Although the law passed in December and has not yet come into effect as it has to be vetted by the country’s Constitutional Council this week, Brits have already started considering their options, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to data by Kyero, an international property website based in the UK, three weeks after the bills were passed, there was a 582 per cent increase in Britons searching for French properties on the site.
Significant pent-up demand has developed in the international market amongst British buyers whilst people have been awaiting news of potential changes to residency rules, and it seems that the floodgates are now opening.
The highest number of inquiries was evident for the Alpes-Maritimes area in southeastern France, compromising for a quarter of all searches, followed by Charente and Haute-Vienne, the Telegraph reports.
Keryo’s Co-Founder says that with Spain also planning similar changes, 2024 is expected to be a year of international transactions for property.
Joanna Legget of Legget Immobilier said that organic traffic on their portal was up by 44 per cent in December in the past month, with inquiries from new British clients increasing by 16 per cent.
A sales support director from Leggett also pointed out that a lot of clients who had just been looking at properties have now been activated, and the company os increasingly seeing a surge in viewings. Moreover, UK nationals who have houses in France that were up for sale, mainly due to the 90-day rule, are no longer selling.
This led to many arguing that the post-Brexit agreement was unfair since French citizens were allowed to stay in the UK for up to six months without a visa, whether they owned property there or not.
On the other hand, Brits who are second-home owners in France are allowed to stay in the country only if they apply for a long-stay visa, which takes a long time to process and renew – a process that has to happen every year.
The Constitutional Council will make it on Thursday, and it could either fully implement the bill, including the amendment, declare it contrary to the Constitution, or declare certain articles unconstitutional.
The recent immigration bill has caused a stir in Franceas rens of thousands of people marched in the streets, urging President Emmanuel Macron not to sign the tough law that aimed to reduce migration to France.
While the new legislation can be convenient for Brits, other migrants might face one of the most stringent laws as it limits their access to state healthcare and deports those with a criminal record, among others.