It's a fast-changing environment in the French mortgage market at present with lenders still grappling with new Brexit requirements and BNP IB the largest lender to non-residents withdrawing from the market in June 2022.

However despite that there are lots of options for our clients, LTVs up to 100% are available on repayment and interest only, if clients are willing to either open a savings account or an investment account with the lender, and up to 85% (for repayment) & 75% (for interest only) with no investment requirements. Due to the higher level of defaults witnessed during Covid, it is becoming increasingly common for lenders to ask for an account with 6 or 12 months worth of mortgage payments as a balance.

In light of the events in Ukraine, we have seen an increase in rates and further increases are expected, but at present at 70% LTV we can still obtain a 20 year fixed at below 2%.

Lenders generally insist clients take life cover, but again they are generally becoming more flexible with this and allowing clients to use a broker to search the market to ensure not only the lowest premiums but to minimise the medical tests required which often causes unforeseen delays.

The banks have all been struggling with the high level of requests seen as a result of BNP’s withdrawal from the market and of course staff absence with Covid. To handle the higher volumes many will only review files with a signed Compromis.

Full disclosure of a borrower’s situation remains essential, and it is not enough for them to simply give a snapshot of what they think is relevant to this purchase, the banks want to understand their full position.

In the UK it is becoming fairly standard that you need to have a mortgage agreed before you can even view a property, with competition for each property being so high. As a result, we have seen many more buyers contacting us wanting an idea of the financing options before booking viewing trips. As a reminder although many banks won’t accept files ahead of buyers signing the Compromis, we carry out a detailed initial call during which we will fully assess the client’s situation and so they understand what is available to them and what they’d need to provide to be successful with the mortgage.

Interest rates remain low in France, and borrowing in Euros allows the clients to keep their investments working hard for them. Many buyers don’t realise that in France you can only take finance at the point of purchase, and often find this out too late.

We understand the importance of a recommendation, and do our best to deliver the clients a very personal service. We aim to not only source the clients the most

competitive interest rate but ensure the bank is a good fit for their situation both now and in the future. In France you don’t take a mortgage product for a few years and then look to change lenders, and so it is important to select the right lender from the start. The mortgage process can seem daunting and painful to a buyer but with our help there is no reason for it to cause delays or for it to be stressful.

8 Jul 2022

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