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Sep 29, 2021

The French Connection

If you want a stable, low-risk investment that gives you a fixed income, investing in offshore property in a first world economy in a stable political environment is a sound way to externalise your wealth. And France is calling… 

 

Property as an investment class has consistently performed over the years. The benefits of offshore real estate are many: long-term wealth generation, a tangible asset class with capital appreciation, stable currency exposure, rental income and low cost of finance in some of the key markets. A big attraction for investors from Africa is the exposure to a stable economy and protection against local currency devaluation, says Scott Irving, General Manager of Carrick Property. “Africans are exposed to volatile currencies and volatile political situations – so offshore real estate is a very attractive proposition for high net wealth individuals.”  

And offshore property means you are really investing offshore and enjoying the diversification, protection, growth, tax efficiency and foreign currency stability you’re looking for; as opposed to an investment that may seem like it’s offshore, such as an asset swap or feeder fund, where you are still exposed to South African political risk. 

South Africans continue to show a strong appetite for offshore property investments and the demand for property across Europe is high, says international property expert Spencer Lodge. “The interest in France is even higher due to it being the most popular tourist destination in the world.”  

France attracts high numbers of tourists for many reasons: there’s the obvious lure of Paris; art, history and culture; its reputation as a culinary destination; and its extensive holiday offering – a combination of mountains, country and beaches (think Alps, Provence, Cote d’Azur) and strategic location to the UK and 11 bordering countries.  

In addition, the economy is rebounding: the economy is expected to make a strong comeback, with a GDP increase of 7.4% in 2021 and another 3% in 2022. Certain areas of France are prime for rentals no matter what time of year and it’s the perfect country for retirement, thanks to the many getaways on your doorstep, plus the high-speed train and conveniently-located international airports.  

 

“More people visit France than the USA (which is about 18 times bigger). It is euro based which is one of the safest currencies in the world, has stable governance and the country is well run. France simply continues to grow in popularity as it has for the last 50 years,” says Lodge. “Properties appreciate steadily and reliably, so if you are smart you can get guaranteed rental income and guaranteed capital growth.” 

 

The French property market is also one of the most regulated housing markets in the world. 

One of the investment opportunities in France offered by Carrick Property is the Halcyon Retreat Golf and Spa Resort, which is located in Limousin, in the heart of the French Lake District. It’s a slight deviation from the buy-to-let products that Carrick Property is known for but investing in a resort has enormous appeal for African clients. 

A credible developer is key, and this 5-star luxury resort is part of the Wyndham Hotel Group, the largest hotel group in the world, which operates over 9 000 hotels in over 90 countries. The 90ha grounds feature an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, forests, fully stocked fishing lakes, a spa, fine-dining restaurants, a themed children’s adventure area, an indoor aquatic centre and conference facilities. Other activities include biking, clay pigeon shooting and archery. The original stone cottages and buildings have been remodelled into 216 units for purchase, forming a French stone village complete with a boulangerie and patisserie. The resort is firmly on the map as one of the most sought after luxury hotels in Europe. 

“Resort investing can come with rental guarantees which takes the hassle out of owning a property overseas,” says Lodge. An added benefit is that investors in Halcyon own their unit and are given two weeks a year at the resort to use free of charge. It’s a win-win investment – a property that can be rented out to generate income and can also be used by clients or for a family holiday.  

 

For more information on Halcyon Retreat Golf and Spa Resort visit www.carrick-property.com/property/wyndham-halcyon-retreat-limousin/ or email [email protected]

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