Main event
French Property News|November 2020
Buying a holiday home near a popular annual event could guarantee you a beautiful setting and some extra cash, finds Hannah Evans
Hannah Evans

Amidst all the uncertainty and time constraints regarding whether to buy a French home in the age of Covid and Brexit, there is one group of buyers who remain relatively unaffected: those looking for a holiday home. While a no-deal exit from the EU and quarantine concerns endeavour to fluster people who want to become a French resident in the near future, it will still be just as possible to buy a French holiday home after Brexit as it is now, providing you do not spend too long there each year.

A poll in the French Property Exhibition webinar this July revealed that only 17% of people planning to buy a French holiday home said they wanted to do so before the Brexit deadline, the rest saying they would wait until afterwards to purchase. This means that holiday home buyers have the luxury of time to think long and hard about their ideal location and scout out the perfect property.

There are several things to prioritise when looking for a holiday home. Is it easy to get to for short breaks? Is it relatively low-maintenance? Is it in a climate that you can enjoy at different times of year? And, if you are treating it as an investment, is it likely to attract paying guests?

One way to guarantee yourself a busy rental period each year, so long as the property is suitable, is to purchase near the location of a popular annual event. You hear about people leaving their homes in Edinburgh to capitalise on the huge wave of Fringe attendees – why not France? Major events which draw international interest tend to be in areas of France that show off the very best of the region, and also have the infrastructure and activities to support a big influx of people. So, while future guests wait to arrive in time for the big event, you can reap the benefits of an excellent location and great local facilities.

THE PLACE TO BE

There’s no doubt that Paris is the epicentre for major events in France, but there’s also a huge range of events across less populated, more affordable regions which also command international interest.

Brittany is a generally quiet yet popular destination, and rural holiday cottages and gîtes there tend to be busy over spring and summer. But for 10 days every August, the Breton coastal town of Lorient becomes packed with around 700,000 people who come from all over France and beyond to enjoy traditional Celtic music and festivities. The Festival Interceltique de Lorient generates a fantastic atmosphere with its programme of 200 events, involving 5,000 performers, each year. Unsurprisingly, accommodation in the town of 57,000 is booked up months in advance, so it’s a safe bet for holiday homeowners hoping for regular summer custom.

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