Validus offers access to French mortgages

French property specialist Validus Invest has launched a financial advice arm to help borrowers fund their purchases via French lenders.

The independent investment property agency will advise clients of its sister company VEF France and other overseas property buyers on financing purchases with French mortgages.

This move comes as Assetz Finance reveals that Brits buying holiday homes in France are increasingly taking out French mortgages rather than buying with cash. Traditionally, most buyers of French holiday homes have used savings, inheritance or equity released from their UK properties.

But over the past 12 months Assetz has noted a rise in the number of British holiday home buyers opting for French mortgages, rising from 33% in 2005 to 50% in 2006.

Validus Invest also intends to launch a UK lending department in the next six months, joining a network as an appointed representative before gaining approval from the regulator to be directly authorised.

Louis Mann, director of Validus Invest, says: “We’ve launched a financial services arm for the same reasons we set up Validus Invest – there is a lack of professional advice to help overseas property buyers. We want to start selling UK-based mortgages sometime next year.”

Katy Hepworth, overseas mortgage manager at Assetz, says: “In the past British people buying holiday homes in France have missed out on low interest rates, tax and currency advantages because of the language barrier.

“But buying with French finance is a path well trodden by investors and considerable number of holiday home owners are now following suit and taking advantage of overseas mortgages.”