Thursday, November 27, 2008

Brits go home

A full-page article in La Dépêche today proclaims that Brits are leaving South-West France in droves.  The falling pound has reduced their retirement incomes and (if they can sell their overpriced houses here) they can buy houses more cheaply in the UK.

Among reasons for leaving are that the winters are cold and there is little to do in winter in the Lot. Not sure why this is news, but the dream seems to have faded.  Perhaps when times get harder, there's no place like home. Indeed, many of the Brits down here never learned French: they didn't even bother to pronounce the place names correctly, so they can't claim to have tried to fit in.
Regard them as ex-pats who were only slumming it, rather than immigrants looking for a new home.

It remains to be seen what happens to house prices here. There has long been a two-tier price system, with Brits happy to pay 50% more than the French: after all, the pound was worth 50% more than the euro and house prices in Britain were astronomical. Now the French who complained that the Brits were pushing house prices out of reach will no doubt complain that the Brits have pulled the rug out from under the market.

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