British expat town in France sees dramatic drop in numbers after Brexit – ‘rollercoaster’

Brits in France: Expats discuss pool maintenance business

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But the town has now seen a fall in English buyers, while French people are returning to buy property in Eymet. Why have the number of expats fallen in Eymet?

COVID-19 could be to blame for the recent drop in English buyers in Eymet. Many expats decide to move after visiting the town as a tourist.

Terrie Simpson, the boss of property agent Agence Eleonor, explained: “There are not that many English names here (in her list of buyers) but they are just starting to come back now.

“I just fell in love with the village the moment I saw the main square. It reminded me of Beauty and the Beast.

“The old version, where they’re throwing the shutters open and you have all those pretty little wattle-and-daub houses sitting over the archways,” she told The Times.

Due to pandemic travel restrictions, fewer Britons have made it to France to fall in love with Eymet.

Maxine Shipley, owner of the B&B Maison d’Angle, said: “We have a map of the world in our dining room and more than 140 people who have stayed with us have gone on to buy a house – and 80 percent of them have been British.

“But the only English we have had this summer have been married to French nationals.”

A change to residency rules after Brexit is also thought to have impacted British expat numbers in Eymet.

UK citizens are only able to visit the EU for 90 out of every 180 days and obtaining a long term residence permit can be difficult.

British expats may have trouble qualifying for French residency or have to spend a lot of money on the administrative process.

Although Eymet has experienced a drop in British buyers, Julie Savill, marketing director at Beaux Villages Immobilier, felt Brexit hadn’t put Britons off.

She said the property market had been “a bit of a rollercoaster” over the last 18 months in Eymet.

Savill said: “We still have a higher proportion of French buyers than we would normally expect at this time of year.

“But that’s really because of elevated interest within France rather than a depressed level of interest from the UK.

“You get some people who say, ‘I don’t want to be anywhere near any other English’. But there is actually something really nice about having contact with some people who share your culture and your sense of humour.”

She added: “If you want to be somewhere where there are no other English, you’d better have pretty good French because it will be quite isolating and quite difficult.”

Eymet British resident, Sion Fitton, said: “You just can’t beat Eymet. We’ve got everything here.

“It’s almost like it’s a planet with its own gravitational force. People come here once and they want to come back.”

Prices in Eymet average around £168,700 for a two or three bedroom house within the town’s walls.

A house just outside of Eymet with its own land and a pool, costs around £295,000 while a chateau costs an average of £900,000.

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