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It would seem that post-recession, [...].

It would seem that post-recession, as the market regains its confidence, buyers are going back to basics and selecting traditional, safe and secure global destinations in which to purchase second properties. France, popular back in the 1960s at the dawn of the second home era, in particular is receiving renewed investor interest with the leaseback system cited as a key factor in the decision making process.

So what makes a French Leaseback property such a solid investment? 1. Low deposit required With the current instability of the euro and poor performance of the pound, investors are keen to reduce their exposure to currency fluctuations by purchasing a property with a low deposit. Off-plan leaseback properties can be purchased with only a five per cent deposit and a wide range of mortgage products are available up to 100 per cent finance.

A key feature of the leaseback scheme is the ability for the owner to generate income by purchasing the freehold property outright and then leasing it back to a management company who specialises in the tourist management, maintenance and rental of these properties for a minimum nine-year period (renewable). In return owners receive a guaranteed index-linked annual return, irrespective of occupancy of the property.

2. Personal usage Leaseback property owners can enjoy the best of both worlds - guaranteed rental income and personal usage. Investors have the option to choose a leaseback formula that includes weeks of stays at their property each year for a reduced rental guarantee. These weeks may also be used in other equivalent apartments in any of the other properties managed by the management company.

3. VAT rebate The rebate of French VAT, currently at 19.6 per cent, on a new build property price is a real incentive for buyers. This government backed tax break enables purchases to be effectively made at below market value and if held for 20 years, the VAT is not required to be paid back.

4. 40 year track record Buyers can take comfort in the 40 year track record of sale and leaseback devised by the French government. Designed as a low-risk long term investment, the method operates within a set framework and is a well established buying practice.

Steven Worboys, MD of French property experts Experience International, said: "We have seen an increase in demand for French leaseback properties especially those in key tourist destinations such as the Alps. Our clients want to ensure that their investments are not only secure but that their properties are delivering income as well as personal usage. Leaseback properties perfectly meet these requirements."

A wide selection of leaseback properties are available to purchase in sought after locations such as Sainte Foy, Avoriaz, Megeve, Marseille and Biarritz through Experience International.

Contact one of the French leaseback property experts on 0207 321 5858 or visit for more information or to view the opportunities currently available.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 25, 2010
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