In the wake of Brexit: Moving from London to Paris

It’s official. The Brexit D-Day is March 29, 2019. The countdown has begun, at least for some. Because this referendum is not just a concept. As the slogan states, "Brexit means Brexit": the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.

There are relevant question expatriate must ask in order to make a successful and smooth return, in regards to housing, school, and administrative procedures.

It’s estimated that more than 300,000 French expatriates live in the United Kingdom (according to a January 2018 statistic from the French embassy in London). Of course, not all are on their way back, but this surge of activity in the Paris property market shows no evidence of slowing down, as far as BARNES agencies can tell.

A number of companies are repatriating their employees and/or closing their offices in London. These French nationals are returning for professional reasons, while others for personal reasons. This migration trend started in London is, for the most part, heading towards Paris. As a result, BARNES agencies in London and Paris are being highly solicited by future “inpatriates” seeking new housing, a new neighborhood, and a new “ecosystem” that meets their needs and expectations.

Time to go home

French residents living in London patiently waited for the results of the French presidential election before confirming their plans to return. Stability in France gave investors confidence. For many, now’s the time to go back home under the best possible conditions.

While our British friends are in full (tense) negotiations in Brussels, future French residents remain apprehensive: feeling a little like a stranger in their own country. This feeling of displacement is completely normal. The process has no shortage of difficulties, especially when it comes to administrative logistics.

BARNES is often the trusted representative of future “ex-expatriates," offering to shed light on a dim path in order to help them find and prepare their ideal home before their final arrival.

Here are some wise tips:

To start off, the French consulate in London will help you with all the required paperwork. An interactive online module is available for French citizens who wish to return to France.

For those who have previously lived in France, especially in Paris, returning may be a lot simpler, because they already know their preferred neighborhoods. For them, as well as others, highly-qualified BARNES experts can suggest the best arrondissement that matches their expectations and criteria.

The BARNES network is strong with about 50 agencies in France and 10 agencies in Paris specializing in different areas. Frédérique Verrier-Pytel, director of BARNES Paris XVI, tells us that many expatriates returning as a result of the Brexit referendum (in addition to the others) are asking for apartments in the 16th arrondissement. They are looking for large surface areas and family apartments near good schools. The BARNES Paris XVII team is also noticing an influx of new clients in the market for 3-to-4-bedroom apartments. The capital’s most prestigious neighborhoods are very popular. Families, in particular, are attracted to arrondissements with reputed and elite academic institutions.

It’s important to note that town halls are valuable sources of information and to be taken full advantage of. Another piece of advice, registering children in the Rectorat d’Académie should be considered well in advance before the move. The sooner, the better. The more questions answered, the better BARNES advisors can orient their search to a specific area and gather a selection of beautiful apartments in Paris to present to you.

It's time to leave Big Ben for the Eiffel Tower.

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