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21 December 2007

South of France offers enduring investment appeal

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by Gill Montia

South of France offers enduring investment appeal

A recent survey from estate agent Knight Frank puts forward the argument that house price growth is beginning to slow on a global scale.

The shortage of credit and higher interest rates responsible for a slowdown in the UK housing market are also taking their toll on markets worldwide.

Obviously, hotspots still exist and for those not seeking an exotic overseas investment location, the south of France is expected to continue to provide strong returns throughout 2008.

VEF, the French property firm, believes that the region’s transport links play an important role in making it a region that will continue to enjoy strong capital growth as well as high rentals for investors.

The country’s TGV rail network provides an excellent service and both TGV and Eurostar are seeing passenger numbers grow because holidaymakers concerned about the environment are choosing destinations easily accessible by rail, rather than air.

In terms of international property price inflation, Bulgaria leads the way with a 30.6% increase in the 12 months to the end of September of 2007.

The rise in prices has been achieved despite concerns over the level of oversupply in a number of locations, such as the winter ski resort of Bansko.

In other eastern European countries growth has been moderate; prices in Croatia, Lithuania and Estonia grew by 12.1%, 5.6% and 5.2% respectively, over the 12 months to quarter three of 2007.

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