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was first undertaken in 1990. What has changed though is the order of the top five with Amsterdam and Berlin replacing Barcelona and Brussels, who have slipped to 6th and 8th place respectively. London has retained its top ranking in terms of familiarity as a business location, but second placed Paris continues to close the gap.

France beats Spain as top location for second homes France has overtaken Spain as the most popular country in the world for British people buying a second home abroad. Britons have flocked to Spain’s sunny costas for decades, but a new report suggests that negative coverage of the country’s “boom and bust” property sector is putting potential buyers off from buying a home there. According to the survey by Savills International and HomeAway., buyers are instead turning to France, which is widely perceived as a “stable and easily accessible market”. Nearly 30% of all overseas properties bought by UK buyers since the recession have been in France. By contrast, the number bought in Spain have dwindled from roughly 30% prerecession to closer to 15%. “France did not see the dramatic house price decline of neighbouring Spain and its banks have continued to lend on second homes thereby stimulating the market,” the report says. “The relative stability of this market and its ease of access from the UK mean that buyers remain confident to invest.” The research also revealed that holiday home ownership abroad has continued to grow over the past 5 years, despite the economic slowdown. It is estimated that over two million British tax payers own holiday homes in the UK and overseas, with the estimated value of British owned properties in the eurozone currently considered to be around £47.5 billion. 168

Méribel hosting the 2015 Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals could mean peak profits for property investors Méribel has been awarded the most prestigious competition in the skiing calendar, the Finals of the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup. Obviously good news for Meribel and consequently also very positive news for buy-to-let propety investors in Meribel. A major sporting event like this should mean more demand for rental properties, both on a short-term as well as on a longer term. This international event, to be held in March 2015, will see10 international races in 5 days. Competitions are held in all the major men and women’s disciplines: Super-G, Downhill, Super-Combined and Giant Slalom and Slalom. The best of the best will compete: the world’s 25 top skiers from each discipline, plus the European and Junior World Champions will battle for World titles on Méribel’s pistes. The preparations for 2015 are already underway. A host of top level competitions have been scheduled in the run-up (2012: Europa Cup Slalom and Giant Slalom; 2013: Europa Cup Downhill; 2014: French Championships). The site – the Grand Duc and Stade pistes – is about to undergo extensive improvements. If you are in the market for a ski property in the French Alps, chalets and ski apartments in Meribel should represent an excellent investment opportunity.

The French property market is still going strong Residential property prices in France, particularly in sought locations, are continuing to rise steadily, the latest report from the FNAIM shows.

THE ADDRESS Magazine No. 10  

THE ADDRESS Magazine celebrating luxury real estate, food and travel