In early 2021, we’ve seen a surge in the number of enquiries from families planning to relocate to France. It’s a marked change after a quiet 2020 when Covid crisis caused a profound effect on movement.
France is still very popular
France has always been a major destination for British expats. It’s estimated that more than 20,000 Brits emigrate to France every year. But since the beginning of 2021, there was a marked increase in the number bookings from clients moving from the UK to France.
There are many reasons France has always been popular with British expats, the sunny climes of the south of France, the laid back lifestyle, ease of access to the UK, and of course the fantastic food and wine. Interest has been further bolstered by popular TV shows. “A new life in the sun” and “Escape to the Chateau” have encouraged many to sell up in the UK, buy a dream French property and start a business in France. But most recently other factors have come into play.
More people moving to France
Several factors are influencing the numbers of people emigrating to France. The Covid crisis had a huge psychological impact. Many spent lockdown re-evaluating the course of their futures. Of those, some came to the conclusion that living in France presents a better option in terms of “wellness.” And their perspective is that life is for living – as opposed to living for work.
Working patterns also changed during the Covid crisis. There’s been a huge move for employees and employers to adapting to working from home. With good WiFi, and a decent laptop, headphones and Zoom, we can communicate visually and effectively irrespective of location. So the opportunity to live in France and continue earning a salary from a career in the UK, is a real possibility.
Changes in the UK are also at play
The UK Property Stamp Duty Holiday played its part in making it easier for families to finally make their move to France. February 2021 saw a 50% increase in home sales.
Brexit also caused a major shift in the thinking, as half of the UK voting population wanted to remain in the EU. This is not a major driver in the exodus of Brits relocating to France, but, combined with the other dynamics, for some, Brexit was ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’.
And after two very difficult years of restrictions, for many, a new life in France brings with it excitement, and a fresh start.