Is Race an Issue When Buying Overseas Property?

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New Member
I run an overseas property website and was contacted by a potential buyer for property in France. He approached me personally as knew that i was a non white professional in the overseas property industry based in the UK. He explained that he watched numerous TV shows such as 'A Place in the Sun' and felt that their recommendations where from a white middle class point of view. Presenter Amanda Lamb would happily say a great place for the family or a second home. He explained that he begged to know and I quote ' What is the area like for a Black family' .

This is a thorny issue and one hard to answer but it has occurred to me in the past that some regions still feature racism in their politics and that I personally have felt uncomfortable in some parts of the world. Recent antics with a minority of Spanish formula one racing fans with Lewis Hamilton, the far right rise in parts of France, etc does inevitably make you think twice before buying property in certain regions

I would equate this too a question i do get asked more often 'how is it for foreigners living in that area?' Many overseas property buyers have forced prices up for the local population. Over development may have changed the locality so much that the new home owners may be resented. Overseas buyers on the other hand may have brought jobs and helped raise the value of their own homes as well as improvements to the infrastructure.

So how to answer this potential buyers question is not an easy thing to do. Perceptions can be far worse than reality and for me visiting any area before making a purchase is the best thing to do.


New Member

Your question is, I think, rather too specific. If buying anywhere, for personal use or investment purposes, as you say, you must visit the area first as part of your due diligence. Obviously, your criteria will be slightly different in each case. There are many factors to consider, and to a degree, race could be greater or lesser issue, regardless of colour, dependent on your reasons for buying.

Most holiday resorts have their 'areas' popular with certain nationalities, and you may well find some people have problems with that. For example some jingoistic Brits might avoid an area because it's popular with the Germans, say, or the French. This is nothing new; e.g. places like Liverpool, Manchester & London have had 'Chinatown' areas for a couple of hundred years; most major towns & cities have what some would term 'ghetto' areas, in the sense you will find a preponderance of a paticular ethnic grouping in that area.

In my view, yes, race is an issue, but almost a sub conscious one. There are many other factors to consider.

Monika Berlin

New Member
Hi Nick,

I can see that this could be an issue for many property investors. I see it time and time again and regardless of whether we visit the area first, it isn't the same as living there.

You know, it is easy to believe "it will be ok" to live in an area where different ethnic groups make up the main portion of residents, but reality is a lot harsher.
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