting for non-residents to return. We have found many new banks starting up operations, re-entering the market and are also hearing whispers of new platforms being developed. This increased competition has already seen the best rates lowered by 0.25% reversing last month’s increases and even going a little further.

Our property partners are also rolling up their sleeves to deal with an influx of well-heeled buyers in the Alps. One in particular has already achieved 50% of their entire 2013 sales total, a record year for them, in just the first 2 months of the year alone.